On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) the Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW) promotes German-Palestinian municipal partnerships. In view of the political situation – which has its origins in the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict – the municipalities in the Palestinian Territories are in particular faced with difficult economic and social challenges. Partnerships between Germany and Palestinian municipalities could make a contribution here towards the improvement of the living conditions of the Palestinian population and the strengthening of the institutions at municipal level. They are therefore seeking to create peaceful co-existence in the region.
There are currently fifteen active partnerships between German and Palestinian municipalities: Cologne-Bethlehem, Jena-Beit Jala, Bergisch Gladbach-Beit Jala, Xanten-Beit Sahour, Hebron-Mannheim, Nuremberg-Nablus, Bad Oldesloe-Jifna, Bonn-Ramallah,Ubeidyeh, Brühl-Battir, Krefeld- Bani Zaid Al-Sharqiya and Aizaria, Lauenburg-Al-Ubeidiya and the district of Stendal and Qabatiya. Other project partnerships are currently in the initiation phase. In addition there are number of requests from Palestinian municipalities. The Service Agency furthers these partnerships by offering exchange of expertise, information and networking.