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 eighteen active partnerships between German and Palestinian municipalities: Cologne-Bethlehem, Jena-Beit Jala, Bergisch Gladbach-Beit Jala, Xanten-Beit Sahour, Mannheim-Hebron, Nuremberg-Nablus, Bad Oldesloe-Jifna, Bonn-Ramallah, Brühl-Battir, Krefeld-Bani Zaid Al-Sharqiya and Aizaria, Lauenburg-Al-Ubeidiya, the district of Stendal-Qabatiya, Bielefeld-Zababdeh, Moers-Beitunia, Neuwied-Surif, Speyer-Jericho, Dortmund-Dura. Other project partnerships are currently in the initiation phase. In addition there is a number of requests from Palestinian municipalities. The Service Agency furthers these partnerships by offering exchange of expertise, information and networking.