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Comet-ME

Profile

Country/TerritoryIsrael
Websitewww.comet-me.org/
Founded2009
In their own wordsEstablished in order to “build renewable energy systems for communities that are not connected to the electricity grid because of political reasons and build local capacity to install and maintain those systems.”

Funding

Activities

  • Established to “build renewable energy systems for communities that are not connected to the electricity grid because of political reasons and build local capacity to install and maintain those systems.”
  • Often builds structures in Area C of the West Bank, without requisite permits from the Israeli Civil Administration, which is responsible under local and international law (and the Oslo agreements) for maintaining law and order in areas under Israeli control.
  • Construction by Palestinians and supporters in Area C – a largely desert area of strategic importance – is part of the ongoing political conflict with Israel.
  • According to Comet-ME, the “Israeli authorities refuse to provide energy to Palestinians as part of a systematic campaign to push them off their lands.”
  • Comet-ME has an ongoing campaign to “Stop the Demolitions!” claiming that they are “committed to fighting the demolitions” through legal means, media exposure and reaching out to the diplomatic community.”
  • In June 2017 a Dutch funded solar energy system built illegally without permits by COMET-ME was reportedly seized by Israeli authorities.
  • According to Positive News UK, Comet ME “often erects turbines at night to avoid confrontation with the Israeli authorities who have previously halted installations.”
  • Comet-ME participates in “discussions of the Area C steering committee of AIDA – the Association of International Development Agencies – on the situation of demolitions and displacement in Area C.”
    • AIDA “is a membership body and coordination forum of over 80 international non- governmental and non-profit organizations working in the occupied Palestinian territory.”
    • Published an April 13, 2015 joint agency briefing paper titled “Charting a New Course: Overcoming the Stalemate in Gaza,” misrepresenting international law and distorting legal terminology to place primary blame for the 2014 Gaza war on Israel. The paper omits Hamas rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, as well as terror tunnels running beneath the border into Israel. The paper further encourages contact with Hamas, stating: “Restricted contact can undermine humanitarian access and implementation of humanitarian programmes…”
  • In September 2014, Comet-ME gave a tour of the South Hebron Hills to U.S. Consul General Michael Ratney, focusing on the “challenges facing Area C residents.”

Staff

  • Elad Orian, co-founder and “environmental expert, physicist, political activist,” was also a member of the oversight committee of Zochrot, a fringe Israeli NGO that supports a “one-state” framework and a Palestinian “right of return.”
  • Comet-ME Board member Prof. Dan Rabinowitz spoke at a Zochrot conference on the topic of “The Right to Refuse: Abject Theory and the Return of Palestinian Refugees.”
  • In December 2013, Orian said, “Our NGO is political in essence… “We support their struggle to stay on their land.” He further stated, “I’ve been a political activist the better part of the last 10 years and I do it on the big political level because that’s my way…”
  • Orian signed a petition in support of Tali Fahima, who was convicted for contact with terrorists.
  • Comet-ME co-founder Noam Dotan has consistently attempted to justify the NGO’s illegal activity, saying, “We didn’t ask for permits because we wouldn’t get any permits,” and “We don’t get any permits [from the Israeli Civil Administration], so we simply build without.”
  • Before founding Comet-ME, Dotan “for years took part in protests on behalf of local Palestinians before deciding that ‘I wanted to do something for and not just against.’”
  • According to Comet-ME’s 2015 Annual Report, Ezra Nawi is its “Community Liaison.”
    • On January 11, 2016, Israel’s leading nightly news program on Channel 2 aired footage of Ezra Nawi, a radical activist from the NGO “Ta’ayush,” visiting the offices of Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence (BtS). There, a BtS employee provided Nawi with NIS 1,400 in cash.
    • Nawi was also featured in a January 8, 2015 expose on Israeli investigative news program (“Uvda”, Channel 2). Nawi and B’Tselem employee Nasser Nawaja discussed informing the Palestinian Authority security services about a Palestinian man who allegedly intended to sell land to Jews in the West Bank. The sale of Palestinian land to Israelis is punishable by death under Palestinian Authority law, and according to Nawi, suspects are tortured and then killed.

Partners

Foreign donations based on the organization’s annual reports

Amounts in NIS. 2016 based on quarterly reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits

Donor2016201520142013
Germany2,489,603
Medico International (Germany)184,691780,356593,397
European Union1,483,101410,455
Irish Aid 344,973358,311287,149
France5,391137,466
Netherlands1,185,7001,805,093166,08659,347
Belgium29,40328,693
Rockefeller Brother's Fund197,377172,900149,106
Osprey Foundation179,16819,544141,583
PSCC22,711
New Zealand (MFA) 22,098
Swedish Postcode Foundation274,692456,075

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