Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel

Mission: Adalah ("Justice" in Arabic) is an independent human rights organization and legal center. Established in November 1996, it works to promote and defend the rights of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, 1.2 million people, or 20% of the population, as well as Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).
Jul 13, 2016

Turning up the heat in #Um_AlHiran. But we remain resilient.

Photo 1: Bulldozers (credit: Jenny Nyman)
Photo 1: Bulldozers (credit: Jenny Nyman)

Description of photo 1: The construction site for Hiran is located on a hill overlooking Umm al-Hiran (credit: Middle East Eye /Jenny Nyman)

The Arab Bedouin villages of Atir-Umm al-Hiran have come under renewed threat of demolition and eviction over the past few days.

1. The authorities threatened to enter Umm al-Hiran to begin construction work for the court-sanctioned Israeli Jewish village of Hiran

On Saturday, 9 July 2016, Raed A., one of the village leaders of Umm al-Hiran, received a call from the authorities, informing that they planned to enter the village on Sunday. The authorities stated that they intended to begin construction work on Hiran, on Umm al-Hiran’s lands.

Adalah was in contact with Raed and other villagers throughout the day. Although the authorities did not carry out the threated demolition and eviction, the danger nevertheless remains very much alive, and the villagers remain on edge. Adalah’s lawyers continue to provide legal consultation and advice to the leaders of Umm al-Hiran regarding their next steps, particularly during this tense period.  

2.Tour for Ha’aretz editors and senior journalists in April 2016

Adalah organized a private tour for senior journalists and editors from Ha’aretz, the leading liberal Israeli newspaper, to give them an up-to-date, intimate portrait of Atir-Umm al-Hiran. We also visited the village of al-‘Araqib, a Palestinian Bedouin village that has been demolished 100 times over the past few years, to meet with the villagers there.

We believe that it is crucial to keep the issue of Atir-Umm al-Hiran on the public agenda through the media. We especially engage editors because they play a significant role in determining the stories that make the cut, in framing how those stories are told, and in taking bold positions critical of Israeli government policies.

We wish to thank you again for your kind support and encouragement over the past quarter.  Adalah and the people of Atir-Umm al-Hiran need your help to continue to do our crucial work, especially at this time of heightened tension. 

In solidarity,
Rina Rosenberg (Jabareen)
Director of International Advocacy, Adalah

Description of photo 2: Sign reads 'Construction Site - Entry Forbidden', with Umm al-Hiran seen in the background. This construction site for the new Israeli Jewish town of Hiran (credit: Middle East Eye/Jenny Nyman). According to their latest threat, the Israeli authorities intend to pave a dirt road within the boundary of Umm al-Hiran to facilitate construction work for Hiran there.

Photo 2: "Construction Site - Entry Forbidden"
Photo 2: "Construction Site - Entry Forbidden"
Jun 2, 2016

We will not be Silent (Protect the Protest update)

Launch of #WeWillNotBeSilent at Al-Khashabi - 4/16
Launch of #WeWillNotBeSilent at Al-Khashabi - 4/16

1. Fundraising Update

To date from the launch of the campaign in December 2015, we raised US$ 6,230 from individual donors and US$10,000 from an institutional donor to protect the right of Palestinians to protest against institutionalized discrimination and the Occupation, and to mobilize for freedom and justice. Thanks to all of the individual donors for their generosity, particularly those who made recurring (monthly) commitments!

2. An update on Anas, 'the Facebook protestor'

As you know, we are representing Anas K., the 19-year old Palestinian citizen of Israel, in a criminal case against him for his status updates on Facebook. Anas was arrested and then placed under house arrest for his Facebook posts that allegedly constituted “incitement to violence and terrorism”. However, we’re pleased to inform you that Anas received good news last month!

On 17 April 2016, following a motion filed by  Adalah to the court, Anas’ house arrest was partially lifted so that it will only apply at night-time. This change of conditions will allow him to work and to continue to take music lessons to play the buzuq, the long-necked string instrument.

Anas wanted to share the following message with you for enabling this small, but very meaningful victory: “It’s a beautiful feeling to live life in freedom. Now I can exercise my rights, to both express and to move without restriction. Finally! All the same, I still await complete freedom”.

3. An update on Shaymaa and Sujood, detained for protesting

In October 2015, we represented (with other volunteer lawyers whose presence we coordinated in court) the young female teenagers, Shaymaa and Sujood from Nazareth, who were arrested following their participation in a demonstration against violence. Shaymaa and Sujood were both placed under house arrest following their detention, and criminal charges were filed against them. While the criminal cases are still ongoing, the good news is that they are no longer under house arrest. While the teenagers are currently being represented by private lawyers, they remain active with Adalah in speaking out to help other young people who are detained for exercising their right to voice their dissent to injustice.

 4. #WeWillNotBeSilent: a strong follow-up to #ProtecttheProtest

Adalah, together with Baladna – Association for Arab Youth and 7amleh, started a new project at the end of 2015 that expands the #ProtecttheProtest campaign. Given the traction Adalah created with #ProtecttheProtest and the urgency to protect the right to free expression including freedom of assembly, freedom of association and the right to protest, our additional joint initiatives with Baladna and 7amleh include:

  1. To educate and empower up to 1,600 Arab-Palestinian youth to protect their FOE rights;
  2. To train 20 young Arab human rights lawyers and 15 Arab journalists in FOE rights issues to engage in outreach to the Arab-Palestinian youth, and to write about these issues in media and social media outlets;  
  3. To defend Arab-Palestinian youth in FOE rights violations cases via direct legal representation

#WeWillNotBeSilent is a strong follow-up to our #ProtecttheProtest campaign and will run throughout 2016 and 2017.

Accordingly, you can expect in your PtP updates information on how we are using a combination of training and outreach, legal representation, media advocacy and capacity-building in this new stage of expandedwork with human rights lawyers, youth and journalists to protect the protest and free expression.

Check out our online portal displaying the personal stories of those whom the Israeli authorities have attempted to silence, but with little success:

http://www.7amleh.org/WeWillNotBeSilent/

Can you spot Sujood, Shaymaa and Anas?

Mohammad Badarneh, Visual Director of #WeWillNotBeSilent, explains his vision for the campaign, “We look for the moments rooted in our memories, without underestimating the strength and defiance of those who stand against Israeli oppression, nor underestimating their human frailty”.

Mohammad Badarneh, Visual Dir. #WeWillNotBeSilent
Mohammad Badarneh, Visual Dir. #WeWillNotBeSilent
2 day workshop for young HR lawyers, 2/16
2 day workshop for young HR lawyers, 2/16
Apr 15, 2016

Spring in Atir-Umm al-Hiran - an update

Kamle Abu al-Qi
Kamle Abu al-Qi'an picks chamomile (J. Nyman, MEE)

Spring is here, meaning we approach our long struggle for Atir-Umm al-Hiran with renewed vigour. Here is our latest update on the sister villages, to which you generously donated to ensure that their residents remain on their lands and in their homes.

1. On the legal front: The Israeli Supreme Court refused to reconsider its decision to demolish Atir-Umm al-Hiran and evict all its residents

On 17 January 2016, the Israeli Supreme Court (SCT) issued its final decision in the case of Atir-Umm al-Hiran. The Court rejected Adalah's extraordinary motion for a second hearing on the case, which requested that the Court reconsider its decision to approve the state's plan to evict the village's 1,000 Arab Bedouin residents, who are citizens of Israel, in order to build the Jewish town of “Hiran” and expand the “Yatir Forest” over its ruins. The Court's refusal to reconsider its 5 May 2015 ruling effectively means that the eviction and demolition procedures against the village can proceed.

The President of the Supreme Court, Justice Miriam Naor, wrote in the decision: "It is indeed, as noted by the decision on the request, that the case is a matter of public importance and sensitivity. However, this is not enough to order the hearing of the case for the fourth round [after the Magistrates', District and Supreme Court decisions]. This case is not one that can be considered to be exceptionally-exceptional, the rarest of rare, to warrant another hearing." 

In Adalah’s view, the Supreme Court’s assessment of the case as not sufficiently exceptional to warrant a second hearing is both absurd and dangerous. The Court’s refusal to reconsider its prior ruling instead reflects its compliance with the state’s policies of discrimination, segregation and dispossession against the Bedouin.

Read the Supreme Court’s decision 

Read Adalah’s paper on “The Dangerous Implications of the Supreme Court’s decision”

 Post-script:

While the Supreme Court permitted the demolition of Atir–Umm al-Hiran and the eviction of its residents, in another case involving a Israeli Jewish family (“The Seltzers”) home in Jerusalem, the Court prevented the state from evicting the residents because it claimed their case was a "unique" one. Does the Supreme Court really believe that Jewish homes in Israel are special but Arab homes are not?

 Read an op-ed by Adalah Attorney Mohammed Bassem comparing these two cases

 

2. Showing Solidarity on ‘Land Day’ with the residents of Umm al-Hiran

On March 30, 2016, Adalah staff participated in the 40th annual Land Day commemoration in Umm al-Hiran. Land Day is an annual commemoration for Palestinians of the events on 30 March 1976.  On that day, Palestinian citizens of Israel participated in a general strike and marches throughout the country to protest against the Israeli government’s plan to expropriate tens of thousands of dunams of land from Palestinians. During confrontations with police, six unarmed Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed and hundreds were wounded.

The commemoration events started at 9:30 am with olive tree planting in the Naqab villages of al-Za’roura, Umm Mitnan, Abu Tlul and al-Atrash. Then a large group gathered in Umm al-Hiran at 4:00 pm for the official speeches and commemoration.

3. Telling stories

a. Jenny Nyman, a designer with whom Adalah regularly works, composed this fantastic photo-essay on Atir-Umm al-Hiran. Read it/view it on Middle East Eye.

b. Amjad Iraqi, our Projects and International Advocacy Coordinator, penned this piece comparing the tragic story of Atir-Umm al-Hiran to the similarly situated unrecognized Arab villages of Ramiya and Dahmash. The piece was published in +972 Magazine and can be read here.

4. Sharing is caring – The Seltzers vs. Atir-Umm al-Hiran Infographic

We mentioned above (Point 1) the Supreme Court’s double standard on living spaces for Arabs and Jews by highlighting the example of the Seltzers and Atir-Umm al-Hiran. Scroll down to see (a snippet of) the infographic we created to help you visualize the case.

If you have a Twitter account, you can share the infographic: https://twitter.com/home?status=http%3A//www.adalah.org/uploads/PDF-Infographic-Zeltzer-vs-Atir-Umm-al-Hiran-Eng.pdf

Share the story on The Seltzers vs. Atir-Umm al-Hiran on facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=http%3A//us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=4c0bb759968fd1dcd47869809%26id=87a3117c69

Download it for keeps: http://www.adalah.org/uploads/PDF-Infographic-Zeltzer-vs-Atir-Umm-al-Hiran-Eng.pdf

Thanks again for your kind support and for making all of our efforts possible over the last months.  Adalah and the people of Atir-Umm al-Hiran will continue to need such support to help us do our crucial work.

In solidarity and hope,

Rina Rosenberg (Jabareen)

Director of International Advocacy, Adalah

Seltzer v. Umm al-Hiran - Download & Share
Seltzer v. Umm al-Hiran - Download & Share
 

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