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Nov 4, 2019

60 Palestinian law students gain new skills to defend their community

All-camp photo!
All-camp photo!

Dear friends,

Thanks to your support, Adalah held its 14th annual Law Students Conference on 12-14 September 2019 in Beit Sahour, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem. What an inspiring three-day experience it was for the students, the speakers, and all of the Adalah family!

The camp – held in Arabic – brings together Palestinian students from Israeli and Palestinian universities. It is very rare for Palestinian students from Israel and the West Bank to convene in a legal, academic context.

The Adalah camp facilitates this connection and functions as a platform that allows the sharing of ideas, subjects, and dialogue that are usually absent from their regular law school curricula. It also encourages the students to learn more about public interest or cause lawyering for human rights by introducing the students to many different practitioners and organizations engaged in this struggle.

CLICK HERE to see all the photos from the camp!

Sixty students from Palestinian and Israeli universities participated in this year's camp, the theme of which was "State of Emergency". Israel has been operating under a self-declared state of emergency since 1948.

A series of panels and workshops highlighted different aspects of this state of emergency and the ways in which this situation works to violate the human rights of Palestinians, both citizens of Israel and people living under Occupation.

In addition, a tour of the divided West Bank city of Al Khalil (Hebron) and a screening of The Advocate also helped the students to better grasp the theme and its ongoing repercussions for their lives and the lives of their potential clients.

This year's invited speakers provided both theoretical academic, practitioner, and personal story-telling perspectives to give students a holistic lens through which to view the state of emergency in law and practice.

CLICK HERE to see the full program.

Below are examples of the feedback from the student participants:

Marah, Nazareth | 1st year law student, Haifa University:

“The concepts discussed in the panels and workshops were very rich and stimulating. The camp encouraged us as students to approach our course of study and curricula in a more critical eye and to be more engaged.”

Murad, Nablus | 2018 graduate, An-Najah National University:
 

“Palestinians lack platforms that bring us together. Adalah was able to give us this platform. It provided us with a safe space where our voices can be heard. Adalah’s camp isn’t just a project, it’s a family.”

Lama, Maghar | 1st year law student, Tel Aviv University:

"The visit to Hebron was an eye opener for me. Even though I thought I was familiar with the situation there on paper, it was a completely different experience to actually be there and visit the city. Meeting students from the West Bank was the highlight of the camp for me. We learned so much from each other!"

Duaa, Haifa, | 3rd year law student, Tel Aviv University:

"I felt very empowered and inspired to be in an inclusive Palestinian environment where all the participants are politically aware and engaged in studying the Palestinian cause."

Adalah’s annual camp is made possible by your support. In fact, a $100 donation would help to cover a student’s fee to attend next year’s camp and tour. Will you make this generous contribution or more today?

Students in discussion with lecturers
Students in discussion with lecturers
Law students sporting our camp t-shirts!
Law students sporting our camp t-shirts!
Students participating (& enjoying!) the workshops
Students participating (& enjoying!) the workshops
Students in discussion with lecturers
Students in discussion with lecturers
Group photo while touring Hebron in the West Bank
Group photo while touring Hebron in the West Bank
Oct 16, 2019

New school year means new fights to protect Bedouin kids' education

Still from video on school bus stops in the Naqab
Still from video on school bus stops in the Naqab

Dear friends,

Thanks to your support during this past year, we have fought for and achieved the opening of high school for Bedouin students and then saved this nascent school from being closed!

Last year, in November 2018, Adalah sent a letter to the Israeli authorities demanding that they open a high school in Al-Zarnouq, an unrecognized Bedouin village, located in the Naqab (Negev) desert.

The village of around 5,000 residents has 450 high school-age pupils who have to travel long distances to and from schools in other villages. As a result, many students drop out and never complete more than the 8th grade. After long correspondence, the Education Ministry and the local Regional Council was set to open the school in September for the 2019-2020 academic year. 

However, in August 2019, Regavim – a right-wing, pro-settler Israeli organization – filed a petition to the Be’er Sheva District Court to prevent the opening of the urgently needed high school. Regavim argued that the high school had not acquired all the necessary permits and paperwork to open its facility, and claimed that regardless of these documents, the school itself is still illegal because it is located in an unrecognized village.

Regavim regularly submits petitions before Israeli courts against Bedouins in the Naqab and in the West Bank. The organization claims that “the Jewish People are being robbed of the Land of Israel” by any development projects undertaken by/for these communities.

In a hearing on 29 August 2019, Adalah argued before the court that Regavim’s petition must be rejected. Adalah emphasized that the school had already been put in place and that preparations were under way to begin the new year in the fall of 2019. Adalah further argued that Regavim's petition was pursuing bad motives and intentions under the law.

The court accepted Adalah’s arguments. Adalah later participated in a meeting with the local planning committee to secure the remaining necessary permits. And the school was finally opened at the end of September 2019!

An achievement like this – the opening of the high school and fighting the right-wing to prevent its closure - is made possible by your ongoing support of our work.

Further, for the new school year, a journalist and cameraman for YNet – a leading Hebrew newspaper in Israel – accompanied Adalah to several villages in the Naqab and interviewed our staff and local residents about the government’s neglect of kindergartens for Bedouin children, producing a widely watched report (Hebrew).

Adalah also released a one-minute video to raise awareness of Israel’s refusal to provide basis infrastructure for transportation for Bedouin school kids.

About 12,000 Bedouin children continue to face danger every day as there are no bus stops to keep them safe from the busy highways where they need to be picked up.

Adalah took the Israeli authorities to court to construct these bus stops and won – but despite the state’s commitment, one year later, the bus stops have yet to be built.

Your support is crucial for us to take all actions necessary to ensure the state fulfils its obligations. Please donate to Adalah today.

Oct 16, 2019

Israeli police must be held accountable to Palestinian citizens

Adalah
Adalah's meme linking October 2000 to October 2019

Dear friends,

Nineteen years ago, in October 2000, Israeli police shot dead 13 Palestinians in Israel during mass protests against Israel's repressive policies in the Occupied Territories at the start of the Second Intifada. The police, who used live-fire and rubber bullets, also wounded 1,000 protestors and arrested 660 in Israel.

For years Adalah represented the families of the 13 killed Palestinian protestors, demanding that those responsible be investigated and prosecuted.

In a 2003 report, a commission of inquiry confirmed that there was no justification for the police's use of lethal force against the protestors. It also called on the police to "root out the existence of negative prejudices against the Arab sector" across its ranks, adding that the police should no longer see the Palestinian citizens as an "enemy".

Despite these strong words, the Attorney General in 2008 closed all of the files against police officers, commanders, and political leaders. To this day, not a single Israeli officer or other official has been indicted for the killings. And years later, it is clear that the Israeli authorities have refused to heed Palestinian demands for fair, humane, and accountable law enforcement.

This month, thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel have taken to the streets to protest the police's systemic negligence in tackling the rise of deadly violent crime in Arab communities.

On 3 October, Adalah participated in a general strike by the Palestinian community to protest the police's inactivity. Adalah staff also attended a mass demonstration in the northern town of Majd Al-Krum, where we legally observed the protests and stood ready for any legal representations of protestorsthat may have been necessary.

To commemorate October 2000, Adalah issued a meme on its social media pages connecting the protests in 2000 with the current protests of October 2019 (see above), and reiterating our demand for justice and accountability for the killings and injuries of Palestinians past and present, whether by the police themselves or by their grave inaction.

Our persistent efforts over all these years to protect Palestinian citizens’ right to protest, and to hold the Israeli police accountable to the people they are meant to serve, can only be possible by your ongoing, generous support for our work.

A monthly, recurring donation will help to ensure our continued ability to “Protect the Protest”.

Will you make a new contribution to Adalah today?

Thank you in advance for all of your support to our crucial work.

 
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