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Jan 4, 2017

Save Umm al-Hiran: Final Report (Important)

How children spent the morning of 22 November 2016
How children spent the morning of 22 November 2016

We wish to share a very important and new development regarding Umm al-Hiran with you. 

Adalah has proudly represented the Bedouin families of Atir-Umm al-Hiran for 13 years. During all of this time, we succeeded, together with the people, to prevent the destruction and eviction of the village and its 1,000 residents.

As a result of the litigation, media campaigns, field visits, study tours and international advocacy that generous donors like you have supported, we’ve helped the people to live and grow up in their homes and on their lands for over a decade.

In the past few weeks, however, it has become apparent that all legal processes to challenge the state's discriminatory plan – to destroy the village and replace it with a Jewish town – have been exhausted. These include our last-minute emergency motions to stall the demolitions over the past month, which were rejected (see and for more information).

At this point, Adalah can no longer legally represent the people of Atir-Umm al-Hiran. Thus we have also determined that, given this important change, Adalah will no longer be soliciting donations for our work in this specific case.

Continuing our struggle

Adalah will remain deeply involved in international and public advocacy against the state’s attempt to dispossess and forcibly displace the Bedouin living in 35 unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Naqab, particularly in the face of new challenges and threats to their rights.

Just last week, the new “Prawer Bill” (“Prawer II” or the “Ariel Plan”) was tabled once again in the Knesset with minor amendments. This bill will facilitate the dispossession and displacement of the 80,000 Bedouin citizens currently living in the unrecognized villages.

Rest assured, therefore, that our struggle to defend the right of Bedouin citizens to live in dignity in their homes and on their historical lands will remain at the center of our work.

Photo Description: Keeping spirits up in Umm al-Hiran. From the morning of the scheduled demolition on 22 November. Adalah, together with Arab parliamentarians (MKs), activists and the international media were there to bear witness, report on the events as they unfolded, and stand in solidarity with the people of Umm al-Hiran. The noise that we made was so loud that the demolition was averted (Photo credit: Mati Milstein)

Throughout the last period, Adalah has accrued considerable expenses in our work for the village, including for lawyers, transportation, media outreach, and other related activities. Accordingly, and with your agreement, we would like to use your contributions towards covering these expenses.

For our recurring donors, we would like to use your monthly contributions towards an ongoing campaign of equal importance, where we are protecting the right of Palestinians to protest institutionalized racism and the Occupation, and to mobilize for freedom and justice. In this time of increasing police violence, mass arrests, surveillance and harms to the right to free expression, we are protecting the right of Palestinians to speak up. For more on ‘Protect the Protest’, see

We sincerely thank you for your generous contributions to save Atir-Umm al-Hiran, and we look forward to you standing with us in the next stage of the struggle.

In solidarity and hope, always.

Keeping spirits up in Umm al-Hiran
Keeping spirits up in Umm al-Hiran


Dec 16, 2016

Update: Palestinians children, youth #MakeTheGrade

Siraj, 4, from alSira will soon be in school!
Siraj, 4, from alSira will soon be in school!

Thank you so much for your kind donation to bring equality in education for Palestinian children and youth. The following is an update on what Adalah has been working on and has achieved in the past quarter to help Palestinian children #MakeTheGrade.

1. Increasing access to education for Bedouin preschoolers

Earlier this year, Adalah filed a new impact litigation case to compel the Israeli Education Ministry to provide preschool education for the children of the unrecognized Bedouin village of Alsira. In September, we learned that in part owing to our petition, the Education Minister announced that the government would be investing US $13 million to provide transport to school for kids from various villages! This is great news for 4-year old Siraj from Alsira, who will no longer have to make do with her makeshift blackboard!

We now need to ensure that the government makes good on its promise by continuing our litigation work. Following our first hearing on 13 September, the judge ordered the state to present its final transportation plan for the Bedouin kids. Our next hearing is set for 22 February 2017.

2. Ending discrimination in benefits to 'returning' Arab high school students

Students with Israeli citizenship who have studied for four or more years overseas (known as ‘returning students’) and who face linguistic challenges upon their return to Israel are entitled to significant benefits and considerations when taking their Israeli high school matriculation exam. However, these benefits only applied to students taking the exam in Hebrew, which effectively excluded Arab students, who take the exam in Arabic.

As a result of Adalah’s appeal in May 2016, on 5 September the Education Ministry announced it would cancel the discriminatory directive!

Adalah Attorney Sawsan Zaher noted that it was unfortunate that an appeal had to be filed "in order to update the ministry directive after it had already harmed so many children”. Nevertheless, we are satisfied with the decision to update the directive and thereby facilitate equal rights in education for Arab students.

For more on the case and the benefits that are now extended to Arab students:

3. East Jerusalem education won’t be held ransom

According to media reports, the Israeli Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs is expected to transfer some NIS 20 million (US $5.28 million dollars) earmarked for the renovation of existing Arab school buildings. However, the ministry is reportedly making the budget transfer conditional on the Arab schools' adoption of an Israeli-authored curriculum instead of a Palestinian-authored curriculum. This decision is part of broader Israeli efforts to erase Palestinian history, culture and presence in Occupied East Jerusalem.

Adalah sent an urgent letter on 10 August 2016 demanding the revocation of the decision. We argued that the Jerusalem Affairs Ministry’s decision is a violation of Palestinians’ right to education, and that the ministry lacks the authority to determine curriculum content in these schools, which falls under the Education Ministry.

Oct 26, 2016

Bringing Umm al-Hiran to Berlin-Brussels-Cape Town

Construction for the Jewish village of Hiran begins on the raised pad (left of picture), overlooking the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran

Over the past few months, we’ve been involved in various international and local actions to defend the Palestinian Bedouin villagers of Atir and Umm al-Hiran.

In response to the refusal of the Israeli courts to intervene favorably in impact litigation cases brought on behalf of Bedouin citizens, Adalah is putting greater emphasis on awareness raising and campaigning to increase pressure on Israel by other states and international bodies to protect the rights of the villagers.

1. Awareness-raising in Berlin and Brussels

In September 2016, Adalah emphasized the grave threat of demolition and eviction facing the residents of Atir-Umm al-Hiran to German government officials and parliamentarians in Berlin, and EU officials and parliamentarians in Brussels. Adalah asked these leaders to urge the Israeli government not to forcibly displace the residents – citizens of Israel - in order to establish the Jewish-only community of “Hiran”, but to seek alternatives with the full participation of the residents to allow them to remain on their land and in their homes.

A hearing in the European Parliament will be held in November 2016 on the protection of the rights of the Palestinian Bedouin. Adalah and its human rights and development agency partners will present on Israel’s policies of dispossession/forced displacement both in Israel and in the occupied West Bank, such as in Susiya. This hearing will be followed by a speaking tour in France to raise awareness about Atir-Umm al-Hiran and the dire conditions of tens of thousands of Bedouin living in the 35 unrecognized villages in the Naqab.

 2. “Amandla Ngawethu” – Adalah in South Africa

This delegation to South Africa was part of an ongoing dialogue between South African Jews for a Free Palestine (SAJPF, previously known as Stop JNF South Africa) with Adalah, Zochrot, and the Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Internally Displaced (ADRID).

As part of the 10-day tour in September 2016, Adalah Attorney Myssana Morany, who works in the Land and Planning Unit, raised awareness of the increasing displacement of Palestinian citizens of Israel from their traditional lands and other violations of the community’s rights to land. She also gave a presentation to the ‘Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation’ in the South African Parliament on Atir-Umm al-Hiran to urge the parliamentarians to exert pressure to prevent the eviction of the villagers.  A rallying cry of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa was “Amandla Ngawethu”, meaning “Power to the People”

See below: Myssana Morany (third from left, top row), Adalah’s Land and Planning attorney with fellow members of the delegation and members of SAJPF.

3. Tour for Al-Haq Summer Law Graduates to Susiya and Atir-Umm al-Hiran

In July 2016, Adalah organized a tour for participants of Al-Haq’s ‘International Law Summer School’. Al-Haq is a leading human rights organization based in Ramallah, West Bank. International post-graduate law students and legal researchers participated in the tour to Susiya, a Bedouin village threatened with demolition in the West Bank and Atir-Umm al-Hiran to learn about the situation from the villagers, and to examine how they can apply international law to protect the communities.

We believe that it is crucial to keep the issue of Atir-Umm al-Hiran on the public agenda through engaging students, particularly those studying law, who will return to research, write and discuss the situation within their academic networks internationally.

4. Have you read the story of ‘The Zeltzers vs. Atir-Umm al-Hiran’?

Download the full infographic that tells the story of two villages that are situated in similar legal terms, yet are treated very differently by the Israeli legal system. If you find the infographic useful, don’t forget to share with friends.

We want to thank you again for your kind support and encouragement over the past quarter.  Adalah and the people of Atir-Umm al-Hiran greatly appreciate and need your help to continue to do our crucial work.

In solidarity,

Rina Rosenberg (Jabareen)

Director of International Advocacy, Adalah

Rina Rosenberg (Jabareen) (in pink) in Berlin
Rina Rosenberg (Jabareen) (in pink) in Berlin
Myssana with fellow delegation members in SA
Myssana with fellow delegation members in SA
The Susiya leg of the tour
The Susiya leg of the tour
Tour in UAH with Raed Abu al-Qi'an, local leader
Tour in UAH with Raed Abu al-Qi'an, local leader
The Zeltzers vs. Atir-Umm al-Hiran
The Zeltzers vs. Atir-Umm al-Hiran


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