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Apr 15, 2016

Spring in Atir-Umm al-Hiran - an update

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


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:

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

Download it for keeps:

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
Mar 4, 2016

Your donation matters: a #ProtecttheProtest Update

Freedom of Expression Training for Lawyers - 19/2
Freedom of Expression Training for Lawyers - 19/2

Greetings to you from Adalah. We are writing to let you know how your kind donation is making a real difference in the ability of Palestinian citizens of Israel to protest to defend and promote their rights. At the height of the protests from late September 2015, we represented 30 individuals, many of them minors, who were detained for participating in and/or organizing demonstrations. We also worked with volunteer lawyers throughout the country to make sure that everyone who needed legal representation at police stations and in courts got it.

Here’s a short update on how we’re working to fight against illegal police actions and to expand the space for Palestinian citizens of Israel to demonstrate for their rights:

1. We shared with you the stories of the young detainees, Shaymaa and Sujood (on youtube), who were arrested together in early October 2015. We filed official complaints to ‘Mahash’ (the Police Investigation Unit) on their behalf against the police for their violent treatment of the girls. In total, Adalah filed four complaints to ‘Mahash’, including for two brothers, Mohammad (minor) and Obaida who similarly were beaten by the police.

2. We also submitted a comprehensive letter to the Israeli Attorney General demanding the opening of an investigation in to the serious violations of the human rights of Palestinian citizens on account of numerous illegal police practices. These practices included the illegal dispersion of demonstrations,  arbitrary detentions and arrests of activists and in some cases, their fathers, restrictive conditions to prevent demonstrations, and several violations of the rights of children who were arrested (e.g., night arrests, questioning them outside of the presence of their parents, among other violations of the Youth Law).

3. We’re representing Anas (19-years old) in a criminal case against him for his status updates on Facebook. He was charged with the inflammatory offense of “inciting to terrorism” for posting “Jerusalem is Arab” and “Long Live the Intifada”, among other political expressions. Notably, several Israeli political leaders, who have made far worse statements and whose words influence large constituencies, have escaped indictment. A positive development that we’ve noted is the wide extent to which social media users are discussing Anas’ case. Many young activists have approached us to learn more about their rights in online fora, including on Facebook. 

4. We’ve also initiated legal work on a number of related issues such as trying to compel the Israeli police to publish the new ‘open-fire’ regulations, the potentially unconstitutional mandatory minimum punishments of those convicted of stone-throwing, including the penalization of their parents through the imposition of fines.

5. Training of Young Lawyers in Free Expression Rights: We conducted three days of our freedom of expression (FOE) rights legal training course for 20 young Arab lawyers, 15 women and 5 men. These lawyers will soon give human rights awareness educational workshops to youth groups on FOE-related subjects, including the right to demonstrate, police arrest procedures, free expression on social media and protest laws.

Your kind donation makes all of our work over the past three months possible. To show our appreciation, we’ve made a short video for you!

A video from us to you to show our appreciation!
A video from us to you to show our appreciation!


Jan 12, 2016

Our litigation keeps hope alive in Umm Al-Hiran

A landscape view of the village
A landscape view of the village

Keeping Hope Alive in 2016 in Atir-Umm al-Hiran with our Litigation Strategy

A very Happy New Year to you, dear supporter! Here’s our latest update on how your kind donation is making a real, tangible difference to the lives of the 1,000 Arab Bedouin residents of Atir- Umm al-Hiran.

We have been working hard during the last three months to block, postpone and delay the home demolitions in Atir-Umm al-Hiran. The litigation is taking place before various levels of Israeli courts.

Here is an update on our litigation to #Save_UmAlHiran from September 2015 to the present:

Home demolition orders:

  1. Adalah submitted an appeal to the District Court in Beer Sheva seeking to freeze the demolitions orders on 17 September. The court rejected this appeal on 29 November.
  2. Adalah then asked the District Court on 20 December to delay the implementation of this decision, pending our request to appeal against this decision to the Israeli Supreme Court.Adalah filed this motion on 7 January 2016.

Evictions case:

Back in June 2015, following the Supreme Court’s negative decision in this case, Adalah filed an extraordinary motion for a second hearing, seeking reconsideration. To date, the Supreme Court has not ruled on this motion. As such, Adalah can continue to fight the home demolition orders, as noted above.

For Arabic speakers, here is a moving short film on the village from journalist Wael Awad ( In the video, a local elder from the Abu al-Qi’an tribe takes us on a tour of the village.


What we achieved in 2015 because of your generous donation:

Due to your financial support to the Palestinian Bedouin community of Atir- Umm al-Hiran, we’ve achieved so much in such a short time.

Since Adalah launched its campaign in May 2015, in just 7 short months, we’ve accomplished the following:

-          Initiated a new media campaign to raise awareness about the pending demolition and evacuation of the village that has won thousands of online followers

-          Advocated at the UN in New York and Geneva and with foreign embassies in Israel to seek international support against the uprooting of the villagers

-          Provided a briefing on this case and related land rights issues facing the Bedouin in the Naqab at the US State Department and with the National Security Council (White House) in Washington, DC

-          Organized numerous ‘media-storm’ tours for dozens of journalists and activists, which resulted in tens of photos, videos and articles on the village.

-          Prepared a widely-disseminated position paper on the dangerous implications of the 5 May 2015 decision of the Supreme Court to authorize the demolition of the village. Read the briefing paper, here.

-          Regularly met with community leaders and other community members to jointly plan our strategy to save the village

-          With all of this public and legal work, to date, Adalah has successfully prevented the home demolitions and the eviction of the villagers from Atir-Umm al-Hiran.

Thanks again for your kind support and for making all of these efforts possible over the last months.  Adalah continues to need your support – and that of like-minded friends, family, and colleagues – to help us do this crucial work.

With best wishes to you and your loved ones in 2016.

In solidarity,

Rina Rosenberg (Jabareen)
Director of International Advocacy, Adalah

Playing atop a rusty water container
Playing atop a rusty water container
Umm Raed welcomes us during a solidarity visit
Umm Raed welcomes us during a solidarity visit


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