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Jun 18, 2015

An Update Three Weeks into the Campaign

Kids of Umm al-Hiran returning home from school
Kids of Umm al-Hiran returning home from school

Here is an update on what we’ve done and what is coming up to #Save_UmAlHiran and how your kind donation is making a real, tangible difference

What we’ve done

Litigation: On 7 June, Adalah submitted an extraordinary motion to the Israeli Supreme Court (SCT) asking that it grant a second hearing before a wide panel of justices to reconsider its decision. The 5 May decision sets a dangerous historical precedent, breaking with past SCT caselaw and making it possible for the state to remove almost every Palestinian community in the country at any time, in the same way that would happen with Atir-Umm al-Hiran. We expect a decision from the SCT within a month. Read more here.  See also Haaretz.

Also, we have litigated in the Kiryat Gat Magistrates' Court on a parallel case concerning the demolition of Umm al-Hiran homes.

Advocacy: Also on 7 June, 29 human rights and civil society organizations in Israel, including Adalah, called the SCT ruling "unjust, racist and discriminatory" in a front-page ad published in Ha’aretz in Hebrew. An English ad will be published shortly.

Awareness-Raising and Mobilization: Adalah led a tour for 20 Palestine Works law student fellows from the US and Canada to Susiya and Umm al-Hiran. During the tour the students learned about Israel’s attempts at forced displacement of the Bedouin on both sides of the Green Line. See the press release. In addition, we hosted a ‘social media storm’ bus tour to Umm al-Hiran for 48 Arab new-media journalists, bloggers and photographers. We also led a tour to the village for more than a dozen Hebrew media journalists.

New Media Campaigning: Adalah, together with Hamleh: The Arab Center for Social Media Advancement, released a video-illustration on YouTube that encapsulates the eviction of Umm al-Hiran’s residents in 40-seconds! Watch the video.

What’s coming up

-          US Advocacy: This week Adalah representatives in the US will give a lunchtime briefing for think-tanks, hosted by the Open Society Foundations, a briefing at the US State Department and participate in a meeting with the National Security Council (White House). 

-          Embassies in Israel: Next week, Adalah, together with our partner the Negev Co-existence Forum, will lead a briefing and tour for diplomats to Umm al-Hiran to raise awareness and step up international pressure against this discriminatory plan

How you can help

1.     Donate: Every dollar goes a long way. We will litigate, advocate and mobilize to #Save_UmAlHiran. Donating is a rewarding form of human rights activism. https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/save-umm-al-hiran/

2. Share our materials with friends and family on facebook: share the campaign donation page, share the latest updates & invite friends to follow us

3.     Join the struggle! Do you or the organization to which you belong believe in equality? Then be part of the legal and popular movement for the Palestinian Bedouin residents of Umm al-Hiran. Write nasser[at]adalah.org so we can get you on board.

Many thanks for standing with the community and for justice! We need to act today to send an urgent message to the Israeli government and the Israeli Supreme Court that it is absolutely unacceptable and anti-democratic for Arab Palestinians in Israel to be uprooted from their homes and lives so that an Israeli Jewish community can be settled in their place. If the decision is implemented, it would be possible for the state to remove almost every Palestinian community in the country at any time. Let’s act now!

In solidarity and thanks,

Rina Rosenberg (Jabareen)

International Advocacy Director, Adalah

Palestine Works delegation in Umm al-Hiran
Palestine Works delegation in Umm al-Hiran
Ali
Ali' al Farhoud from 'Atir, also facing eviction

Links:

May 12, 2015

With legal action, Bedouin citizens assert their civil and political rights

Attorney Mahameed & Sheikh Sayyah of Al-Araqib
Attorney Mahameed & Sheikh Sayyah of Al-Araqib

Adalah works through legal representation to defend and advance the rights of Arab Bedouin citizens in the Naqab in the face of efforts by the state of Israel to displace them from their lands and villages. Below are two examples of our cases from the first quarter of 2015.

1) Criminal indictments withdrawn against Sheikh S. A-T. from Al-Araqib:

Adalah Attorney Aram Mahameed: "The goal behind the indictments is to criminalize Arab Bedouin villagers for their attempts to save their homes."

On 24 February 2015, during a hearing in the Be'er Sheva Magistrates' Court, the state prosecution announced the withdrawal of criminal indictments against Sheikh S. A-T, leader of the unrecognized Arab Bedouin village of Al-Araqib in the Naqab. The prosecutors had charged the Sheikh with "forcibly taking control" of the village's land and "failing to obey orders to leave the land" after he refused to comply with eviction orders issued against him. The decision to withdraw the indictments was an indication, as Adalah argued before the court, that the state’s charges against Sheikh S. were legally baseless. The case is the last of a group of 14 criminal indictments filed against villagers and activists in Al-Araqib, who were arrested and injured during protests against home demolitions in the village in 2010 and 2011. In all of these cases, either the activists received very light sentences, or the state withdrew the charges, or the court cancelled the indictments.

2) Demanding public transportation for Bedouin voters in unrecognized villages on Election Day:

Adalah’s Khalil Alamour and Amjad Iraqi: “The Bedouin should not have to count how many cars are needed to demand recognition and equality at the ballot box.”

On 22 January 2015, Adalah sent a letter to Israel’s Central Elections Committee requesting that public transportation routes be provide for Bedouin residents of the Naqab in order to allow them to vote in the Israeli general election on 17 March 2015. The letter argued that the lack of public transportation impedes the residents' right to vote and directly influences voter levels in these villages. This is particularly damaging for residents of villages facing imminent home demolition or eviction, for whom the election results could make a major the difference. However, in March, shortly before the election, the Committee refused Adalah's request, stating that it “requires a large built system, and also requires resources and preparations that the elections committee cannot commit to," Despite this decision, Adalah highlighted the obstacles to Bedouin voters’ rights for future efforts, and also raised awareness in the media about the issue.

This legal work is made possible through your contributions via Global Giving – thank you! As we continue our work, we hope that you will help us reach our goal of raising $20,000 so that Adalah can continue to support the Bedouin community with high-quality legal representation, in-depth study tours for influential stakeholders, and practical human rights workshops for Bedouin activists. Together we can struggle to halt the ongoing forced displacement and dispossession, and work to ensure that the Bedouin can remain in their homes and on their lands with dignity.

Please join us and stand for Adalah, stand for Justice!

Naqab Tour with Central Elections Committee
Naqab Tour with Central Elections Committee
Jan 27, 2015

Through legal empowerment, Bedouins defend their right to live on their land

Sign at entrance of village of Atir/Umm el-Hieran
Sign at entrance of village of Atir/Umm el-Hieran

Between October and December 2014, Adalah initiated various legal actions on behalf of Arab Bedouin citizens in the Naqab to defend their right to live on their ancestral land. The State of Israel is attempting to forcefully evict the Bedouins and confiscate their lands in order to build Israeli Jewish-only communities and military complexes. Adalah’s lawyers represent Bedouin citizens before Israeli courts and state authorities to cancel demolition orders against their homes, and to acquire basic services such as schools, roads, clinics and others in order to establish infrastructure that keep the lands in Bedouin hands while asserting their fundamental right to these services as citizens of the state. Below are three examples of our recent cases:

Saving Atir/Umm el-Hieran: For over a decade, Adalah has represented the residents of the twin villages of Atir and Umm el-Hieran against the state’s plans to expand a forest and build a Jewish town on their lands. From October to December 2014, Adalah submitted motions to the Supreme Court and the lower courts, as well as letters to the state, to deter the implementation of demolition and evictions orders. Currently, the home demolition orders have been frozen until mid-March 2015.

Safe roads to schools: In December 2014, Adalah sent a legal letter to the Israeli Ministries of Transportation and Education and the Al-Kassoum Regional Council, demanding the opening of safe roads to schools in the unrecognized Bedouin villages of Al Amal and Tal-Arad. Without paved roads, the paths to the schools are treacherous in the winter, as they become flooded and the students and teachers are unable to reach them.

Establishing a health clinic: In December 2014, Adalah sent a legal letter to the Israeli Deputy Minister of Health and to the Clalit Health Services, demanding the establishment of a health clinic for the Bedouin residents of the villages of Kahla (Kohleh) and Makhool (total population almost 2,000). Under current circumstances, village residents have to travel to the town of Kessife, 9 km away, to receive medical treatment.

This legal work is made possible through your contributions via Global Giving – thank you! As we continue our work in 2015, we hope that you will help us reach our goal of raising $20,000 so that Adalah can continue to support the Bedouin community with high-quality legal representation, in-depth study tours for influential stakeholders, and practical human rights workshops for Bedouin activists. Together we improve the services provided and halt the ongoing forced displacement, and ensure that the Bedouin can remain in their homes and on their lands with dignity.

Please join us, and thank you for calling on your friends to stand with Adalah, and stand for Justice!

Al-Fur
Al-Fur'a road before Adalah's legal intervention
Al-Fur
Al-Fur'a road after Adalah's legal intervention
 
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