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May 29, 2018

Defend protesters facing extreme violence

Protest in Gaza
Protest in Gaza

Dear Friends, 

Adalah needs your help. Our legal team has been working around the clock in these terrible weeks of extreme violence against Palestinians engaging in political protests in Gaza, the West Bank, and in Israel. Your support is crucial for Adalah’s legal team to continue to respond to indiscriminate killings and to emergency calls to represent protesters.

Palestinians in Gaza have been demonstrating since 30 March in a series of weekly protests known as “The Great March of Return”, demanding the right of return for the Palestinian refugees and an end to the closure. To date, at least 117 people have been killed in Gaza - including 13 children - and over 13,000 others wounded.

During this emergency period, Adalah has worked intensively with Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights in Gaza to:

  • Secure passage to the West Bank for wounded protesters. We succeeded in court to get permission for Yousef al Kronz, a young Palestinian shot by Israeli snipers during the 30 March protest, to leave Gaza for urgent medical treatment that saved one of his legs. The Israeli Supreme Court’s decision in this case opened the door for others to receive critical medical treatment.
  • Challenge the Israeli military’s use of lethal force in a Supreme Court petition demanding that the army stop using snipers and live ammunition to disperse the unarmed Gaza protesters. 94% of the fatally wounded were shot in the head and upper body. Nevertheless, in direct contradiction of United Nations bodies and the positions of international human rights organizations, the court rejected the petition and gave a green light to the Israeli military's continued use of live fire against Palestinian protesters in Gaza.
  • Document the indiscriminate killings of Gaza protesters and urge the UN to open an independent investigation into the Israeli military’s illegal actions. We simultaneously called on the EU and the U.S. Congress to support such an inquiry. On 18 May 2018, Adalah participated in the UN Human Rights Council, which voted to establish a commission of inquiry.

Demonstrations have been held around the world against the Gaza killings. In Haifa on 18 May, Israeli police used extreme violence against peaceful protesters, mostly Palestinian citizens of Israel, and arrested 21.

In response, Adalah:

  • Convened an emergency meeting of volunteer lawyers to formulate a collective legal strategy to secure the immediate release of all the detained protesters.
  • Provided legal representation to all the detainees, together with volunteer attorneys and the Human Rights Defenders’ Fund. Following a nine-hour overnight hearing, the court released all the detainees.
  • Filed police brutality complaints on behalf of protesters, including Mossawa Center Director Jafar Farah, whom Adalah represented in court. Farah was hospitalized after he was beaten by police, who broke his knee while he was in detention. Six other protesters were also hospitalized, and others were deprived of medical care by police.

Adalah needs your donation to help our lawyers defend Palestinians in court and to challenge the impunity enjoyed by Israeli military and police forces. The Adalah team thanks you for your generosity!

Protest in Haifa (Photo by Nadine Nashef)
Protest in Haifa (Photo by Nadine Nashef)
Apr 3, 2018

Contempt of court: Still no buses for preschoolers

On the way to school
On the way to school

Dear Friends,

Many greetings to you from Adalah. 

This update follows-up our previous report from December 2017 concerning the transport for 3- and 4-year-old Arab Bedouin children from the unrecognized villages in the Naqab (Negev) to preschools, as promised by the Education Ministry. 

Having twice violated a court decision to provide the school buses, Adalah filed a motion for contempt of court on 28 February 2018 in the Be’er Sheva District Court on behalf of parents from three unrecognized Bedouin villages of Al Sira, Al-Jaraf and Umm Namila against the Israeli Education Ministry and Al-Qasoum Regional Council.

Adalah wrote in the motion that the authorities are in contempt of court due to their failure to abide by two court decisions:

“Failure to abide by the court decisions amounts to a lack of good faith on the part of the Education Ministry and Al-Qasoum Regional Council ... The petitioners anticipated – and with reason – that the authorities would abide by their commitments.”

The authorities’ violation of the court decisions constitute a serious, ongoing violation of the most basic rights of the children and their parents:

“Due to the conduct of the respondents, the petitioners have been forced time and again to appeal to the legal system in order to obtain basic services – services which no one is disputing their right to receive, and which they have been repeatedly promised would be provided.”

The Israeli Compulsory Education Law provides that the state must provide education for children starting at age 3, however, there are no preschools in these villages and there is no public transport to neighboring villages with schools. 

At a hearing held in March 2018, the Be’er Sheva District Court ordered that buses must be provided for the children in the three villages within 5 days. The court also ruled that the state had 30 days to provide transport in the other Bedouin villages, to around 5000 preschoolers. The parties need to update the court on 10 April 2018 regarding compliance.

Adalah hopes that with the filing of the motion for contempt of court and the court’s subsequent rulings that the Education Ministry will begin to implement its promises and abide by the law.

Adalah team and parents of preschoolers in court
Adalah team and parents of preschoolers in court
Mar 12, 2018

A chronology of death, displacement, & destruction

Ya'akub Abu Al-Qi'an
Ya'akub Abu Al-Qi'an

Dear Friends,

Just over one year ago, on the night of 18 January 2017, heavily-armed Israeli paramilitary police entered the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in order to demolish homes. Just before dawn broke, officers opened fire on 50-year-old math teacher Ya'akub Abu Al-Qi'an as he was driving his jeep. Ya'akub was seriously wounded by the gunfire and lost control of his jeep, running over and killing police officer Erez Levy. Israeli police prevented paramedics from reaching Ya'akub and, as a result, he died on the scene. After the killing, Israeli authorities demolished his family's home and agricultural buildings.

The killing of Ya'akub was only one of the most recent blows to the Abu Al-Qi'an Bedouin tribe. Israel's displacement of the community began 70 years earlier.

In 1948, the Israeli military forcibly displaced the community from ancestral lands they had worked for generations and moved them from place to place. Eventually, in the 1950s, the military ordered them to settle near Yattir. It was there that they established Umm al-Hiran, which is today one of 35 unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Naqab (Negev) desert in the south of Israel.

In 2003, more than 50 years later, Israel informed the 500 Umm al-Hiran residents that it intended to demolish their village. In parallel, Israel began to plan a new Jewish-only town that would be built upon the ruins of Umm al-Hiran to be called "Hiran".

This is one of the most blatant examples of racially-motivated displacement in Israeli history.

The same day that police killed Ya'akub, Israel's public security minister and police chief both announced that Ya'akub supported terror and had intentionally attacked police – claims that were repeatedly disproven. Israeli police subsequently refused to hand Ya'akub's body over for burial, only doing so once the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in favor of Adalah's petition on behalf of Ya'akub's family and ordered them to.

Adalah also demanded a probe of the killing and that those found responsible be prosecuted. But more than a year later, in January 2018, the Israeli authorities reportedly closed their investigation into the shooting death of Ya'akub Abu Al-Qi'an. Adalah will take additional legal actions in this regard.

Adalah is continuing to fight for the family of Ya'akub Abu Al-Qi'an and their neighbors, but we cannot do this without your help.

Your support is crucial to our defense of the Bedouin residents of Umm al-Hiran. Your support has helped Adalah to help the community to remain in their village for almost 15 years, despite the state's plans to remove them. Donate today and help us #Save_UmAlHiran

In solidarity,

Rina Rosenberg (Jabareen)
International Advocacy Director

Israeli cops opening fire on Ya'akub Abu Al-Qi'an
Israeli cops opening fire on Ya'akub Abu Al-Qi'an
Ya'akub's widow in Umm al-Hiran
Ya'akub's widow in Umm al-Hiran
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