Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel

by Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel
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Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel

Project Report | Feb 26, 2024
Adalah fights police ban on Palestinian anti-war protests

By Ranna Khalil | Researcher

Police detain Arab political leaders. Photo:Arab48
Police detain Arab political leaders. Photo:Arab48

Dear Friends,

Since 7 October 2023, Israel has led a ruthless assault on Gaza, which resulted in the killing of and injure to around 100,000 Palestinians, the forced displacement of 85% of the population and an impending famine, and an unparalleled devastation of houses and infrastructure, leaving residents in extreme peril.

During the past four months, Palestinian citizens of Israel (PCI) have faced a draconian crackdown on their fundamental freedoms of free expression and assembly, with Israeli law enforcement authorities targeting PCI who express dissent against the Israeli military’s massive attack on Gaza. From the beginning, Israeli officials made inciteful statements against Palestinians as a whole, including PCI and representatives of Palestinian political parties and Members of Knesset.

Further, the Israeli Police Commissioner issued an unlawful directive banning demonstrations in support of the Palestinian people in Gaza. The police carried out mass arrests and detentions for social media posts and participation in protests in solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza, accusing hundreds of individuals and criminally indicting dozens of “supporting terrorist organizations” or engaging in “incitement to terrorism”. The posts, social media interactions, and other speech largely fall within the scope of freedom of expression. Adalah provided and continues to provide direct legal representation, as well as advice and consultation to private lawyers handling these cases.

On behalf of the Palestinian political leaders and parties in Israel, Adalah challenged this unlawful ban on anti-war protests by submitting three successive petitions to the Israeli Supreme Court in November and December 2023. The petitions were filed on behalf of the Hadash (Jabha) political party and the Israeli Communist Party, as well as MK Mr. Mohammad Barakeh, Chairman of the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens in Israel.

In the first case, Adalah demanded the cancellation of the ban and the police’s decision not to grant permits for protests in the Palestinian towns of Umm al-Fahem and Sakhnin in Israel. While the Court ruled that the state could not impose a total ban on protests, it accepted the police’s claim that they lacked the manpower to guarantee that the demonstrations would not disturb public order, upholding the police’s racially-based assessments about how a substantial police presence would be required due to concerns about incitement.

The second and third petitions followed several weeks during which the police, in a systematic and unlawful manner, blocked the High Follow-Up Committee from holding small protest vigils that Adalah argued did not require police permits, since they did not involve marches or speeches. Nevertheless, the police blocked the events in advance. In advance of one of the vigils held in Nazareth on 8 November 2023, the police detained six members of the High Follow-Up Committee, including four former Palestinian Knesset members, some of whom were released under restrictive conditions.

The Supreme Court dismissed the second petition without a hearing, ruling that the petitioners had not proven that the protest was not subject to permit requirements. Notably, on 10 December, the Supreme Court affirmed in response to a separate and different petition that no permit was required for a comparable vigil that was held in Tel Aviv.

At a Supreme Court hearing on the third petition, Adalah argued that that the de facto ban on protests by PCI constituted a flagrant contravention of Israeli law. However, Adalah and the High Follow-up Committee decided to withdraw the petition after the state insisted on introducing secret evidence before the Court concerning alleged information about a risk of violence and disruption, over the petitioners’ objections. To date, therefore, in a break from past precedent, the Supreme Court has given the police total discretion to continue to implement a harsh and illegal policy of preventing protests by PCI during wartime that violates their rights in a discriminatory and racist manner.

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Oct 27, 2023
Israeli Police Impose Sweeping Ban on Protests against Offensive on Gaza

By Ranna Khalil | Researcher

Jun 28, 2023
Adalah Report: Two years after the May 2021 events

By Ranna Khalil | Researcher

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Project Leader:
Ranna Khalil
Haifa , Haifa Israel
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