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: https://twitter.com/home?status=http%3A//www.adalah.org/uploads/PDF-Infographic-Zeltzer-vs-Atir-Umm-al-Hiran-Eng.pdf
Share the story on The Seltzers vs. Atir-Umm al-Hiran on facebook:
Download it for keeps: http://www.adalah.org/uploads/PDF-Infographic-Zeltzer-vs-Atir-Umm-al-Hiran-Eng.pdf
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