Later this year, Israel’s Supreme Court will hear a petition filed on behalf of a 70-year-old Palestinian citizen who has one simple request: to visit her father’s grave.
The story of Salwa Salem Copty, of her family’s village and her quest to visit the grave of her father, will, unfortunately, not get the attention from journalists and diplomats that it deserves. Read more
On 18 August, a group of Israeli NGOs petitioned the country’s Supreme Court over the role of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in government decision-making regarding land usage.
The JNF was established in 1901 to obtain land in Palestine for Jewish settlement. Subsequently, the JNF was incorporated into the Israeli state’s land administration bureaucracy, while still remaining a private organisation. It holds some 13 percent of the land inside Israel’s pre-1967 lines. Read more
In recent days, Israeli authorities have announced charges against two, Gaza-based employees of international NGOs – one from World Vision, one from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Each individual faces accusations of varying degrees of assisting Hamas.
Many have expressed scepticism about the charges, particularly given the lack of due process. Mohammed Halabi, for example, was detained without charge for 50 days and alleges that he was tortured by Shin Bet officials during his interrogation. He was also denied access to a lawyer for three weeks. Read more
Last week, as Israelis celebrated their Independence Day, Palestinians in the country’s south held the annual March of Return, walking to the site of one of hundreds of Palestinian villages destroyed between 1947 and 1949.
This mass displacement and dispossession, known as the Nakba (catastrophe), is commemorated internationally each May. But in recent years, Israeli authorities have attempted to clamp down on events to mark the Nakba – most notably through a 2011 change to legislation pertaining to budget allocations. Read more
Hundreds of Jewish Israelis demonstrated on Saturday in the northern city of Afula, after construction tenders issued for new housing were won by Palestinian citizens from nearby villages.
The demonstrators, who are calling for the tenders to be revoked, included “senior officials” from the Afula city council, as well as David Suissa, chief of staff to Israel’s Housing Minister. “The fight in Afula has set off many warning bells”, said Suissa, adding that the protest was on behalf of “anyone who grew up in the city and wants to safeguard its character.” Read more
Israel’s high court upholds a law preventing Palestinians from living with their spouses in Israel.
The Israeli government has repeatedly demanded that Palestinians recognise Israel as a “Jewish state”. Recent developments in the Knesset and High Court are exposing exactly what this means, and in doing so, throw the spotlight on the issue that the ‘peace process’ – and Western governments – refuse to tackle. Read more
Adalah defends Palestinian rights. The European Jewish Congress attack on it reflects a wider pattern of bullying.
Last week, the president of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) launched an extraordinary attack on an Israeli human rights organisation, Adalah, comparing the NGO to the far-right French National Front and British National party. Read more
Last Thursday, in the early hours of the morning, a Palestinian community leader’s home was raided by Israeli security forces. In front of his family, the wanted man was hauled off to detention without access to a lawyer, while his home and offices were ransacked and property confiscated.
While this sounds like an all-too typical occurrence in West Bank villages such as Bil’in and Beit Omar, in fact, the target in question this time was Ameer Makhoul, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and head of internationally renowned NGO network Ittijah.
After being snatched last week, Makhoul’s detention was subject to a court-enforced gagging order, preventing the Israeli media from even reporting that it had happened. This ban was finally lifted yesterday, as Israeli newspapers were being forced to report on angry protests by Palestinians in Israel without explaining the specific provocation. Read more
Arab members of Israel’s Knesset (MKs) are accustomed to political marginalisation, as well as being targets for abuse and threats to their positions. Recently, however, there has been a further deterioration, as two elected representatives of the non-Jewish minority, Mohammed Barakeh and Said Naffaa, have been subjected to criminal proceedings.
Barakeh is currently on trial for four separate charges, relating to incidents alleged to have taken place at separate public demonstrations over a period stretching from 2005 to 2007. Apart from protesting his innocence, the Palestinian MK claims that the process is politically motivated. Adalah, the legal advocacy group whose lawyers are representing him, agree — they described the indictment as criminalising “legitimate political activities” and an attempt “to harm the reputation and status of an Arab leader”. Read more
A struggle over land, home demolitions, and an Israeli government working with Jewish agencies to “develop” the land for the benefit of one group at the expense of another. It could be a picture of the illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, but in fact, it’s inside Israel – in the Negev.
The Negev, or al-Naqab in Arabic, is an area that since the inception of the state has been targeted by Israeli governments, along with agencies like the Jewish National Fund (JNF), for so-called “development”. Read more