Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel, inhabitants of the Naqab (Negev) desert since the seventh century, are the most vulnerable community in Israel. For over 60 years, the indigenous Arab Bedouin have faced a State policy of displacement, home demolitions and dispossession of their ancestral land. Today, 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens live in 35 villages that, which either predate the establishment of the State in 1948, or were created by Israeli military order in the early 1950s. The State of Israel considers the villages “unrecognized” and the inhabitants “trespassers on State land,” so it denies these citizens access to State infrastructure like water, electricity, sewage, education, ...
Israel's government continues to pass and propose new laws which discriminate against the Palestinian Arab minority. This report is updated regularly to contain a collection of some of the principle legislation which marginalizes Arab citizens, and in some cases also harms Palestinians residing in the OPT and Palestinian refugees living abroad.
In 5/02 Adalah filed a petition on behalf of LAW, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, B'Tselem, The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, and HaMoked, against the Commander of the Israeli Army in the West Bank, the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, the Minister of Defense, and the Prime Minister.
Adalah successfully challenged an amendment to the Civil Wrongs (Liability of the State) Law – 1952, which attempted to exempt Israel from compensation claims for property damage and injuries caused to Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The Supreme Court cancelled the law in December 2006.
Adalah, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights – Gaza (PCHR) and Al-Haq filed a petition and a motion for injunction to the Supreme Court in May 2004 against IDF Major General – Central Command, IDF Major General – Southern Command, the Chief of Staff, the Minister of Defense and the Prime Minister. The petitioners asked the Supreme Court to define, for the first time, the scope of the legal term "military necessity," and challenged the army's use of the justification of "military necessity" for its policy of home demolitions. The most recent examples of this policy have occurred during the Israeli army's military operations in Rafah refugee camp, Gaza Strip, in May 2004, as well as ...
In response to a government decision to punitively disrupt the supply of fuel and electricity to Gaza, ten Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations, in cooperation with the deputy director of a water company for towns along the coast of Gaza and a farmer from Beit Hanoun, have petitioned the Supreme Court of Israel, demanding an immediate injunction. The petition, filed on 28 October 2007, called for an injunction to be issued against the Minister of Public Security and the Prime Minister.
On 31 July 2003, the Knesset enacted the Nationality and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) - 2003. This law prohibits the granting of any residency or citizenship status to Palestinians from the 1967 Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) who are married to Israeli citizens. The Law affects thousands of families comprised of tens of thousands of individuals. The Law, which was originally enacted for one year, was extended by the Knesset for a six month period on 21 July 2004, and for an additional four month period on 31 January 2005.
Ameer Makhoul, a Palestinian Arab citizen of Israel, is a political activist and human rights defender. Dr. Omar Saeed lives in the village of Kufr Kanna and has a long history of political activism. He has a Ph.D. degree in pharmacology and runs a leading company in natural medicine. They were arrested in 2010, at a time of heightened racism against Arab citizens of Israel.
In February 2010, a virulent offensive was launched against human rights organizations based in Israel. The situation deteriorated to the point that the Knesset discussed the possible establishment of a parliamentary committee to investigate the activities of human rights organizations.
During Israel's three-week offensive on Gaza code-named "Operation Cast Lead" from 27 December 2008 to 18 January 2009, at least 1,440 Palestinians were killed, including 431 children and 114 women. The UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict ("the Goldstone Commission") was mandated by the UN Human Rights Council on 3 April 2009 to investigate all violations of international law committed in the context of hte war, and issued its report on 15 September 2009.
In October 2000, Israeli security forces deployed live ammunition and rubber-coated bullets against Palestinian Arab citizens at demonstrations, killing 13 people. Despite the Or Commission of Inquiry finding that there was no legal justification for using deadly force, not a single member of the security forces has been indicted for the killings.
On Monday 31 May 2010, Israeli naval commandoes dropped from a helicopter onto one of the Freedom Flotilla ships en route to Gaza. They used live ammunition against the unarmed civilian passengers during the operation, which resulted in the killing of at least 15 civilians and the injury of dozens of others. According to eyewitnesses, the firing continued after the ship raised a white flag. The attack took place in international waters approximately 70km off the coast of Gaza.
On 7 November 2001, the Israeli Knesset (parliament) voted to lift the immunity of Member of Knesset (MK) Dr. Azmi Bishara, head of the National Democratic Assembly party. This move came at the request of Attorney General Elyakim Rubenstein, in order to initiate criminal prosecution. MK Dr. Bishara is to be tried on charges pursuant to the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (1948) and the Emergency Regulations (Foreign Travel) (1948). The removal of MK Dr. Bishara's immunity is an unprecedented event in the history of Israeli politics. It is the first time that an MK has been stripped of his immunity because of political statements made in the course of performing his duties as a public ...
On 31 December 2002, the Israeli Central Elections Committee, comprised of 41 representatives of political parties in the outgoing Knesset, voted to disqualify the National Democratic Assembly, a Palestinian political party, as well as MK Azmi Bishara from 2003 Knesset elections. The disqualifications were on the basis that the NDA and MK Bishara "deny the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state," and "support an armed struggle of an enemy state or terrorist organization against the State of Israel."
Adalah petitioned the Supreme Court on behalf of the NDA and MK Bishara against their disqualifications. On 9 January 2003, in a 7 to 4 decision, the Supreme Court ...
This section summarizes six petitions filed before the Supreme Court of Israel during and after the Israeli army's March - April 2002 military attacks on Palestinian cities, towns, villages and refugee camps in the West Bank, referred to as "Operation Defensive Shield." The cases were brought by Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment. Other Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations joined three of the petitions as co-petitioners. These cases illustrate a pattern of grave human rights violations, which have been and continue to be committed by the Israeli army against ...