Updates on Adalah’s Work to Protect the Human Rights of Palestinians Amid the Ongoing Hostilities in Israel and the OPT

On Saturday, 7 October 2023, Israel launched a full-scale, ruthless retaliatory attack against the Palestinian people in Gaza, after an unprecedented, brutal, and illegal attack by Hamas militants that claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians in Israel. Israel's massive airstrikes targeting civilians, coupled with clear statements by officials, indicate the intent to commit war crimes and ethnic cleansing. Israel has also imposed a complete closure on the Gaza Strip and cut it off from essential supplies, water, electricity and gasoline, creating a devastating humanitarian crisis, and has ordered the mass evacuation of over 1 million people from the north to the south of Gaza.


Since the start of the war, Adalah has been working to defend the human rights of Palestinians in Gaza, Israel, and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Adalah’s legal actions and other initiatives are detailed below.



Adalah’s statement following the outbreak of violence in Gaza and in Israel since Saturday, 7 October 2023.



Latest Updates

5 November 2023


Exclusion of Palestinian Towns in Israel from Tax Benefits | Adalah sent a letter to the Israel Tax Authority and the Finance Ministry to demand that they include Mazra’a, a Palestinian local council, in the list of towns eligible for advance payments to business owners for indirect damages incurred by the war without the need to file a compensation claim, as generally required by the relevant regulations. The list, which was published on the Israel Tax Authority's website, contains towns and villages in both the northern and southern regions of Israel. In the letter, Adalah emphasized that while Mazra’a was excluded from the list, a nearby Jewish local council was included along with several other Jewish towns that are situated significantly farther from the border than Mazra’a and therefore at a lower risk.

    CLICK HERE to read the letter (Hebrew)


2 November 2023


Violent Assault on Palestinian Students at Netanya College | Adalah sent a letter on behalf of the Arab Students Movements Union to Israel’s Attorney General, State Attorney and Police Commissioner demanding the immediate initiation of a criminal investigation into incitement, violence, and premeditated assaults against Palestinian students, citizens of Israel, at the Netanya College in central Israel. This letter comes in response to the events of the evening of 28 October 2023, when hundreds of Jewish Israeli civilians stormed the campus of Netanya Academic College and gathered outside the dormitories, calling for the expulsion of Palestinian students, citizens of Israel, and chanting racist slogans. 

    CLICK HERE to read the press release


30 October 2023


Lack of Shelters in Bedouin Schools in the Naqab | Adalah sent an urgent letter to the Director General of the Ministry of Education, the Legal Advisor to the Ministry, and the Commander of the Israeli military’s Home Front Command to demand immediate action to provide air raid shelters in educational facilities in Arab Bedouin villages in the Naqab (Negev). Dozens of educational institutions located in Bedouin villages in the Naqab lack air raid shelters, which poses a significant risk to the lives of thousands of schoolchildren, citizens of Israel.

    CLICK HERE to read the press release

68-Year-Old Activist Arrested for Alleged Speech-Related Offense | Adalah’s legal team represented Yoav Bar, a 68-year-old resident of Haifa and long-time advocate for the rights of Palestinians, before the Haifa Magistrates’ Court against the police’s request to extend his detention. The police arrested Mr. Bar on 29 October and described him as a “key activist in protests that express solidarity with Hamas”. During his detention, Bar, who has a chronic medical condition, did not receive the necessary care, and his health deteriorated to the extent that he required hospitalization. The Haifa court decided to release Mr. Bar without any conditions and ruled that the accusations made by the police did not constitute a criminal offense.

    CLICK HERE to read the press release.


29 October 2023 


Emergency Regulations Extending the Period Detainees May Be Held Without Access to Lawyers | Adalah sent a letter to Israel’s Attorney General, Prime Minister, and Justice Minister, demanding the immediate cancellation of emergency regulations that extend the period during which detainees suspected of “security offenses” can be denied access to legal counsel. These regulations authorize the heads of investigatory departments in the Shin Bet (the Israel Security Agency, or Shabak) or a military officer of a specified rank to order the detention of a detainee for up to 30 days without access to a lawyer. The regulations further specify that this period can be extended for up to 90 days, subject to judicial approval. In the letter, Adalah argued that the regulations target Palestinians and violate the right of detainees to meet with lawyers, which is a fundamental right under international and Israeli law.

        CLICK HERE to read the press release


27 October 2023 


Revocation of Citizenship or Residency for Speech-Related Offenses | Adalah issued a press release highlighting concerning reports by Israeli media outlets that the Justice Minister and Interior Minister had agreed to advance legislation to authorize the revocation of Israeli citizenship and residency from individuals convicted of speech-related offenses. Subsequently, on 2 November 2023, the Ministry of the Interior published a “memorandum of law”, a document that informs the public about a proposed law before it is formally introduced as a bill. The memorandum proposes the revocation of Israeli permanent residency or citizenship of an individual who has been convicted of an offense related to identification with a terrorist organization or incitement to terrorism, among other offenses.

    CLICK HERE to read the press release


25 October 2023


Incitement Against Palestinian Lawyers | Adalah sent an urgent letter to the Chairman of the Israel Bar Association, demanding immediate action to combat the recent campaign of incitement and threats made against Palestinian lawyers. Adalah further called for an immediate halt to the proposed introduction of emergency regulations, which the bar association has declared its intention to advance. These regulations are intended to empower the Bar’s Ethics Committee to immediately suspend lawyers accused of “supporting terrorism” or “inciting to terror”. This change would significantly harm lawyers' rights, livelihoods, and reputation prior to any due process taking place.   

CLICK HERE to read the press release
Bill to Prohibit Consumption of “Terrorist Materials'' | Adalah sent an urgent letter to Knesset committees, the legal advisors to these committees, the Legal Advisor to the Knesset, and the Attorney General against an amendment to the 2016 Counter-Terrorism Law. The amendment, which passed its first reading in the Knesset, would introduce a new criminal offense: the “consumption of terrorist materials,” with a penalty of one year’s imprisonment. The letter argues that the offense is overly broad, arbitrary, and it violates fundamental principles of criminal law. On Monday, 30 October 2023, the bill is scheduled to be prepared for a second and third (final) reading by the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.  

CLICK HERE to read the press release


22 October 2023


Petition Against Unlawful Detention of Workers from Gaza | Six human rights organizations filed a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court, demanding that the Israeli authorities be ordered to disclose the names and locations of all detainees and release those who have been unlawfully detained. Around 4,500 workers are unaccounted for and presumed to be held by Israeli authorities. HaMoked, Gisha, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, Physicians for Human Rights Israel, Adalah and The Association for Civil Rights in Israel filed an urgent petition regarding the thousands of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip currently being held by Israel in detention centers against their will and without legal basis.  

CLICK HERE to read the press release 
Arrests Umm al-Fahm Solidarity Protest | On 19 October 2023, residents of Umm al-Fahm, a Palestinian city in the Wadi Ara area in Israel, were attacked during a legitimate protest against Israel’s ruthless attacks on Gaza. Israeli police violently dispersed the protest, pursued the protesters in an attempt to arrest them, used violent and dangerous means to disperse the protest, including the reported use of rubber bullets and stun grenades, and arrested 12 protesters. The police sought the extension of the detention of 11 demonstrators, including four  minors, requests that the Haifa Magistrates’ Court approved without holding a fair hearing due to the commencement of the Jewish Sabbath. Adalah filed an appeal to the Haifa District Court, which was rejected; a request to appeal to the Supreme Court was similarly rejected. The state sought to place the minors under house arrest and to extend the detention of all the others. On the night of 22 October 2023, the Haifa Magistrates’ Court rejected the request, and nine protesters  were released with various conditions, while two were left in detention.


19 October 2023

Arrests Haifa Solidarity Protest  | Adalah represented protesters arrested in Haifa on 18 October during a protest against Israel’s war crimes in Gaza. The state sought to extend the detentions of the protesters, but the Haifa Magistrates’ Court ordered their release. In response to this development, Adalah sent a follow-up letter to the Deputy Attorney General, demanding his immediate intervention to cancel a directive issued by the Israeli Police Commissioner to ban all protests of solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza.

CLICK HERE to read Adalah’s letter [Hebrew]

    CLICK HERE to read the protocol of the court hearing [Hebrew]
Israel Closes Medical Clinics in Bedouin Villages in the Naqab | Adalah sent an urgent letter to Israel's Minister of Health and the directors of Clalit and Meuhedet Health Services to demand the reopening of medical clinics located in several Bedouin villages in the Naqab. The clinics have been closed since the beginning of the Gaza war due to a lack of bomb shelters in the clinics. Reportedly, the closure follows a directive issued by the Home Front Command of the Israeli army. This has left over 25,000 Bedouin residents without accessible medical services within a reasonable proximity of their homes, forcing them to travel long distances for essential healthcare. Adalah argued that medical care is a fundamental right, and that the closure of these clinics is illegal, and demonstrates the state’’s neglect of healthcare for Bedouin citizens of Israel. Following, on 21 October a shelter was set up in the medical clinic in Abu Tuloul, a village with approximately 2,500 Bedouin residents.

    CLICK HERE to read the press release

18 October 2023

Arrests Haifa Solidarity Protest  | A demonstration against Israel’s war crimes in Gaza was scheduled to take place on 18 October in the city of Haifa. Following a directive by the Police Commissioner, the police issued a statement to the media in which it claimed that the demonstration did not have a permit, and stated that the police "will take a firm hand, subject to the law, to disperse the demonstration, including using mass dispersal measures as required." Adalah sent an urgent letter to the Haifa police force, arguing that this decision was illegal and that, according to Israeli law, the protest did not require a permit. However, before the protest was set to begin, dozens of officers arrived at the scene, declared the protest unlawful and used brutal force to arrest five demonstrators who refused to leave the site. At the Haifa Police Station, Adalah’s attorneys were told that the detainees would be held overnight, in accordance with direct orders from the Commissioner.

    CLICK HERE to read Adalah’s letter 

    CLICK HERE to read the press release
Israeli Police Commissioner's Ban on Protests and Racist Statements | Adalah sent an urgent letter to the Police Commissioner and Israel's Attorney General in response to a video posted on 17 October 2023 on the official Arabic TikTok account of the Israeli Police, which featured the Police Commissioner making a number of racist and inflammatory statements and banning all protests in support of the Palestinian people in Gaza. Adalah argued that the Commissioner's statements seek to delegitimize Palestinian political expression, and may be used to justify the use of illegal and dangerous means to disperse protests, which could lead to heightened police brutality against protesters, and potentially to injuries and even loss of life. 

CLICK HERE to read the press release
Municipality Expelling Palestinian Workers | On 16 October 2023, various media outlets reported that the municipality of Rehovot required all developers to sign a declaration stating that they do not employ any Palestinian workers, including Palestinian citizens of Israel, on their construction sites. In response, on 18 October 2023, Adalah sent an urgent letter to the Mayor of Rehovot and the municipality's legal advisor, demanding the immediate cancellation of the municipality’s decision and the reinstatement of all Palestinian employees whose employment was terminated as a result of this decision.

In the letter, Attorney Salam Irsheid argued that the municipality's decision constitutes a clear violation of Israeli law, which prohibits employers from discriminating based on national belonging, religion, ethnicity, or place of residence.

CLICK HERE to read Adalah’s letter [Hebrew]


17 October 2023


Arming of Civilians | Adalah issued a press release concerning the newly-enacted regulations that relax criteria for weapon licensing, approved by the Knesset's National Security Committee on 15 October 2023, alongside the government’s broader plan to arm Jewish Israeli civilians. The new regulations were introduced by the Ministry of National Security, headed by the leader of the radical right-wing Jewish Power party, Itamar Ben-Gvir, who claims that this move will make an additional 400,000 individuals eligible for firearm ownership, almost exclusively Jewish Israeli citizens.

    CLICK HERE to read the press release


16 October 2023


Water, Electricity, Fuel to Gaza | Adalah, on behalf of Physicians for Human Rights Israel, Gisha - Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, and HaMoked - Center for the Defense of the Individual, sent a follow-up letter regarding Israel’s complete closure of Gaza. For more details, please refer to the original letter sent on 12 October, below. The letter underscores that, according to OCHA data, the limited fuel reserves in all hospitals throughout Gaza are projected to last for only about 24 more hours, a situation that effectively condemns vulnerable patients to death. Moreover, despite reports of partial restoration of water supplies in eastern Khan Yunis by Israel, the collapse of water and sanitation services, along with the lack of fuel to pump water into pipes and Israel’s repeated airstrikes, will continue to severely hinder people's access to water.

CLICK HERE to read the letter [Hebrew]

13 October 2023


Mass Forcible Displacement | Following the evacuation order issued by the Israeli military to the residents of northern Gaza, Adalah and Physicians for Human Rights Israel sent an urgent letter to Israel’s Minister of Defense, Attorney General, and the Head of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), demanding an immediate halt to Israel’s plan for the forcible transfer and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

    CLICK HERE to read the press release 

Palestinian Prisoners | Adalah, along with the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and HaMoked - Center for the Defense of the Individual, sent a letter to the Israel’'s National Security Minister, Attorney General, and the head of the Israel Prison Service (IPS) to demand an immediate reversal of the decision to cut off water and electricity to the security wings of the prisons, where prisoners designated as “security prisoners” by the IPS, overwhelmingly Palestinians, are held. The organizations argue that this decision is a degrading and cruel practice that amounts to torture and is part of a series of arbitrary decisions taken by the IPS against Palestinian prisoners in recent days.

    CLICK HERE to read the press release 


12 October 2023


Israel Blocks Water, Electricity, Fuel to Gaza | Adalah, together with Physicians for Human Rights Israel, Gisha - Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, and HaMoked - Center for the Defense of the Individual, sent an urgent letter to the Minister of Defense, the Minister of Energy, Attorney General, and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), demanding the immediate restoration of electricity, fuel, and water supply to Gaza. The organizations emphasized that the complete closure of Gaza has severe humanitarian consequences for the entire civilian population, including their access to medical treatment, especially for patients who are reliant on electrical equipment and medication storage, as well as access to water and food distribution.

    CLICK HERE to read the letter (Hebrew)

Workers from Gaza Unlawfully Detained | Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights Israel, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and Gisha - Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, sent an urgent letter to Minister of Defense, Attorney General, and COGAT to demand the immediate release of workers from Gaza who are being held in detention facilities after their previously valid and lawfully obtained work permits were revoked without notice. The organizations also demanded a full list of all such detainees being unlawfully held by Israel, and to allow lawyers entry to examine their conditions of detention.

CLICK HERE to read the letter (Hebrew)

Unlawful Killing of Attiya Fathi Al-Nabaheen | Adalah and Al Mezan issued a statement mourning the unlawful killing of 24-year-old Attiya Fathi Al-Nabaheen, along with 12 members of his family, in a targeted Israeli airstrike in Gaza on 8 October 2023. The human rights organizations pursued a lengthy legal battle on his behalf against the State of Israel, seeking civil remedies before Israeli courts for the severe harm inflicted upon him by Israeli forces in 2014, which left him paralyzed and in a wheelchair. Compensation was ultimately denied to him in 2022 solely due to his status as a Gaza resident.

CLICK HERE to read the statement 


8 October 2023 


Expulsion/Suspension of Palestinian Students from Israeli Universities | Since 8 October 2023, dozens of Palestinian citizens of Israel studying at Israeli universities and colleges have received notices from their schools informing them of their expulsion or suspension or that disciplinary action has been initiated against them for their social media posts, which allegedly demonstrate "support for terrorism" or "sympathy with terror organizations". In general, these posts consist of verses from the Holy Quran or express solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza. Most frequently, the schools have not provided the students with a prior hearing, a denial of their due process rights to be heard and to defend themselves. Adalah has sent letters to the universities and colleges on behalf of the students demanding the immediate cancellation of these expulsion or suspension orders, and is representing some of them in disciplinary hearings within their schools. 

    CLICK HERE to read more

LISTEN TO: A webinar on “Freedom of expression and incitement on the web” (Arabic) – hosted by Adalah, the Arab Cultural Association, 7amleh and Baladna (Registration: 1003; participants in zoom: 417; 3000 views on YouTube)