The General Security Service and the Police Attempt to Search Adalah's Offices


At about 10 o'clock this morning, five General Security Service (GSS) and Galilee police officers arrived at Adalah's office in Shfaram with a handwritten court order, signed by the President of the Nazareth District Court, authorizing them to claim two "secret documents" in the possession of Adalah's lawyers. 

According to the order, the officers told the Court that these two "secret documents" - noted by name and date - were accidentally given to Adalah staff attorneys - Ms. Orna Kohn and Mr. Jamil Dakwar - who are representing Mr. Ghassan Athmaneh. Mr. Athmaneh, a 37 year-old married father of three from Reineh (a Palestinian village close to Nazareth) and a member of the central committee of the Tammaju' party (The National Democratic Assembly - Balad), is the first Palestinian citizen of Israel to be placed in administrative detention in six years. The Court initially placed a total gag order on the case, which was partially lifted on Thursday 6 December. 

Adalah's General Director, Mr. Hassan Jabareen, told the five GSS and police officers that they acted improperly and illegally in attempting to search Adalah's office. First, although the GSS mistakenly gave these documents to Adalah's staff attorneys, the GSS and the police arrived without any prior coordination with Adalah. Second, the officers attempted to search Adalah's office without informing the Chairperson of the Israeli Bar Association and without the accompaniment by a representative of the Bar, as required by law. Mr. Jabareen notified the officers that the documents provided were in the lawyers' offices, and that copies had already been made and distributed to all of Adalah's lawyers interested in the case. Therefore, the materials were no longer "secret documents." Based on this information, the officers did not search Adalah's office and left the building. Adalah provided the documents requested later in the evening.