Demanding the Release of Summary Report into the Israeli Military's Killing of 31-year-old Meteb al-Nebari to his Family.

HCJ 2366/05, Atwa al-Nebari and Adalah v. IDF Chief of Staff, et. al.

Petition filed to Supreme Court in 3/05, seeking an order requiring the Israeli military to release a summary of the operational military report on the death of Mr. Meteb al-Nebari, a Palestinian Bedouin citizen of Israel killed by the Israeli army in the West Bank in 10/03, almost 18 months after his death. The petition was filed against the IDF Chief of Staff, the Judge Advocate General, and the Chief Military Prosecutor. The military did not launch any investigation following the death, only doing so eight months later after Adalah submitted a motion to the Beer el-Sabe Magistrate Court in 10/03 requesting the appointment of an investigatory judge to examine the circumstances of Mr. al-Nebari's death (Cause of Death Investigation 1027/03, In Re Meteb al-Nebari, deceased). Adalah stressed that severe injuries to his body, including serious damage to several of his internal organs from being shot, and wounds to his arm, skull and back, confirmed by an autopsy, strongly indicate that his death was unnatural and/or caused by an offense committed against him. The petitioners unsuccessfully requested the report, when the respondents refused to provide it on the ground that there is an ongoing military investigation into the case. Adalah argued in the petition that the military has a legal duty to release the report to the al-Nebari family - who are still yet to receive any information regarding the circumstances of his killing - regardless of the ongoing investigation. Adalah stressed that the respondents did not raise national security concerns for their refusal to release the report in 8/04, the only legal exception to the release of the report under the Military Justice Law – 1955. Adalah also argued that the bereaved family has a basic right to know the military's findings, especially as the military has a connection to the death. Adalah contended that it is essential for the victim's family to receive this report without delay, in order that they can probe the credibility and reliability of the military's investigation.

Responding to the petition in 3/05, the AG's representative raised two main claims: when a military investigation is ongoing the release of the summary operational report is a matter of discretion for the Chief of Staff; and the petitioners should await the Military Prosecutor's decision. At a hearing before the Supreme Court later in 3/05, Chief Justice Barak asked the petitioners to wait for the Military Prosecutor's decision. Adalah responded that, at the very least, a timetable for the release of information was necessary. The Court ruled that the Military Prosecutor must inform the Court within 30 days of decisions made regarding the military's investigation into the case.

H.C. 2366/05, Atwa al-Nebari and Adalah v. IDF Chief of Staff, et. al. (case pending).