Adalah's Newsletter Volume 2, June 2004


Volume 2, June 2004
Adalah on the Ministerial Committee Report on the Or Commission: The Ministerial Committee's Disregard of the Failure to Indict Police for their Involvement in the Killing and Injury of Arab Citizens during the October 2000 Protests Constitutes Blatant Contempt for their Lives
Despite the fact that over three years have passed since the October 2000 Protests, none of the police responsible for the killings has been indicted, and Mahash has conducted no investigations. Furthermore, the Ministerial Committee did not relate to the Or Commission report recommendations regarding the inherent discrimination in the allocation of land resources to Arab citizens.
Human Rights Organizations to the Supreme Court: Define the Legal Scope of the “Military Necessity” Exception Utilized by the Israeli Army as a Pretext for Widespread Home Demolitions in the OPTs
The petition, filed on 27 May 2004, was based, among other sources, on international human rights organizations' reports and recent decisions of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), in which a politician and high-ranking military commanders were indicted and convicted of war crimes, and sentenced to between 15 and 45 years' imprisonment.
South Africa: Law and the Search for Justice
By Geoff Budlender, Attorney, The Legal Resources Centre, Cape Town, South Africa
Hanging by the Cloak: Advocates for Social Change in Israel - Between the Legal and the Political
By Dr. Neta Ziv, Director of the Legal Education Program at the Faculty of Law at Tel-Aviv University

And Justice to All: On Community Lawyering
By Yuval Elbashan, Advocate, Director of the Legal Law Clinics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem

Cultural & Social Rights
Supreme Court Rules: Exclusion of Arab Towns from ‘Ofeq’ Funding for High Unemployment Areas Constitutes Unlawful Discrimination
The ruling came following a petition filed by Adalah, the Tel Aviv University Law Clinic, the National Committee for Arab Mayors and local Arab councils. The petition demanded that Arab towns be included in the ‘Ofeq’ program for reducing unemployment in communities suffering from chronic socio-economic hardships.
Supreme Court to Consider the Establishment of Pre-Schools in Two Unrecognized Villages in the Naqab
Some 300 children between the ages of three and four from the unrecognized villages of Zaa'rura and Bir al-Mashash in the Naqab have remained without any pre-school services. In the petition, filed to the Supreme Court by Adalah on behalf of human rights organizations on 1 June 2004, Adalah argues that the right to education is not conditional upon the status of the villages.
The Right to Family Life
Adalah and the Hamoked Center to the Supreme Court: Allow Arab Citizens and Residents of Israel to Visit their Spouses and Families in Gaza
The petition was filed on 31 May 2004 following new orders issued by the Israeli Military Southern Command, according to which obtaining entry permits into Gaza for visiting spouses and children is conditioned upon the obligation to remain in Gaza for three consecutive months, without returning to Israel. The stated objective of the order is “limiting” the use of the Erez checkpoint. The petition will be heard before a Supreme Court panel on 30 June 2004.
Land, Planning, and Justice
Following Adalah’s Intervention: Regional Planning and Building Council Cancels Motion for Demolition Order of the Home of Arab Citizen of Israel
The Sawaed home was built on private land in 1959 and has been occupied ever since. The ‘Request for Demolition Order Without Conviction’ procedure was enacted following an indictment against Mr. Sawaed for unauthorized construction was rescinded due to the statue of limitations.
Opening Remarks
This volume is being issued shortly after the publication of the report of the Ministerial Committee, established by the Israeli authorities to study the report of the Official Commission of Inquiry into the October 2000 Events (Or Commission). One of the greatest shortcomings of the Ministerial Committee’s report is its disregard of the failure on the part of Mahash (the Ministry of Justice Police Investigation Unit) and the Attorney General to investigate the killing of Arab citizens during the October 2000 events and indict those responsible. Meanwhile, the use of lethal force by the police against Arab citizens has become increasingly prevalent. A further shortcoming of the Ministerial Committee is its failure to draw serious operational conclusions, based on the findings of the Or Commission, concerning the inherent discrimination against the Arab minority in Israel in the fields of education, housing, and the allocation of budgets and land. It is apparent, therefore, that the Ministerial Committee has opted not to work towards bringing equal rights to the Arab minority in Israel. Meanwhile, the state authorities are continuously upgrading the instruments of discrimination against the Arab minority in all areas. For instance, the authorities are endeavoring to evict tens of thousands of Arab Bedouin citizens, and demolish their homes in the unrecognized villages in the Naqab. Some of these villages existed prior to the establishment of Israel, while others were founded in accordance with orders issued during the military regime, which followed the establishment of the state. This policy renders them homeless. Furthermore, Arab towns and villages are excluded from socio-economic rights’ programs, while the State Attorney's Office uses the Multi-Year plan (that aims to narrow the gap between Arab towns and villages suffering from inadequate basic infrastructure and services, and Jewish towns), which has never been effectively implemented, to excuse this discrimination. It is against this complex backdrop that human rights organizations strive to improve the status of disempowered communities, national minorities, and others. In the articles included in this volume, attorney Geoff Blunder from South Africa, Dr. Neta Ziv and attorney Yuval Elbashan discuss the challenges faced by lawyers working to promote social change and human rights, from their own perspectives. We are grateful to them for their contributions.
New Publications
Adalah's Review, Vol. 4
In the Name of Security
Spring 2004

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