International Advocacy 2002

NGO Delegation Visit to Brussels, Belgium. Submissions to OHCHR on violations of international human rights and humanitarian law during 2002 attacks on OPT. Presentation to Inter-Parliamentary Union on MK Azmi Bishara's 2002 indictment.

EU Advocacy | UN Advocacy | Inter-Parliamentary Union

EU Advocacy

NGO Delegation Visit to Brussels, Belgium - November 2002

Adalah Board Chairperson Ghassann Agbaria and Adalah Development Director Rina Rosenberg participated in a delegation visit to Brussels of NGOs working on Palestinian minority rights in Israel. The delegation met with representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament, the EU Council and Belgian institutions, as well as European civil society organizations.

The purpose of the visit was to raise awareness among EU and Belgian institutions of institutionalized discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel; to facilitate greater cooperation between Palestinian, Israeli and European NGOs for coordinated advocacy efforts in Israel and in Europe to defend citizens' rights; and to begin to build a strategic EU lobby agenda focused on Palestinian rights in Israel.

The delegation from Israel was comprised of NGO representatives from Adalah, the Arab Association for Human Rights, Ittijah - Union of Arab Community Based Organizations, Mossawa, the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages, Shatil, and Sikkuy. Nine European NGOs and six Members of the European Parliament organized the visit, led by APRODEV and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

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UN Advocacy

Adalah submitted a 16-page report to the UNHRC entitled "Recent Developments - The Rights of the Palestinian Minority in Israel." The report was written for the UNHRC's Country Report Task Force - Israel in developing its List of Issues in advance of its planned review of Israel's 2nd Periodic Report (CCPR/C/ISR/2001/2) on the state's implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Adalah's report focused on five main issue areas: (1) the increasing legitimization of racism; (2) restrictions on political participation; (3) discriminatory laws and policies concerning the family and children; (4) discrimination against Palestinian women citizens of Israel; and (5) the absence of equality/minority rights. Adalah also submitted an oral statement to the UNHRC Task Force suggesting proposed questions, based on our written report, for the Israeli government. Mr. Antoine Madelin of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) presented the oral statement on behalf of Adalah at an NGO meeting held by the Task Force.

The UNHRC released its List of Issues in 11/02. While the List of Issues focuses primarily on Israel's obligations under the ICCPR vis-a-vis Palestinians in the 1967 Occupied Territories, the Task Force also raised some questions regarding Israel's failure to uphold the civil and political rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel, which were discussed in Adalah's report. Israel's Initial Report (CCPR/C/81/Add. 13) was considered by the UNHRC in 7/98, with concluding observations (CCPR/C/79/Add.94) issued in 8/98. Adalah will participate in the UNHRC's sessions reviewing Israel on 24-25 July 2003 (postponed from 3/03).

Adalah's Report to the UNHRC Country Report Task Force, "Recent Developments - The Rights of Palestinian Minority in Israel," 2 October 2002

Adalah's Oral Statement to the UNHRC Country Task Force, 14 October 2002

UNHRC List of Issues for Israel (CCPR/C/77/L/ISR), 27 November 2002

Adalah General Director Hassan Jabareen, Staff Attorney Suhad Bishara and Board member Salam Zubi provided information about recent events to this UN Special Committee. Mr. Jabareen provided a general overview of the current situation of Palestinians in the OPTs and Palestinian citizens in Israel. Ms. Bishara presented the Supreme Court petitions filed by Adalah concerning the March-April 2002 Israeli military attacks on the Occupied Territories, and analyzed the Court's decisions in these cases. Mr. Zubi presented a detailed map and photographs documenting the extensive property damage caused by the Israeli army in 4/02 in the Jenin refugee camp. Adalah's representatives also provided extensive documentation about our work to this Committee.

Adalah Staff Attorney Suhad Bishara attended a hearing at the European Parliament, entitled "EU-Israel Bilateral Relations in the Framework of International and European Law: The Case of the European Community-Israel Association Agreement." Ms. Bishara joined representatives of other international, Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations in a panel discussion on recent developments in Israel and the OPTs. She spoke briefly on the more restrictive measures adopted by the Israeli government vis-a-vis Palestinian citizens of Israel since the outbreak of the current Intifada in the OPTs and the October 2000 protest demonstrations in Israel.

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In 5/02, Adalah prepared and submitted this report with LAW and The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in response to a UN General Assembly resolution of 5/02, calling on the Secretary-General to report on recent events in Jenin and other Palestinian cities using all available resources and information. The Secretary-General presented his report to the General Assembly in 7/02. Although the Secretary-General used some of the information provided, he did not cite to the submitting organizations.

Petitions Filed by Adalah and LAW to the Supreme Court of Israel April - May 2002 | Addendum

Report of the Secretary-General prepared pursuant to General Assembly resolution ES-10/10 (Report on Jenin)

Adalah submitted petitions, state responses and Supreme Court decisions to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on cases brought by Adalah, LAW and other Palestinian and Israeli human rights NGOs, challenging violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by the Israeli army during its March-April 2002 military attacks on the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). Mrs. Mary Robinson, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, subsequently issued a report on the human rights situation in the OPTs, which stressed that the Israeli army must end its military operations, and that peace and stability in the region can only be achieved on the basis of international human rights and humanitarian law. Mrs. Robinson cited Adalah as a source of information for her report.

Report (.doc download) of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Follow-Up to the World Conference on Human Rights, E/CN.4/2002/184, 24 April 2002

Adalah Special Report: Israeli Military Attacks on the Occupied Palestinian Territories


In January 2002, Mr. Miloon Kothari, the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, conducted a mission to the Occupied Territories. During his visit and that of Mr. Joseph Schechla of the Habitat International Coalition, Adalah and Professor Oren Yiftachel, Chair of the Geography Department, Ben Gurion University (BGU), invited them to Israel and co-organized a seminar at BGU for them to speak. At the seminar, Mr. Kothari and Mr. Schechla spoke on matters of policy and international human rights organizations' involvement in housing issues. Adalah also accompanied them on a visit to several unrecognized villages in the Naqab, where he also met with the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages.

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Inter-Parliamentary Union

Adalah Staff Attorney Jamil Dakwar, Adalah Board of Directors Chairperson Ghassann Agbaria, and MK Dr. Azmi Bishara addressed the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva, on the removal of MK Bishara's parliamentary immunity and his subsequent indictment. Mr. Dakwar discussed the legal issues related to the case, stressing that the actions taken against MK Bishara were unprecedented, without basis in Israeli law, and represented significant violations of the rights of both MK Bishara and the Palestinian minority in Israel. MK Bishara spoke about the political situation in Israel and offered insights on his case, and Mr. Agbaria provided historical background on Palestinian citizens of Israel.

As a result of the presentations, the Committee decided that: "Mr. Bishara represents a party, recognized under Israeli law, which defends the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people, and has been elected on this platform … [The Committee] cannot share the view of the authorities that the two speeches under consideration, read in their entirety, express praise and support for a terrorist organization; considers rather that they reflect the political programme of Mr. Bishara's party." The Inter-Parliamentary Council has resolved to continue to monitor the progress of MK Bishara's criminal cases pending before the Nazareth Magistrate Court.

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