The Discriminatory Laws Database

Adalah’s Discriminatory Laws Database (DLD) is an online resource comprising a list of over 65 Israeli laws that discriminate directly or indirectly against Palestinian citizens in Israel and/or Palestinian residents of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) on the basis of their national belonging.  The discrimination in these laws is either explicit – “discrimination on its face” – or, more often, the laws are worded in a seemingly neutral manner, but have or will likely have a disparate impact on Palestinians in their implementation.


These laws limit the rights of Palestinians in all areas of life, from citizenship rights to the right to political participation, land and housing rights, education rights, cultural and language rights, religious rights, and due process rights during detention. Some of the laws also discriminate against other groups such as gays, non-religious Jews, and Palestinian refugees.


The database, published in Arabic, Hebrew and English, summarizes the contents of each law, the circumstances of the law’s enactment, and the grounds for its classification as a discriminatory law. Where available, translations of the laws into English and/or Arabic are made available alongside the original Hebrew texts.


With the DLD, Adalah aims to raise awareness of these laws and the damaging impact they have on Palestinians in multiple spheres of life, and to challenge the commonly-repeated claim that Israel is a democratic state in which all citizens enjoy equal rights under the law.


Click to explore the Discriminatory Laws Database


Collections of new laws and bills


20th Knesset: March 2016, September 2016, September 2017

19th Knesset: October 2013, June 2013

18th Knesset: Discriminatory Laws and Bills during the 18th Knesset, 2009-2012

October 2012 | June 2012 | June 2011 | April 2011 | November 2010




Israeli governments regularly enact legislation which excludes, ignores, and discriminates against the Palestinian Arab minority. Since the establishment of the state, Israel has relied upon these laws to ground their discriminatory treatment of Arab citizens and allow the unequal status and unequal treatment of Jewish and Arab citizens to persist.


Video of Adalah's General Director, Hassan Jabareen, on discriminatory laws enacted during 2009-2012: 



In February 2009, elections for  the 18th Knesset brought to power the most right‐wing government coalition in the history of Israel. The 19th Knesset, elected in January 2013, continued this right-wing trend. Both governments were led by Benjamin Netanyahu, of the Likud party, with strong support from the far-right wing parties Yisrael Beitenu, led by Avigdor Lieberman, and HaBayit HaYehudi, led by Naftali Bennet. The Members of Knesset (MKs)  in both of these governments immediately introduced a flood of discriminatory legislation.


These new laws and bills seek, inter alia, to dispossess and exclude Arab citizens from the land; turn their citizenship from a right into a conditional privilege; undermine the ability of Arab citizens of Israel and their parliamentary representatives to participate in the political life of the country; criminalize political expression or acts that question the Jewish or Zionist nature of the state; and privilege Jewish citizens in the allocation of state resources.



Reports and briefing papers:

New Discriminatory and Anti-Democratic Legislation, September 2016

New Discriminatory and Anti-Democratic Legislation, March 2016

Discriminatory Bills in the 19th Knesset, October 2013

Discriminatory Laws and Bills during the 18th Knesset, 2009-2012


Op-eds and articles:

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