Adalah reports to UN on Israel’s systemic discrimination against Palestinians

Adalah has submitted two reports to the United Nations Human Rights Committee detailing Israel’s violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel submitted two reports to the UN Human Rights Committee on 9 April 2018 detailing Israel’s violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).


Adalah’s reports have been submitted in advance of the UN Human Rights Committee’s July 2018 session at which it will decide upon a “List of Issues” for the State of Israel to answer at an upcoming review. Israel ratified the ICCPR in 1991, and as all State Parties to the covenant, is regularly reviewed by the UN Human Rights Committee.


The reports highlight major areas in which Israel has committed violations of the ICCPR against Palestinian citizens of Israel, including the Arab Bedouin in Israel’s southern Negev/Naqab desert, and Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.


The first report, detailing violations committed against Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, emphasizes the following 10 main areas of concern:


  1. New discriminatory laws and the promotion of the Jewish Nation State Bill, which would further imperil the principles of equality and non-discrimination in Israel and officially enshrine the State of Israel as a Jewish state only guaranteeing the right of self-determination to Jewish citizens;
  2. Underrepresentation of Palestinian citizens of the state in Israeli civil service;
  3. New wave of “annexation laws” and policies designed to seize Palestinian private land in the West Bank including East Jerusalem;
  4. Israel’s Anti-Terror Law, which provides broad definitions of terrorism that may be used to criminalize legitimate political, cultural, and humanitarian action and is suspected to significantly harm the rights of Palestinians detained for security-related offenses;
  5. Excessive use of force by Israeli security forces, including extra-judicial executions, and the lack of accountability for them;
  6. 5. The lack of infrastructure and basic services for Bedouin communities: recognized and unrecognized.
  7. Israel’s policy of holding dead bodies of Palestinians killed by Israeli police and other security forces for use as “bargaining chips” with Palestinian authorities;
  8. The ongoing ban on unification for Palestinian families;
  9. Violations of the rights to hold opinions and to freedom of expression of Palestinian citizens of Israel.
  10. New legislation and policies aimed at reducing the political participation of Palestinian citizens in Israel.
  11. Discriminatory revocation of Palestinians’ citizenship and residency status.


This report also includes an annex of letters and cases submitted by Adalah and Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights to Israeli authorities regarding the March-April 2018 Gaza protest demonstrations. This annex highlights:


  1. The use of lethal and other excessive force against demonstrators by the Israeli military;
  2. Threatening Facebook posts by the Israeli military against demonstrators;
  3. The rights of Palestinian search and rescue teams to retrieve wounded and killed demonstrators, and Adalah and Al Mezan’s demand to release the bodies of killed Palestinians;
  4. Adalah and Al Mezan’s demand for a criminal investigation into the Israeli military killings of Palestinians during Land Day protests;
  5. The need to allow wounded Palestinians to exit Gaza for urgent medical treatment.


The second report submitted together with the Negev Co-Existence Forum, catalogues Israel’s violations of the ICCPR against Arab Bedouin citizens in Israel’s southern Naqab/Negev desert, highlighting a number of key issues:


  1. The Israeli government’s policy of home demolitions in Bedouin villages, which have tripled in frequency over the past five years;
  2. The imminent demolition of the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran;
  3. The Israeli government’s proposed five-year plan for the Bedouin, which is suspected to be used as a tool for forced displacement, eviction, and demolition of Bedouin communities;
  4. Discriminatory land planning policies and practices, which prevent the Bedouin from living in accordance with their traditional way of life;
  5. The lack of infrastructure and basic services for Bedouin communities.