CORONAVIRUS: Latest updates on Adalah's COVID-19 legal work

Up-to-the-minute updates on Adalah's legal work defending human rights as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic.

 

على هذه الأرض ما يستحق الحياة.

We have on this earth what makes life worth living.

~ Mahmoud Darwish

 

With the start of the battle against the spread of coronavirus, Adalah moved to emergency footing to monitor for potential human rights violations and to take legal action when necessary in order to defend the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the OPT during this crisis.

 

On this page, we are bringing together all the documentation and resources related to our work defending human rights during this global pandemic, including breaking updates, press releases, and special analysis and briefing papers. (See all below)

 

 

 

BREAKING UPDATES

 

20 MAY 2020 (14:00)
Israeli Supreme Court to hear Adalah petition demanding Israeli authorities connect Bedouin schoolchildren in the southern Naqab (Negev) region to distance-learning system.
 
17 MAY 2020 (12:00)
Gisha, Adalah, and Al Mezan send urgent letter to Israel’s attorney general and military advocate general, demanding they order military to immediately halt harassment of fishermen and investigate past incidents.
 
10 MAY 2020 (10:00)
Adalah petitions Israeli Supreme Court on behalf of National Committee for the Heads of Arab Local Authorities in Israel demanding equitable budgets for Arab municipalities for financial damages caused battling COVID-19 pandemic.
 
7 MAY 2020 (21:00)
Adalah submits petition to Israeli Supreme Court demanding Israel Prison Service implement Health Ministry social distancing guidelines in cells of "security" inmates in Gilboa prison. Adalah also demands IPS publish information - daily and in Arabic - detailing health safety measures taken in all prisons.
 
7 MAY 2020 (11:30)
Expanded panel of five Israeli Supreme Court justices convenes to hear the petition filed by Adalah and Joint List against the Israeli government’s continued imposition of emergency coronavirus regulations.
 
29 APRIL 2020 (22:30)
Adalah sends letter to Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Israeli prime minister, and Israeli attorney general demanding they not approve one-week extension of Shin Bet’s cellphone surveillance program.
 
27 APRIL 2020 (14:00)
Adalah demands Israeli communications and postal authorities provide a mobile post office to serve residents of Bedouin villages in the Naqab (Negev).
 
26 APRIL 2020 (21:00)
Israeli Supreme Court decides on Adalah-Joint List petition, accepting argument that there is no legal authority for Israeli government to use Shin Bet security service for surveillance of citizens: “The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that the government and the Shin Bet must be subject to law. But we are gravely concerned about the lengthy number of weeks that the court gave the government and the Knesset to legislate this practice, and during this time the Shin Bet is nevertheless being permitted to act without oversight and to wield extensive powers. A Supreme Court decision that acknowledges this illegality but nevertheless allows it to continue severely harms the civil rights of all citizens and residents of Israel and has no constitutional basis.”
 
22 APRIL 2020 (22:00)
Adalah sends letter to Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit warning coalition agreement signed this week by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Blue-White party leader Gantz includes stipulation to impose Israeli sovereignty over occupied West Bank that is patently illegal.
 
20 APRIL 2020 (18:00)
At the end of full-day hearing on Adalah's petition filed on behalf of MK Aida Touma-Sliman, Israeli Supreme Court orders Israeli authorities to appear before Knesset’s Special Committee on Welfare and Labor Affairs on 27 April 2020 to determine solutions for thousands of women fired after government implemented emergency coronavirus regulations allowing Israeli employers to dismiss pregnant women.
 
20 APRIL 2020 (12:30)
Adalah sends urgent letter calling on Israeli health authorities to provide medical care for Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem who have been infected with coronavirus.
 
20 APRIL 2020 (11:30)
The Israeli government has cancelled coronavirus regulations that allowed employers to dismiss pregnant women – but not before thousands had already been dismissed from their jobs. Adalah and MK Aida Touma Sliman (Joint List) head to the Israeli Supreme Court this morning to ensure that every woman who was wrongfully dismissed can voice her position or appeal the dismissal.
 
17 APRIL 2020 (16:00)
SUCCESS: On 17 April 2020, following Adalah's Israeli Supreme Court petition, PM Netanyahu repeals emergency regulations that allowed employers to dismiss pregnant women during coronavirus period.
 
16 APRIL 2020 (11:00)
Adalah lawyers will challenge the legality of Shin Bet's cellphone surveillance of citizens and the expansion of the security agency's powers this morning starting at 11:30 before Israel's Supreme Court. This case will be the first to be broadcast on the Israeli Supreme Court’s website (in Hebrew).
 
16 APRIL 2020 (11:00)
Adalah sends letter demanding Israeli authorities provide information about planned or already established infrastructure enabling Palestinian Bedouin residents of the Naqab (Negev) to file online unemployment forms, an action which requires access to internet, electricity, and other essential services.
 
16 APRIL 2020 (09:30)
Adalah sends follow-up letter to Israeli education authorities on behalf of the Arab national mayors committee and Arab education follow-up committee demanding access to distance learning for Arab students. The letter details 46 Arab towns and neighborhoods where students don't have computers and additional 20 towns and neighborhoods that lack internet access.
 
13 APRIL 2020 (14:15)
Following Adalah’s Supreme Court petition, Israel to open coronavirus testing centers in East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Kufr Aqab and Shuafat refugee camp – located in the Israeli Jerusalem Municipality’s jurisdiction but beyond the separation wall – to serve 150,000 Palestinian residents of the city.
 
12 APRIL 2020 (15:00)
Adalah sends letter on behalf of MK Yousef Jabareen to Israeli AG Avichai Mandelblit and PM Netanyahu demanding Arabs and women be included in expert team established to assist in fight in coronavirus.
 
12 APRIL 2020 (12:00)
Adalah, on behalf MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List), files urgent Israeli Supreme Court petition against new “emergency regulations” that allow employers to put pregnant women, women undergoing fertility treatments, and women on maternity leave and 60 days after their return to work, on unpaid leave without first obtaining a special permit from Israel’s Labor Ministry.
 
8 APRIL 2020 (14:00)
Adalah files urgent Israeli Supreme Court petition demanding coronavirus testing for Palestinians living in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Kufr Aqab and Shuafat refugee camps. 150,000 Palestinians with Israeli-issued Jerusalem ID cards who live in these areas located beyond the Israeli separation wall have no access to coronavirus testing.
 
8 APRIL 2020 (14:00)
Adalah sends letter to Israel's Welfare and Health Ministries demanding coronavirus testing for social workers and employees of all essential shelters providing service for at-risk individuals, including women and children. Adalah also calls for testing for every individual admitted to such live-in shelters, regardless of whether or not she/he is exhibiting virus symptoms.
 
7 APRIL 2020 (16:00)
Gisha, Al Mezan, and Adalah send urgent letter to Israeli defense minister demanding he formulate and immediately publish an action plan designed to confront the spread of coronavirus in the Gaza Strip. This program must first and foremost ensure that the medical needs of the Palestinian civilian population are met.
 
7 APRIL 2020 (13:40)
Adalah sends letter demanding Israel provide coronavirus testing for residents of Palestinians towns in Upper Galilee - primarily Jish, Fassuta, and Mi'ilya. Adalah also calls on Israeli health authorities to publish essential coronavirus data for towns with less than 5,000 residents, information which it is not currently making public.
 
5 APRIL 2020 (17:00)
Gisha, Adalah, and Al-Mezan send urgent letter to Israeli authorities condemning Israel’s aerial herbicide spraying along the Gaza fence today amid critical COVID-19 outbreak and calling on international community to intervene.
 
5 APRIL 2020 (16:45)
Arab Joint List, Adalah petition Israeli Supreme Court against Israeli PM Netanyahu, Shin Bet, Israeli police, and Health Ministry, demanding halt to Shin Bet’s involvement in struggle against spread of coronavirus.
 
5 APRIL 2020 (09:00)
Arab Joint List and Adalah file Israeli Supreme Court petition maintaining government has no authority to issue emergency regulations to confront coronavirus pandemic and that all actions must be conducted via legislature.
 
5 APRIL 2020 (09:00)
Adalah files petition to Israeli Supreme Court demanding access to computers and internet for children in unrecognized and newly-recognized Bedouin villages in Naqab (Negev) region in order to enable them to learn during coronavirus period.
 
2 APRIL 2020 (14:30)
Adalah and Addameer send urgent letter to Israeli prison authorities demanding immediate preventive measures after Palestinian released from Israel’s Ofer prison in occupied West Bank tests positive for coronavirus.
 
1 APRIL 2020 (17:00)
Adalah sends urgent letter to Israeli health officials, in coordination with the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, demanding access to coronavirus testing sites for Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem.
 
1 APRIL 2020 (11:45)
Adalah files urgent petition to Israeli Supreme Court demanding Israel establish coronavirus drive-in test centers in Bedouin villages in Naqab (Negev) or, alternately, a mobile test center. Adalah also calls for allocation of additional ambulances in Naqab as current fleet only sufficient to provide partial services.
 
31 MARCH 2020 (11:24)
Adalah sends letter to Israeli education officials demanding equal access to Arabic-language educational materials and to distance-learning tools for Palestinian Bedouin students in the Naqab (Negev) region.
 
30 MARCH 2020
Adalah sends urgent letter to Israeli prison authorities and Health Ministry calling to find a solution for the overcrowding of Gilboa prison.
 
30 MARCH 2020 (15:08)
Adalah sends letter to Israeli attorney general and prime minister demanding the government refrain from enacting further emergency regulations now that the Knesset is operational.
 
30 MARCH 2020 (11:10)
Adalah demands Israeli health officials establish coronavirus drive-in test center for Triangle area. Letter is followup to initial appeal on 23 March 2020. Given the very low numbers of diagnosed cases in Palestinian Arab towns in Israel, Adalah demands the establishment of a testing center with 24 hours.
 
30 MARCH 2020 (11:10)
Adalah demands Israeli health authorities publish regular and updated information detailing the number of of coronavirus tests taken in each town and city in Israel. This letter follows up on issues raised in Adalah’s first letter from 23 March 2020 regarding the lack of availability of coronavirus tests.
 
30 MARCH 2020 (11:00)
Adalah files urgent letter to Israeli authorities calling for protection of rights of Palestinian laborers from the occupied West Bank who enter Israel for work purposes during the course of the coronavirus crisis.
 
30 MARCH 2020 (09:30)
Adalah files motion to Israeli Supreme Court seeking to freeze implementation of Israeli criminal code which revokes all social welfare benefits from parents of minors convicted for throwing stones. Motion stresses that coronavirus crisis places economic burden on the families and argues no additional disproportionate burdens should be imposed.
 
29 MARCH 2020 (12:00)
Adalah sends urgent letter to Israeli Health Ministry demanding it open coronvirus drive-in test centers for unrecognized Bedouin villages in Naqab (Negev) region. This follows Adalah’s earlier letter of 22 March demanding access to essential medical services for citizens in Naqab region.
 
29 MARCH 2020 (08:40)
Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman and Adalah send letter to Israeli Health Ministry demanding Nazareth hospitals be properly equipped to effectively treat coronavirus patients.
 
26 MARCH 2020
Adalah sends letter to Israeli attorney general and prime minister protesting the lack of transparency in the Israeli government’s agenda.
 
26 MARCH 2020
Adalah, Addameer, and attorney Abeer Baker petition Israeli Supreme Court calling for cancellation of emergency regulations that ban prisoners held by Israel from meeting with lawyers and families; demand access to telephone communications. Hearing scheduled for 2 April 2020.
 
23 MARCH 2020
Adalah sends letter to Israeli Health Ministry calling for coronavirus testing for a Palestinian citizen of Israel, resident of the Triangle region, suffering from symptoms. After lengthy delay, Israeli emergency ambulance service subsequently confirms to Adalah that the individual is tested for coronavirus.
 
23 MARCH 2020
Adalah sends letter to Israeli Health Ministry calling for access to coronavirus testing and supportive medical services in the Triangle region, populated primarily by approximately 200,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel. 
 
22 MARCH 2020
Adalah sends letter to Israeli Health Ministry calling for it to ensure urgent coronavirus-related emergency health services are provided to unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Naqab (Negev).
 
22 March 2020
Adalah issues an urgent letter to Israeli prison and health officials demanding they ensure proper measures are taken to prevent spread of coranavirus in prisons and to provide care for patients.
 
19 MARCH 2020
Adalah and partners send letter to Israeli prime minister, public security minister, and health minister calling for cancellation of emergency regulations that ban prisoners held by Israel from meeting with lawyers and families. 
 
19 MARCH 2020
Adalah attorneys and partner NGOs issue joint letter calling on Israeli authorities to halt their demolition of crops and agricultural lands in Bedouin villages in the Naqab (Negev). SUCCESS: Arab Joint List Knesset member announces Israeli authorities to halt the practice.
 
18 MARCH 2020
Adalah files petition to Israeli Supreme Court calling to cancel emergency regulations that permit Israeli security and intelligence agencies to track citizens’ cellphones without oversight. PARTIAL SUCCESS: Israeli Supreme Court issues interim injunction, Knesset oversight committee is established to supervise implementation.
 
17 MARCH 2020
Adalah sends letter to Israeli attorney general on behalf of Arab Joint List to cancel emergency regualtions that permit Israeli security and intelligence agencies to track citizens’ cellphones without oversight.
 
15 March 2020
Adalah files Supreme Court pre-petition to Israeli state attorney, on behalf of the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens, demanding Israeli Finance Ministry secure sufficient and equal access to learning materials in Arabic and distance learning for Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel. This follows a letter Adalah sent to the Finance Ministry on 12 March 2020.
 
10 MARCH 2020
Adalah issues letter to Israeli Education Ministry demanding real-time coronavirus updates in Arabic for school children and their families.
 
9 MARCH 2020
Joint Link MK Samy Abu Shahadeh and Adalah issue urgent letter to Israeli Health Ministry demanding real-time coronavirus updates in Arabic for the general Arabic-speaking public. SUCCESS: The ministry begins to release online Arabic-language materials on all its media platforms.

 

FULL CORONAVIRUS PRESS RELEASES

 

 

(Photo courtesy United States National Institute of Health)

 

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