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Resource: How agriculture is used to take over West Bank land

The Zionist ideal of Jewish agriculture in the Land of Israel reached the occupied West Bank within months of the end of the 1967 War.

The agricultural takeover of large swaths of land requires relatively few resources and time in comparison with actual construction or the establishment of outposts, and facilitates the quick establishment of facts on the ground.

This activity is part of a widespread and well-funded strategy, whose explicit goal is to expand the territory controlled by Israeli settlers throughout Area C in the West Bank.

A recent report by Dror Etkes of Kerem Navot shows that the wholesale takeover of agricultural land is not and isolated effort of individual settlers or settlements, but part of a long-term and well-funded strategy that has been encouraged and supported by governmental and public agencies for many years, despite the blatant illegality of much of the activity, even in terms of Israeli law.

Kerem Navot is a new Israeli civil society organization, established during 2012 and employing comprehensive land-use research to challenge the systems and policies that enable ongoing dispossession of Palestinians from their land in the West Bank.

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Resource: Children in military custody - a progress report

Last year, a group of UK lawyers published a report, Children in Military Custody, reviewing how children are treated in Israel’s military court system taking into account both the legal framework and practice. Eighteen months later, Military Court Watch (MCW) has reviewed the report’s 40 recommendations and assessed whether they have been substantially or partially implemented, or not implemented at all. The findings are presented below.

Read: Assessing developments in Israel’s juvenile military courts

Military Court Watch is a voluntary association founded by a small group of lawyers and other professionals with a belief in the rule of law. MCW is guided by two basic principles. First, all children detained by the Israeli military authorities are entitled to all the rights and protections guaranteed under international law. Secondly, that there can be no legal justification for treating Palestinian and Israeli children differently under Israel’s military and civilian legal systems. In pursuit of these principles, MCW investigates, litigates, advocates and educates in the region and beyond.

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Resource: No enforcement of labor law in the West Bank

A small group of Palestinian workers this summer received confirmation from the Jerusalem Regional Court that their rights are protected under Israeli labor law. Meanwhile, Israel’s Ministry of Economy is failing to proactively prevent such abuses. Kav LaOved has published a new report describing this situation, including a selective list of Israeli companies in the Occupied Territories which have been sued by their Palestinian employees in recent years. The Even Bar case court victory described above was an important step in the right direction, but only compensates an extremely small fraction of the Palestinians caught in this unjust system.

Kav LaOved is a nonprofit non governmental organization committed to protecting the rights of disadvantaged workers employed in Israel and by Israelis in the Occupied Territories, including Palestinians, migrant workers, subcontracted workers and new immigrants.

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Resource: War crimes in Israeli law

Israel has not yet enacted a law defining war crimes, and the military courts judge soldiers who violate the rules of law according to “regular” offenses. Yesh Din’s new report presents the need for Israeli legislation on this subject.

The approach currently applied in Israel argues that ordinary domestic legislation is adequate for the prosecution of defendants for actions constituting war crimes. The report reviews international models for legislation criminalizing war crimes and discusses the existing provisions in Israeli law, the policy of the military prosecution, and the rulings of military courts.

Yesh Din is a volunteer organization working to defend the human rights of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation.

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Resource: Unlawful discrimination: Two boys, two laws

Since 1967, Israel has issued 1,700 military orders and between 750,000-800,000 Palestinian men, women and children have been prosecuted in Israeli military courts and imprisoned.

Technically speaking, Israeli military law applies to all persons in the West Bank, whether they be Palestinian or Israeli, but in practice civilian law is applied to the settlers, whereas military law, with far fewer rights and protections, is reserved for Palestinians, giving rise to a situation of unlawful discrimination.

Read: The bottom line is equal rights for all

The following report, prepared by Military Court Watch, showcases the Israeli occupation’s legal discrimination, as it affects Palestinian and Israeli settler children.

Military Court Watch advocates is a voluntary association founded by a small group of lawyers and other professionals with a belief in the rule of law. MCW is guided by two basic principles. First, all children detained by the Israeli military authorities are entitled to all the rights and protections guaranteed under international law. Secondly, that there can be no legal justification for treating Palestinian and Israeli children differently under Israel’s military and civilian legal systems. In pursuit of these principles, MCW investigates, litigates, advocates and educates in the region and beyond.

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Resource: The failing East Jerusalem education system

With the start of the new school year, today (2.9.2013) The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and Ir Amim published an annual update on the dire state of education in East Jerusalem, revealing deep gaps between the two parts of the city. The report concludes that the Jerusalem Municipality and state authorities are failing to meet a High Court ruling that ordered the completion of all missing classrooms in East Jerusalem by 2016. Faced with a shortage of 2,200 missing classrooms in the official Arab school system in Jerusalem, the authorities are doing too little to close this intolerable gap.

Related:
An education in inequality for East Jerusalem’s children

Established in 1972, ACRI is Israel’s oldest and largest human rights organization and the only one dealing with the entire spectrum of rights and civil liberties issues in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Read more about ACRI here

Ir Amim (“City of Nations” or “City of Peoples”) is an NGO which focuses on Jerusalem within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Ir Amim seeks to render Jerusalem a more viable and equitable city for the Israelis and Palestinians who share it.


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Fact sheet: Israeli police fail to prosecute violence against Palestinians

Yesh Din publishes research and tracking of police investigations into allegations of violence against Palestinians perpetrated by Israeli citizens.

The updated figures show that between 2005 and 2013 just 8.5 percent of investigation files ended in the indictment of Israelis suspected of harming Palestinians and their property. In the vast majority of cases, the investigators failed to locate the offenders or to collect sufficient evidence for prosecution.

The new figures are virtually identical to those reported in the past. Accordingly, the past year has not brought any improvement in the ability of the police to investigate offenses by Israeli civilians against Palestinians and their property.

 

Yesh Din is a volunteer organization working to defend the human rights of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation.

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Resource: Full text of Prawer-Begin plan for Negev Bedouin

The Prawer-Begin Plan, as submitted to the Israeli government earlier this year, threatens to displace tens of thousands of Bedouin citizens of Israel living in “unrecognized villages” in the Negev. The plan, which aims to resolve all disputed Bedouin land claims, was drafted without input from the Bedouin community, effectively deciding their fate for them.

The following document is an unofficial translation of the plan former minister Benny Begin submitted to the government in January, which was subsequently approved. The document was translated by Adalah and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

The full, translated text of Israel's Prawer Plan by 972 Magazine

Established in 1972, ACRI is Israel’s oldest and largest human rights organization and the only one dealing with the entire spectrum of rights and civil liberties issues in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Read more about ACRI here

Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel is an independent human rights organization and legal center. Established in November 1996, it works to promote and defend the rights of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, 1.2 million people, or 20 percent of the population, as well as Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).

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Resource: Surveying Palestinian identity in the homeland and diaspora

A new survey by the BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, a non-profit organization that works to defend and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees, attempts to understand how youth of Palestinian heritage (third or fourth generation of displaced Palestinians) identify with their ancestry. BADIL conducted a survey focusing on identity and social ties among Palestinian youth residing in Mandate Palestine (West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Israel), Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.

The results reveal that between 55 to 70 percent of the respondents in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon regard themselves as Palestinians; 45 percent of Palestinian citizens of Israel regard themselves as Palestinians and only 12 percent as ‘Israeli-Arabs’; a majority of majority of Palestinian respondents from all seven geographical areas expressed the opinion that it is either “important” or “very important” to establish and foster social ties with other Palestinian communities.

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Resource: Area C Palestinians under threat of displacement

A new report published by B’Tselem to mark 46 years since Israel occupied the West Bank reveals how the Civil Administration has violated its obligation to administer the area for the benefit of the Palestinian population. Contrary to its legal obligations, the Civil Administration, the body responsible for implementing Israeli government policy in Area C (60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli control), implements exactly the opposite policy.

The Civil Administration consistently prefers Israeli and settlements’ interests while displacing Palestinians, exploiting the area’s resources to benefit Israelis, and bringing about a permanent situation in which Israeli settlements thrive and Palestinian presence is negligible.

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Report: Forced displacement on both sides of the Green Line

By Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel

A new Adalah report documents the parallels between two Palestinian villages, Al-Araqib in Israel and Susiya in the West Bank, which share a single story of struggle against home demolitions and forced displacement. The report sets out the methods of displacement used by Israel to expel Palestinian communities from their land on both sides of the Green Line, and examines the legal context in which it takes place.

Read more:
PHOTOS: Palestinians commemorate Nakba Day with rallies and protests
Remembering the Nakba, understanding this is a shared land
The Nakba: Addressing Israeli arrogance
The Palestinian Nakba: Are Israelis starting to get it?
Despite efforts to erase it, the Nakba’s memory is more present than ever in Israel






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Resource: Over half of Palestinians killed in 'Pillar of Defense' were civilians

Human rights organization B’Tselem published a report reviewing harm to civilians in Operation Pillar of Defense. The report provides statistics on the numbers of Palestinians and Israelis killed over the course of the operation, which lasted from November 14 to 21, 2012. The report challenges the common perception in the Israeli public and media that the operation was ‘surgical’ and caused practically no fatalities among uninvolved Palestinian civilians. Furthermore, the report finds that there was a significant difference between the first and the final days of the operation: of the uninvolved Palestinian fatalities, 80 percent were killed in the last four days of the operation.

According to B’Tselem’s investigation, 167 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli military during the operation. This number includes 62 Palestinians who took part in the hostilities and seven other who were targets of assassination. Of the remaining fatalities, 87 did not take part in the hostilities. With regard to 11 fatalities B’Tselem was unable to determine whether or not they had taken part in the hostilities.

B’TSELEM – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories was established in 1989 by a group of prominent academics, attorneys, journalists, and Knesset members. It endeavors to document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, combat the phenomenon of denial prevalent among the Israeli public, and help create a human rights culture in Israel.

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Report: How settlers turn Palestinian lands into illegal outposts

A new Yesh Din report examines the use of outposts as a means for seizing control of Palestinian land. The report uses the outpost of Adei Ad as a case study to illustrate the manner in which the establishment and growth of an outpost prevent Palestinian farmers from working their land. 

Between 1998 and 2011, the Civil Administration issued 81 demolition orders against buildings and construction work in the outpost. The vast majority of the orders have not been enforced and the outpost remains intact. Yesh Din has documented 96 separate incidents involving criminal offenses committed in the vicinity of Adei Ad. Approximately 92 percent of the files were closed due to failings on the part of the investigators.

The report highlights the connection between the failure of the bodies responsible for enforcing the law and protecting Palestinian persons and property and the seizure of Palestinian land. This process begins with the failure to ensure effective law enforcement against Israeli civilians in the criminal and administrative spheres, and ends when Palestinian landowners are no longer able to farm their land and make a living from its fruit.

Check out the interactive website explaining how illegal outposts are born: here

Yesh Din is a volunteer organization working to defend the human rights of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation.

Related:
The quiet population transfer that dares not speak its name


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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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