Analysis News

High Court of Justice

  • How the very concept of human rights has failed Palestinians

    Certain rights should be inalienable — yet Israel refuses to grant them to Palestinians and the world continues to treat the country as a rights-based democracy. What does this absurdity say about human rights as a political tool, and about the powers, entities and institutions that speak in their name? Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman MK David Rotem laid out some of his beliefs and world views in an extensive interview with Israeli financial daily Globes a few weeks ago. One of Rotem’s statements – which made the headline of the piece - was that “human rights are [reserved]…

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  • Israel’s High Court chooses occupation over international law

    In at least two major decisions, Israel’s top court has shown it is prepared to uphold grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention amounting to war crimes, and to give its implicit endorsement to unlawful discrimination. By Gerard Horton Sitting as the High Court of Justice, Israel’s Supreme Court has heard thousands of petitions submitted on behalf of Palestinians living under military occupation since 1967. This gives rise to an unusual situation whereby the highest civilian court in Israel permits individuals, who could be considered as enemy aliens, to submit petitions challenging the actions of Israel’s military in occupied territory.…

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  • A slightly ‘less crazy’ Israel

    A few thoughts on the decision to shut down Israel's detention facility for African asylum seekers, what the High Court ruling says about the gratuitous and political arrests of Palestinian protesters in Israel, and the assassination that only took place if you read Hebrew.   1. A slightly ‘less crazy’ Israel Following the Israeli High Court decision on Monday to shut down Holot and cancel the piece of legislation that permitted the indefinite detention of African asylum seekers (the way the law was written, non-African asylum seekers were never in danger of indefinite detention), Darfuri refugee Mutasim Ali wrote in…

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  • High Court to rule on indefinite detention of African asylum seekers

    The amendment to the Prevention of Infiltration Law permits the state to indefinitely detain African asylum seekers whom it cannot deport. A previous version of the law was struck down. Israel’s High Court of Justice was expected to decide whether to uphold or strike down key parts of a law that allows the indefinite detention of African asylum seekers in its ‘Holot’ detention facility. The court struck down a previous version of the law, prompting lawmakers to quickly draft a replacement — one that introduced even more severe problems. A key intention and consequence of the new law that the…

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  • In search of teens, soldiers 'looted' Palestinian homes

    Palestinians reported numerous incidents of looting by IDF soldiers during Operation Brother's Keeper in the West Bank. Here’s the first case documented by Yesh Din. By Yossi Gurvitz for Yesh Din During Operation Brother’s Keeper, IDF soldiers invaded thousands of houses in the West Bank, under the pretext of looking for the three kidnapped teenagers. These raids give us brief glimpse at the differences between Palestinians living under Israeli control and Israeli citizens. For instance, were someone to be kidnapped in Petah Tikva, no one would imagine placing the city under curfew, preventing its denizens from traveling abroad or carrying…

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  • Israel renews restrictions on nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu

    Despite serving 18 years in prison, including 11 in solitary confinement, Vanunu is forbidden from traveling and speaking to the media. Recently, he was denied a permit to speak before the British Parliament, following an invitation by 54 MPs.  The Israeli interior minister and the IDF Central Command have decided to extend restrictions on nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu's freedom of movement and speech. Vanunu’s attorney, Avigdor Feldman, has been notified on the decision and told +972 Magazine he will once again petition the High Court of Justice on Vanunu's case. Since his release from prison in 2004, Vanunu hasn't been…

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  • Court case challenges the building blocks of occupation

    The Israel army almost automatically rejects building permits for Palestinians in 60 percent of the West Bank. One of the least sexy aspects of the conflict, a new court case aims to challenge the discriminatory regime of building permits and planning. The Israeli High Court of Justice on Monday will hear a petition asking to restore planning rights in Area C of the West Bank to Palestinian local and district planning committees, which were abolished by the Israeli military in 1971. The petitioners, local Palestinian leaders and Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations, hope to give Palestinians a say in…

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  • Protecting the secrets of Israel's settlement enterprise

    MK David Rotem unabashedly stopped a vote that would apply Israel’s freedom of information act to the World Zionist Organization’s (WZO) “Settlement Division,” an extra-governmental organization that receives 100 percent of its budget from the State of Israel and is responsible for much of the settlement building in the West Bank. Why would he do such a thing? When asked by opposition MKs Zehava Galon and Ahmed Tibi, the chairman of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee made no effort to hide his agenda: “I want to stop you from getting information to use in [petitions to the High…

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  • Boycott goes on trial in Israel's High Court

    Civil rights organizations argue the 'anti-boycott law' has created a chilling effect, stifling debate on one of the most divisive issues facing Israeli society. If that's the case, the state counters, then how has BDS grown so much in recent years? In a hearing that felt at times like the political boycott itself was on trial, an extended panel of nine justices from Israel’s High Court of Justice heard arguments for and against legislation targeting calls to boycott Israel on Sunday. It was the second such session following petitions by civil rights groups asking the court to strike down the…

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  • PHOTOS: In fight against the wall, does Cremisan have a prayer?

    After more than two years of vigils by Palestinian Christians that gained widespread international attention, the Israeli High Court issued a preliminary order questioning the path of the separation barrier that would further divide West Bank land, cutting off the Cremisan monastery and a valley of olive groves. Photos and text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org “What do we do? We pray,” said Father Ibrahim Shomali to the crowd assembled in an olive grove in the West Bank town of Beit Jala. “Because we believe in God and we believe that one day he will hear our prayer and he will…

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  • The tragedy of the lost Yemenite children: In the footsteps of the adoptees

    Between the years 1948 and 1952, thousands of Yemenite babies, children of immigrants to the newly-founded State of Israel were allegedly taken away from their parents and given up for adoption to Ashkenazi families. Now, poet and activist Shlomi Hatuka goes back and speaks to the adoptees about one of the most painful, covered-up stories in the history of the state. By Shlomi Hatuka (translated by Miriam Erez) Dedicated to my grandmother, who gave birth to twins in a hospital, and came home with only one of them. May her memory be a blessing. In Tsipi Talmor’s documentary film, Down…

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  • In West Bank settlement, the state is legalizing lawlessness

    The state told the High Court of Justice that it has no intention of enforcing demolition orders in the settlement of Ofra 'due to its special condition.' History tells us that if this dangerous precedent is accepted, it won't be the last time this happens. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz If one had to choose a musical theme for this High Court of Justice hearing, it would have to be the famous whistle of "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." If one had to choose a movie theme, he/she should consider settling on tumbleweed rolling in the wind…

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  • PHOTOS: A decade on, Citizenship Law still denies Palestinians their rights

    By: Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills & Physicians For Human Rights-Israel, special thanks to Hiba Amara One of the fundamental rights to which a citizen is entitled is the right to marry and build a family in her or his own state. In practice, any person who marries an Israeli citizen is entitled to begin a procedure that will eventually lead to their recognition as a resident or a citizen of the state. This right was honored, in general, until just over a decade ago. In May 2002, at the height of the Second Intifada, the Israeli government decided to freeze this procedure for…

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