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  • The Israeli gov't is arguing that annexation is good for Palestinians

    In a High Court case over a law to legalize Israeli settlements built on stolen, privately owned Palestinian land, the attorney hired to represent the government (because the attorney general refused to do so) argues that Palestinians, and not just settlers, would actually benefit. Israel's High Court of Justice heard arguments on Sunday against the "Formalization Law," which would retroactively legalize settlements built illegally on private Palestinian land. Sunday’s hearing was remarkable, and not only because of the law’s potential consequences. After all, it’s not every day that attorneys Michael Sfard and Hassan Jabareen, two of the country’s most prominent…

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  • In Haifa, a display of Palestinian grassroots power

    The combined efforts of Palestinians in using their bodies, cameras, and voices to support detained protesters made it impossible for the police to hide the severity of their actions. The release of 19 Palestinian citizens of Israel on Monday, who had been arrested since Friday, after police violently dispersed a demonstration in Haifa against last week's mass killings in Gaza, is a fleeting speck in the context of recent events in the conflict. As the detained activists have emphasized, their experiences are nothing compared to what Palestinians are subjected to in the blockaded Strip. But after weeks of tragic news,…

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  • Top court hears first major challenge to IDF's live fire in Gaza

    Human rights groups argue the army's open-fire regulations violate international law. The government claims the use of deadly force is justified — even against unarmed demonstrators. Israel's High Court of Justice heard on Monday a major challenge to the IDF's rules of engagement, which permit the use of live fire against demonstrators who pose no danger to human life. [tmwinpost] Monday's session saw opening arguments in two petitions submitted by several prominent human rights organizations — one by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Yesh Din, Gisha, and HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual and one by Adalah…

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  • IDF using Facebook to threaten to destroy Gaza family's home

    The army says Hamas built a tunnel under a six-story apartment building that houses the Hammad family, threatening to destroy it. Most of the family has already fled. The IDF is using Facebook to threaten to destroy the home of a Gaza family, claiming Hamas has built a tunnel directly underneath it. [tmwinpost] On August 10, Yoav Mordechai, commander of the IDF's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), announced on the unit's Arabic Facebook page that the IDF had discovered two tunnels built by Hamas, which has ruled the Strip since 2006, under both an apartment building and a nearby mosque in…

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  • Israel is razing a Bedouin village to build a Jewish-only town on its ruins

    Israeli authorities have promised the courts that the displaced Bedouin residents would have an opportunity to live in the new community. New documents show that is far from the case. Despite assurances made to Israel's High Court of Justice, a new town being built on the ruins of a Bedouin village in southern Israel is intended for Jews only, according to the bylaws of the future town's cooperative association. Israel first notified the residents of Umm al-Hiran, Bedouin citizens of Israel, that it plans to demolish their entire village and build another community in its place 15 years ago. A…

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  • Palestinians hold general strike in support of hunger-striking prisoners

    Over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners have refused food for nearly two weeks to protest prison conditions and practices like administrative detention. A 'day of rage' is planned for Friday. A general strike in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners on took place across the West Bank and East Jerusalem on Thursday. Shops in commercial districts shuttered their doors, leaving normally busy streets and markets empty. [tmwinpost] “Shops, institutions, banks, and schools all closed in support of the hunger strikers,” Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported. In addition, a “day of rage” was planned for Friday, with protests expected in a number of Palestinian…

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  • When the High Court has to intervene so a Palestinian family can mourn

    After Israeli police shot and killed Yaqub Musa Abu al-Qi'an before demolishing his home, the state held onto his body for nearly a week. Only an appeal to the High Court allowed his family to bury their loved one. The only way to describe what took place on Monday in Israel's High Court, during a hearing on a petition by the Abu al-Qi'an family demanding the police release the body of Yaqub Musa Abu al-Qi'an, is as a nerve-racking drama. For three hours, those present in the courthouse — police officials on one side, and members of the Abu al-Qi'an…

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  • Strip-searching Arab passengers at Israeli airports is illegal, rights group says

    Not only are Arabs profiled at Israeli airports, it turns out the way security personnel search and follow them may also be illegal. Despite dozens of testimonies, Airport Authority denies utilizing strip searches at all. Israeli airport security is notorious for profiling and discriminating against Arab passengers, from invasive and humiliating questioning and strip searches, assigning security officer to escort them as they walk through the airport after undergoing a security check, and more. Could it be that authorities don't actually have the legal authority to do all that? [tmwinpost] In a letter to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and Israel Airports Authority (IAA) Director General…

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  • Two years after Gaza war, not a single war crime indictment

    The Israeli military's law enforcement system and its flawed investigative mechanisms appear primarily geared toward protecting the armed forces instead of civilians, thus allowing impunity to prevail. By Muna Haddad Two years after the Israeli military offensive on Gaza, dubbed "Operation Protective Edge," more than half of the civilian structures destroyed during the war have yet to be reconstructed, and Palestinian residents of the coastal strip are still finding bones amongst the ruins. And two years after that devastating offensive, Israeli authorities are again proving what previous experience with the Israeli system has long made clear: Israel is unwilling to conduct…

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  • Police allowed to shoot stone throwers: Botched redaction reveals rules of engagement

    Israeli police are pressured to release new rules of engagement for using live ammunition. The document reveals cops are allowed to shoot stone throwers. The kicker: police tried to black out some of the regulations, but their black marker was running low on ink. Israel Police revealed its live-fire rules of engagement Monday in response to a court petition filed by civil rights group Adalah. Parts of the document were redacted with a black marker, but was done so sloppily that large parts of the redaction is still readable (all of it with a little manipulation in photoshop). [tmwinpost] The…

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  • Leading Israeli rights group to stop cooperating with the IDF

    The Israeli military justice system acts only to 'cover up unlawful acts and protect perpetrators,' B'Tselem says, citing 25 years of experience working with the military. Palestinian rights expert welcomes the move. Israel’s best known human rights organization, B’Tselem, has lost all faith in the Israeli military justice system and will stop cooperating with it on behalf of Palestinian victims, the organization announced Wednesday. A quarter century of experience working with the army “has brought us to the realization that there is no longer any point in pursuing justice and defending human rights by working with a system whose real function is…

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  • When equality is the biggest existential threat of all

    In these days of entrapping human rights activists and blacklisting 'traitors,' the concept of equality has become as radical as it gets — and a threat to everything the governing regime stands for. Last week Israeli lawmakers had the opportunity to take a first step towards enshrining equality in the law. They rejected this opportunity, voting down Joint List MK Jamal Zahalka's proposed amendment to include a clause on equality in Israel's Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. [tmwinpost] The vote was taken on a preliminary reading of Zahalka's bill, meaning that it was shot down before it even left…

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  • Is Israel's High Court the enemy of human rights?

    As we mark International Human Rights Day, it is worth challenging the myth that Israel's High Court is the defender of human rights in Israel.  By Noam Rotem When he woke up from his nightmare one morning, Mr. Israeli discovered that the Israeli High Court had turned into a giant insect. Tasked with balancing the sickening populism of the legislative branch and fighting to protect Israeli democracy, the High Court has become the legal rubber stamp for the racist caprices of its overlords. This week, as we marked International Human Rights Day, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority…

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