Legal Work

Court demands State explain why it’s blocked land access for Palestinians in S. Hebron Hills

1 Comment 05 March 2018

Last Monday (February 26 2018), High Court Justice Uzi Fogelman summoned the State and demanded to know why it has not yet permitted Palestinians to enter their land located next to the Shani Livna settlement.

“Israel Supreme Court” by israeltourism – Flickr: Israel Supreme Court. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons –

By Attorney Yair Nehorai, director of Rabbis for Human Rights legal project


The agricultural land discussed belongs to the Palestinian village Samoa. It is located between the separation fence and the Green Line. In order to cross the separation fence and reach their land beyond it, the residents must coordinate entry with the army. Unfortunately, these requests have been rejected for years, resulting in the inability of the farmers to work their land. However, while the Palestinian farmers were barred from the land, a resident of the Israeli community Shani Livna on the other side of the separation fence, decided to make use of the land for himself. The Palestinian farmers — the owners of that land — were not aware of this. In court, the intruder was not able to produce legal justification for his invasion, and the Court ordered the State to explain its prohibition on the entry of Palestinian residents.

During the year, the State repeatedly postponed its response for various reasons. Last week, the Court demanded a clear response. Justice Fogelman informed the State that if a satisfactory response is not received by March 28, the court will issue an order instructing the Palestinians to work their land.

Instead of working for justice, the State Attorney’s Office acted in this case as the private lawyers of the settler that committed the land encroachment. They produced evidence for the encroacher, paid for the aerial photography and its interpretation, and financed the expert legal opinion, all instead of performing their required legal duties; even if presenting it as a dispute over ownership, they should have tried to decide on it objectively. We argue as such: this is not an ownership dispute, but rather a clear take-over leveraged by the State’s policies in the area.

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1 comment

  1. Ann Sprayregen says:

    disheartening the lengths the state has gone to to deprive Palestinians of their lands and rights.

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