Justice in Israel, Legal Work

His day in court: Legal victory marks step forward in the fight to save public housing

No Comments 06 October 2014

RHR Advocate Becky Cohen-Keshet specializes in public housing in Israel. On Thursday October 2nd, the day before the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, where Jews atone for their sins and believe their fates for the coming year to be sealed, she achieved a victory for public housing at the High Court. It is our hope that this case will act as a stepping stone in our struggle to save public housing in Israel, so that all those in need of a stable, safe home will have one.   Continue Reading

General, Justice in Israel, Legal Work, Occupied Territories, Parasha / E-Letter

Yom Kippur Thoughts 5775: Distinguishing between Masui and Ratsui

No Comments 03 October 2014

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Click here for RHR’s annual Yom Kippur vidui. The annual Assif Rukhani (Spiritual Harvest – The list of some of what is good and positive about Israel and Israelis, as well as some of RHR’s accomplishments in this past year) will be posted on our website (www.rhr.org.il/eng) on Sunday, along with beautiful ushpizin (Sukkah guests) posters featuring original artwork depicting some of those who we wish to welcome into our sukkah and into our hearts. Continue Reading

General, Justice in Israel, Justice in Israel-Negev Bedouin, Legal Work, Occupied Territories

Is Hope Defensible? Rosh Hashana thoughts 5775 by Rabbi Arik Ascherman

1 Comment 23 September 2014

Is Hope Defensible?
Rosh HaShana Thoughts 5775 Continue Reading

Education, General, Justice in Israel, Justice in Israel-Negev Bedouin, Legal Work, Occupied Territories

“Come as Far as you Can”: RHR’s High Holiday Appeal

1 Comment 22 September 2014

An appeal by Rabbis for Human Rights Co-chairs Rabbi Amy Klein, and Rabbi Moshe Yehudai, and Rabbi Arik Ascherman, president and senior rabbi for RHR, on the upcoming High Holidays. Continue Reading

Legal Work, Occupied Territories, Press Releases

Authorities demolish 9 structures in Khirbet Ar-Rahwa in the South Hebron Hills

No Comments 07 September 2014

The following update on demolitions in Khirbet ar-Rahma comes Operation Dove, an Italian NGO that focuses on the South Hebron Hills.

Khirbet ar-Rahma is a small and poor Palestinian village in Area C of the Occupied Territories. Since its location in Area C means it is under full Israeli control, the villagers are subjected to the Israeli military planning system that blocks almost every Palestinian attempt at building and developing within their village. Whatever is built,  is demolished every now and again, as demonstrated by this most recent demolition.  In the background of the photos, please note the  new Jewish settlement, some of  which is illegal by the Israeli law,  but nevertheless is permitted to stay intact. This is an example of institutionalized discrimination, and demonstrates why RHR submitted an appeal to the High Court of Justice to return planning authority to the Palestinians in Area C.  Continue Reading

General, Legal Work, Occupied Territories

“What I have Witnessed in Susiya” By Rabbi Arik Ascherman

No Comments 22 June 2014

The following article was written by Rabbi Arik Ascherman, president and senior rabbi of RHR. It originally appeared in the Jewish Chronicle Online. 

What I have Witnessed in Susiya

By Rabbi Arik Ascherman

South Hebron Hills 1-3-2014 (20) Continue Reading

General, Legal Work, Occupied Territories

REPORTS: Palestinian Child Chased by Extremists near Susiya Settlement

No Comments 16 June 2014

Yesterday, Palestinian residents from the Palestinian village Susya reported that two right wing extremists chased a Palestinian boy in an agricultural area belonging to the village, located near the settlement Susiya. Palestinian residents of Susya have suffered from many instances of violent harassment in this agricultural area and following legal action by Rabbis for Human Rights, an order was issued prohibiting Israelis from entering the area. (In more “typical” circumstances, a government would deter criminal activity and there would be no need for an order forbidding entry on the basis of nationality.) In any case, the boy was able to run away and reach the village before he was caught and adults from the village ran towards the boy to deter those chasing him. Their fears range from the regular attempts to harm Palestinians including children to the fear that this is a retaliation for the recent kidnapping of three Yeshiva students.

Maan News: Settlers ‘Hurl Rocks at residents, houses,’ in South Hebron Hills

RHR prays for the safety of the three kidnapped yeshiva students

The reasons behind the incident are not clear and thus the fears surrounding it remain. We will continue to monitor the situation and warn that violence without intervention simply perpetuates the cycle of hatred and revenge and endangers life on both sides. We can point, for example, to Iraq, the country with the highest rate of terrorism in the world and see how the extremists on both sides – Shiite and Sunni – have chosen to respond to terrorism with more indiscriminate terrorism and see that it has not led to quiet or to deterrence but to an intolerable cycle of violence.

IMAGE: For demonstrative purposes only.

General, Legal Work, Occupied Territories

IDF Participates in Land Takeover Alongside Avigail Outpost

No Comments 12 June 2014

It seems that the only thing that could get the IDF to consider moving a barracks from private Palestinian land is a High Court date. But even if they do move the barracks, the outpost it is on still succeeds in its main objective: preventing Palestinians from accessing their land. Avigialoutpost

Despite numerous previous requests, only after our appeal at the Israeli High Court of Justice, has  the IDF began considering moving a structure, located on private Palestinian land,  that has been utilized for years as barracks at the illegal outpost “Avigail.” In addition, even if Palestinian ownership of the land were to be fully respected, the remaining parts of the outpost (on either side of the Palestinian land) leave a narrow path between the two sections of it [see map] which, in reality, would be prohibited to Palestinians as it is a security zone. In this way, the outpost is used to effectively deprive Palestinians of their land without even building on it.

The structure that was used as the army barracks was built on private Palestinian land in the illegal outpost Abigail. Despite numerous requests from Rabbis for Human Rights, the IDF has not evacuated the building (monitoring procedures were “on paper” only, but were not implemented). Only after a High Court appeal did we find in one of the state’s responses,  to our surprise,   that the structure  is usually used as a soldier residence. Following the petition, the army is currently exploring options in the regional brigade to move the structure – or so it seems, at least.

Haaretz: After evicting Palestinians, Israel seeks to legalize outpost in firing zone

General, Legal Work, Occupied Territories

Handcuffed while harvesting: RHR helps coordinate release of handcuffed workers

No Comments 26 May 2014

 Despite following direction from the army to harvest his wheat, a Palestinian farmer with lands very close to two settlements’ was interpreted by the army and his workers handcuffed as they attempted the task. Though it cannot be proven, RHR suspects the army was called in by the requests of observing settlers.  Continue Reading

General, Legal Work, Occupied Territories

The Empty Plot Test: Looking at an entire Palestinian village and seeing only empty space

No Comments 18 May 2014

A Supreme Court ruling from 2010 established the “Empty Plot” test to be utilized in when deciding the fate of structures deemed illegal in Palestinian villages.

While the test itself masquerades as a purely objective, legal-technical planning tool, RHR Attorney Netta Amar Shiff explains how it is actually “a doctrine of denial and concealment” hiding a policy seeking to fully erase the Palestinian people, history and culture. Continue Reading

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