May 8, 2024.

Two Legal Wins and Conviction in Jamil Barghouti Case Verdict

Quick look: Victory in SLAPP suit case brought on by Shay Glick against HRD Ketty Bar; criminal case against HRD Ahmad Haj Mahmoud closed with no conviction; Jamil Barghouti convicted of “participating in an illegal demonstration” and “disturbing a soldier during duty” in military court case.

February 12, 2024.

Supreme Court releases Ahmad Khalefa to House Arrest

Palestinian human rights lawyer, Adv. Ahmad Khalefa was finally released from Gilboa Prison to house arrest following our victory in a Supreme Court hearing to appeal his terms of detention. His release comes after 16 weeks of pretrial incarceration following his October 19th arrest, for participating in a peaceful anti-war demonstration in Umm al-Fahm.

January 22, 2024.

Political Prisoners Unjustly Detained Under Horrific Conditions

Two prominent Palestinian human rights defenders, Adv. Ahmed Khalefa and Munther Amira, have been violently targeted and detained for their human rights work as part and parcel of the sweeping crackdown on political dissent since October 2023. Khalefa is being held as a political prisoner after participating in a peaceful protest against the Israeli bombardment on Gaza. Amira has been held in administrative detention since being violently arrested during a raid on his home. Both are suffering from inhumane prison conditions tantamount to torture, including starvation, degradation, and denial of medical treatment.

January 7, 2024.

Munther Amira Al Waara Imprisoned in Administrative Detention

Palestinian human rights defender and a renowned leader in the non-violent movement Munther Amira Al Waara was violently arrested from his home while it was being raided by Israeli soldiers.  Al Waara is one of thousands of Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli security prisons, and is one of the rare few human rights defender in administrative detention with no record of violent activity.

November 20, 2023.

Crackdowns on basic freedoms since the start of the war

Quick look: HRDF human rights lawyer indicted for “incitement to terror;” extreme police violence; mass crackdown on voices of dissent; Issa Amro repeatedly targeted for expulsion from his home in Hebron.

October 27, 2023.

Urgent: Live ammunition to be used on peaceful protestors

This new measure joins several others advanced by Itamar Ben Gvir in the last weeks, such as the establishment of armed local patrol groups (Kitot Koninut), the easing of requirements for obtaining gun license by civilians, and the distribution of 10,000 rifles en masse to Israeli residents and settlers.

September 4, 2023.

2023 Aachen Peace Prize Ceremony

We are proud and humbled to share with you that the Human Rights Defenders Fund has been awarded the esteemed Aachen Peace Prize for 2023.

This award is not just for us. It is for the tens of thousands of human rights defenders on the ground fighting fiercely and courageously for justice every day between the river and the sea.

July 11, 2023.

Eviction of Ghaith-Sub Laban Family and Political Arrest of Gil Hammerschlag

In the early hours of the morning between 5:00 and 6:00 am, Israeli police forces broke into the home of the Ghaith-Sub Laban family in Jerusalem’s Old City quarters, and evicted by force the multi-generational family who has lived there for 70 years since 1953. Shortly thereafter, settlers entered the apartment…

June 27, 2023.

Update: Partial success in appeal of Issa Amro case

The entire case from start to finish has been a clear targeted attempt to suppress Amro’s human rights work and political activities, violating basic human rights and protections that military court law does not guarantee to Palestinians living under occupation. HRDF ultimately secured acquittals for 14 out of 18 counts throughout the course of the entire trial, and secured a reduced sentence that ensured Amro will not face any prison time.

May 24, 2023.

Urgent: Taxation bill scheduled for Sunday vote

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation is scheduled to vote on a bill that would impose a 65% tax on civil society organizations funded by “foreign state entities.” If this taxation bill passes, it will effectively cripple all operations of human rights organizations in Israel, who rely heavily on grants from partner foundations funded by international state entities.

May 17, 2023.

Abductions and Arbitrary Detention in the South Hebron Hills

We have monitored a total of 28 individuals who were abducted with concealed whereabouts between April and May, as part and parcel of larger efforts to expel Palestinians from the area.

February 16, 2023.

The Alarming Arrest of Yonatan Pollak

Pollak was charged with assaulting a police officer on the pretext that he threw stones at a Border Police vehicle – an accusation that Pollak categorically denies. Save for the witness testimonies of the two arresting border police officers, there is no material evidence (video or otherwise) to corroborate this charge, and Pollak claims that he overheard the two arresting officers coordinating their specific version of events…

September 23, 2022.

Arrest of Prominent HRD Hafez Huraini

Huraini was injured in both his arms as a result of the attack from the six settlers. While Huraini was immediately detained, arrested and interrogated for attempted murder, the settler remained free.

August 22, 2022.

Human Rights are not Terrorism 

Following the declaration of prominent Palestinian civil society organizations as terrorist groups by Israel, several prominent Israeli human rights organizations came out with a solidarity statement. The statement repudiated the baseless declarations and called for the international community to pressure Israel to revoke its decision.

June 16, 2022.

Cancellation of indictments against Israeli HRDs

During the Covid-19 enforced lockdown several Israeli HRDs received fines while taking part in demonstrations and protective presence in the South Hebron Hills. Adv. Gabi Lasky and adv. Riham Nassra requested to cancel these fines, claiming the activists’s actions were legal. Since it was clear that the Covid regulations were abused by the state, and the fines were given to deter the HRDs from doing their human rights work, the lawyers requested a judiciary decision instead of a fine and the HRDs were indicted accordingly. After further pursuing the matter adv. Nassra succeeded in convincing the prosecution to cancel all indictments.

April 1, 2022.

Mistreatment of Palestinian student’s freedom of speech

Two Palestinian students from East Jerusalem were detained at the Hebrew University for singing a song in Arabic, by fellow students who are also members of the Israeli police. They were detained at the police station for over eight hours, after which they were released with bail and a six-days ban from the university. Despite support from university professors, the appeal to revoke the student’s ban was rejected by the judge, claiming that the police officers’ actions were legal and that the students’ right to freedom of speech can be compromised for other rights under certain circumstances.

February 25, 2022.

Israeli prosecution drops charges against Israeli HRD 

Israeli HRD Sisat Fante was indicted for allegedly threatening and insulting a police officer during a demonstration. In the court hearing Fante’s lawyer strongly insisted that his sayings were protected by freedom of speech. Video footage from the event also shows that Fante was not arrested by the officers he allegedly offended. His lawyer claimed Fante was indicted two months after he sued the police in civil court, claiming that he was individually persecuted for his political views and that he was falsely arrested. Following the hearing and the strong line of defense, the prosecution decided to cancel the indictment.

January 20, 2022.

Eviction in the middle of the night in Sheikh Jarrah

On the night of January 19th, the Salhiyeh family members were violently evicted from their home in Sheikh Jarrah in which they lived since 1958. During the eviction, eighteen Palestinian and Israelis HRDs were arrested, including family members. Most HRD’s were released that night with terms. The Salhiyeh family members were brought to court since they were arrested days before in a previous attempt to evict them. Despite the police’s efforts to extend their arrest, the judge ruled that they pose no threat and released them with terms.

October 24, 2021.

Draconian Measures against Human Rights Organizations

Following the designation of six prominent Palestinian Human Rights Organizations as terrorist organizations , a statement of solidarity by the Human Rights Defenders Fund.

October 14, 2021.

HRD’s Violently Arrested during Solidarity Olive Harvest 

Three HRD’s were violently arrested by the Israeli army, while assisting Palestinian families in their yearly olive harvest. Even though the lands were private Palestinian lands and they were entitled to enter them for harvesting, the HRD’s were arrested allegedly for entering a closed military zone and assaulting a soldier. The two Israeli HRD’s were released with terms after legal deliberations, yet the police demanded that the Palestinian HRD Muhammed Hatib would remain under arrest. Adv. Riham Nassra persisted and he was as well released with terms.

September 26, 2021.

“Waving a Palestinian flag does not constitute a criminal offense”

During the weekly protest in Sheikh Jarrah, four protesters were violently arrested by police for waving Palestinian flags. One of the four was injured in the head by police during the arrest and hospitalized. All four protesters, one of whom is a minor, were arrested on suspicion of participating in a riot and disturbing the peace by waving the flags. During their court hearing, the judge watched the videos documenting the peaceful protest, up to the point where the police decided to confiscate flags and use severe violence and brutality against the protesters. The judge ruled that the act of waving a Palestinian flag does not constitute a criminal offense, nor in this case did it constitute a disturbance of the peace, and the judge ordered for the immediate release of the HRD without condition.

September 26, 2021.

Arrest of seven Palestinian Journalists

During a peaceful demonstration against the establishment of the new outposts and settlers’ violence in South Hebron hills, the Israeli military arrested seven Palestinian journalists who were covering the protest. The journalists were arrested and their equipment was confiscated shortly after the protest was over when they were heading to their cars, although they identified themselves as journalists to the soldiers. After legal consultation they were interrogated and released without conditions, and their equipment was returned.

July 14, 2021.

Human Rights NGO wins Defamation Lawsuit

Right-wing activist Shai Glick filled a 100,000 ILS defamation lawsuit against Israeli NGO Emek Shaveh which ended in a settlement. The lawsuit was filed following a discussion about construction in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, on the organizations Facebook page. Glick, who joined the discussion, was accused of spreading lies by the page administrator and not long after filed the defamation lawsuit. In the settlement agreement, Glick acknowledged that political disagreements should take place in the public sphere, rather than in court, and Emek Shaveh, was not required to pay any damages to Glick.

May 24, 2021.

Securing Freedom of Expression in Sheikh Jarrah and Beyond

During the difficult time and violent events of April and May 2021, HRDF operated a hotline offering legal representation, advice and on-call lawyers in Sheikh Jarrah, West Jerusalem, Haifa and other cities which delivered legal aid and representation to 63 human rights defenders, residents of Sheikh Jarrah and others.

March 23, 2021.

Military Court sentences human rights defender Issa Amro to Suspended Prison sentence 

After a five-year long trial, the Israeli Military Court sentences prominent Palestinian human rights defender Issa Amro to a three month suspended prison sentence for a probation period of two years, after being convicted of assault, taking part in an illegal march and demonstration, and disrupting a soldier. Even though it does not include imprisonment, the sentence severely restricts Amro’s ability to pursue activities aimed at protecting and promoting human rights in the OPT, and to exercise his freedom of expression.

February 28, 2021.

15 Bedouin HRD’s arrested for Protesting Appropriation of their land

During a demonstration against a State operation of land ploughing and infrastructure demolishing of Bedouin villages in the Negev, 15 citizens including a minor were arbitrarily arrested. 11 of them were detained in a police vehicle from the morning hours until the evening while being deprived from food and water. The police conduct in this case constitutes a violation of freedom of expression, breaching international standards.

January 7, 2021.

Military Court convicts Issa Amro

The Israeli Military Court convicted prominent Palestinian human rights defender Issa Amro on assault, taking part in an illegal march, disrupting a soldier, and taking part in an illegal demonstration. All the incidents leading to the indictment involved peaceful activity on Amro’s behalf, followed by his assault by soldiers and the police, which in some cases required medical treatment. Amro was also acquitted of 12 other charges after the Prosecution failed to bring evidence to support its claims.

November 24, 2020.

Rare Victory at the Supreme Court: Appeal of Bedouin HRD’s accepted

The Supreme Court granted the appeal of six members of the Abu Madhi’m A-Turi family of the unrecognized Bedouin village Al-‘Arāgīb, and overturned the ruling of the District Court, which ordered they pay costs in the amount of over 1M ILS, to cover the expenses of eight demolitions of their village carried out by the state in 2010. The court accepted the appeal to decrease the costs amount to comply with principles of justice and equality, and due to the fact that this is the first time the police civilly sue civilians to cover the costs of its official and budgeted work.

November 11, 2020.

Criminal Proceedings against Bedouin HRD’s Suspended

Following a four-year legal battle, the Magistrate’s Court stayed the criminal proceedings against six members of the Abu Madhi’m A-Turi family of the unrecognized Bedouin village Al-‘Arāgīb. The event which led to their indictment was when the family and other community members were arrested while peacefully protesting in front of bulldozers that were working on the villages lands on behalf of the Jewish National Fund.

September 21, 2020.

Court sentences Bedouin HRD’s to Imprisonment

Members of the Abu Madhi’m A-Turi family of the unrecognized Bedouin village Al-‘Arāgīb were sentenced to imprisonment by the Magistrate’s Court after being convicted following a protest in which they were defending their land from bulldozers. The criminalization of the Abu-Madhi’m family for living on their land, and the findings that this is an offence that carries prison sentences, effectively criminalizes thousands of Bedouin citizens with similar status on the land.

September 21, 2020.

Court sentences Bedouin HRD’s to Imprisonment

Members of the Abu Madhi’m A-Turi family of the unrecognized Bedouin village Al-‘Arāgīb were sentenced to imprisonment by the Magistrate’s Court after being convicted following a protest in which they were defending their land from bulldozers. The criminalization of the Abu-Madhi’m family for living on their land, and the findings that this is an offence that carries prison sentences, effectively criminalizes thousands of Bedouin citizens with similar status on the land.

July 27, 2020.

Hundreds Violently Arrested as Mass Demonstrations Across Israel Continue

Thousands of citizens across the country flooded the streets to protest the economic crisis caused by Covid-19, the lack of governmental aid, and a line of anti-democratic measures imposed by the government. During the mass demonstrations hundreds were violently arrested by the police and were supported by the HRDF hotline and funded lawyer Adv. Leah Tsemel.

May 13, 2020.

Victory in Military Court: Criminal Proceedings Against HRD Suspended 

Following a five-year legal battle, all criminal proceedings against HRD Zihad Mahamra were suspended. For years, Mahamra and his family refused to give up and persisted to defend their lands in the village of Bir al Eid, withstanding numerous violent attacks and harassments by settlers. Mahamra was indicted after falsely being accused of assaulting a settler , even though he was the one who had been attacked in the event.