As 2020 winds to a close, HaMoked is taking stock of its efforts over the past year to promote and protect the human rights of Palestinians. It has been an extremely challenging year, with Coronavirus restrictions, the threat of Israeli annexation of the West Bank, the freeze in coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, and increasing public hostility towards our work.
Despite these challenges, HaMoked can be proud of everything it has accomplished:
- We continued to lead the battle against Israel’s punitive home demolition policy, bringing four cases before the High Court of Justice, and successfully cancelling two demolitions.
- We demanded respect for the rights of Palestinian minors in Israeli detention. Our litigation ensured that detained minors can maintain phone contact with their families throughout the Coronavirus crisis, until prison visits are reinstated. And more recently, we published new research and petitioned the High Court of Justice demanding that the military stop violently arresting teenagers from their homes in the middle of the night.
- In hundreds of individual cases, as well as principled litigation, we challenged restrictions on Palestinian access to the lands trapped behind the Separation Barrier: in a landmark victory last month, the military cancelled the quota on the number of days per year that farmers can access their lands behind the Barrier. And in June, we petitioned the High Court demanding that Israel dismantle a segment of the Barrier entirely, as it cuts off three communities’ access to their farmlands.
- In addition to our “normal” work, we responded to the needs created by the Coronavirus crisis, helping Palestinians stranded abroad due to sudden border closures; ensuring that Israel extended East Jerusalem family unification permits during the first lockdown; demanding the military lift arbitrary checkpoint closures it introduced without advance notice; and disseminating vital information to the Palestinian public regarding Coronavirus policies and the ways in which rights can be realized despite these restrictions.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported our work during the past year: we could not have done so much without you. If you have not yet made a donation to HaMoked this year, please support us so we can continue helping thousands of Palestinians in 2021: donate now to support HaMoked’s efforts to achieve greater respect for Palestinian rights.
Wishing a happy Hannukah and a merry Christmas to those celebrating – and a better, healthier and more hopeful 2021 for us all,
Executive Director of HaMoked