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Dear Friends,

In these very discouraging times, I am pleased to have some good news to report regarding our ongoing efforts against the Separation Barrier permit regime in the West Bank. Last week, the High Court of Justice accepted our petition against the Israeli military’s policy to deny permits to Palestinian farmers whose land was classified as a "tiny plot".

Remember that Israel justified the Separation Barrier, and the permit regime to reach lands on the other side of it, solely on security grounds. Yet over the years, the military has imposed more and more restrictions on farmers’ access to their lands for reasons unrelated to security.

The "tiny plot" restriction prevented thousands of Palestinians from cultivating their lands, based on an arbitrary determination by the military that their plot was too small and therefore “does not warrant cultivation.” The Court accepted our petition, ruling that this restriction "leads to disproportionate harm to the right to property of landowners.”

And, for the first time, the Court also acknowledged that the value of ancestral farmlands cannot be reduced to their commercial value. As Justice Barak-Erez wrote: “This economic-commercial measure does not necessarily suit the value that land cultivation bestows on landowners, including the familial, traditional and cultural value”.

The State now has 90 days to amend the permit regulations, such that even those who are defined as owners of “tiny plots” will receive long-term permits to access them and can cultivate them as they see fit.

Even as we celebrate this achievement, we do not lose sight of the big picture: because Israel built the Barrier inside the West Bank, Palestinians still need to navigate a hostile military bureaucracy to get a permit to cross the Barrier to access their land.  HaMoked calls for all segments of the Barrier built inside the West Bank to be dismantled. Until that happens, we will continue challenging the military’s permit bureaucracy and providing individual assistance to Palestinian farmers. 




Jessica Montell
Executive Director of HaMoked


"My mother and I refused to give up on our rights to reach our land, and in the end justice prevailed. It wasn’t easy, and it took a long time, but it was well-worth the struggle. And I am so glad that our case will also enable so many other farmers to realize their rights. May God bless HaMoked for their efforts on our behalf."

Fathi Ta’meh who together with his mother Rasmiyah Ta’meh petitioned against the “tiny plot” restrictions


How You Can Help
We need your support to continue providing free legal aid and advocating for policy changes to protect the human rights of Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.
Comprehensive HaMoked report
“Creeping Dispossession: Israeli Restrictions on Palestinian Farming Beyond the Barrier”
Read More
The HCJ grants HaMoked’s petition
Military must amend the harsh “tiny plot” restriction used to prevent West Bank farmers from accessing their lands inside the Seam Zone
Read More

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