Don’t be alarmed by the attached photo; our account hasn’t been hacked.
What you see is our most recent attempt to overcome the bureaucratic hurdles that stand in the way of our fight to defend the law and pursue justice.
Recently, Israel’s High Court of Justice began requiring us to serve papers to the defendants in a number of lawsuits we filed against illegal construction.
Normally, when Regavim petitions the court in cases like this, we take aim at the Israeli authorities’ failure to enforce the law, and not against the individuals building the structure in question. Recently, though, the Court began to require us to include the builders themselves as respondents in cases involving illegal construction.
The Civil Administration, which in most cases is fully aware of the identity and contact details of the individuals involved, has been making it difficult for us to get the information we need to comply with this new requirement. Even in cases when we know the names of the individuals involved, it is not always easy for us to present them personally with the court papers.
In theory, the Ministry of Justice’s Legal Assistance Department exists in order to resolve issues of this kind, but in practice, the Legal Assistance Department doesn’t always have the tools necessary to serve petitions of this kind.
This is what happened recently, in a lawsuit we submitted against two illegal mosques built in the Shomron and Binyamin, only a short distance from the main road and in very close proximity to Jewish communities. We waited several months for the Ministry of Justice’s Legal Assistance Department to serve to the sheikhs of these mosques with the petitions, to no avail.
In a similar case (reported here several weeks ago), we tried a different approach, but the Arab messenger we sent to deliver a petition to Bashar al Masri in Rawabi was chased away by al Masri’s security guards, who warned him never to return…
The requirement that we include individual defendants as respondents in these petitions seems logical enough, but when the responsibility for delivering the petition lies with the Ministry of Justice and they are unable to do so, the problem becomes a systemic fault.
In our most recent attempt to comply with the Court’s instructions, we publicized an official notice in the Arabic press (reprinted below) that lawsuits have been filed against the illegally-built mosques, inviting the parties involved to respond. Regavim continues to “wait by the phone” for a call that will most likely never come.
The more important question, though, is what happens when an Israeli citizen is forced to sue a “Palestinian” (for example, in the case of a traffic accident, or some mundane monetary dispute)? This question should be cause for concern for anyone to whom law and justice are important.
Wish us luck!