For immediate release:
21st May 2015
REGAVIM SLAMS HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH FOR DENIGRATING & DELEGITIMIZING THE ISRAELI LEGAL SYSTEM.
Regavim a legal advocacy organization in Israel strongly condemns Human Rights Watch (HRW) for its attack on and blatant attempt to undermine the Israeli legal system.
Regavim is responding to a report issued by HRW Middle East and North Africa director Sara Leah Whitson, which alleges that Israel’s Supreme Court is acting improperly in arriving at decisions resulting in the eviction of residents illegally living on State land in Umm al Hiran in the Negev & in an area close to Susiya in South Hebron Hills.
“That HRW agitates against the decisions of the Israeli Supreme Court is contrary to all accepted conventions respecting the rule of law of a sovereign democratic country. No country can be expected to allow for the wanton takeover of State land” said Ari Briggs “this is just another example of HRW’s use of a double standard against Israel to delegitimize Israel’s world standing.” Briggs continued “whereas HRW claims Israel discriminates against Bedouin in the Negev, in fact NO such discrimination exists and HRW purposely omits the fact that there is a government policy of affirmative action providing free land and infrastructure to the affected Bedouin in the Negev.
Regavim also dismisses Whitson’s false claims that there 80,000 residents living in 35 unrecognized villages in the Negev. “In fact these 80,000 Bedouin have spread themselves out over 200,000 acres (15 times the size of Tel Aviv) in hundreds of small clusters in an ongoing illegal land grab, which is easily seen using available tools such as Google Earth”
Regavim asserts that HRW seems to be deliberately intertwining these 2 separate & markedly different Supreme Court decisions to in effect call in to question the sovereignty of Israel over the Negev.
Regavim furthermore rejects the contention that Israel and its supreme court are not acting in accordance to International law because alternate plans are available more than satisfying International Humanitarian Law.
In both cases the claimants were given the fullest opportunity to state their claims and have a fair and impartial hearing without fear of retribution in a court system that is acknowledged as fair and well respected throughout the world. The disaffected residents have taken full advantage of the appeal processes available to them and have had full access to appeal these decisions to the Supreme Court multiple times.
Regavim, a legal advocacy organization, is dedicated to ensuring responsible, legal and accountable use of Israel’s national land. By investigating claims on the ground level, Regavim protects national land interests, presenting its findings in the form of white papers and legal action, in addition to briefing the press and diplomatic corps. www.regavim.org.il/en/.