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Israel to debate bill limiting High Court petitions on behalf of Palestinians

Activists from left-wing political groups Labor and Meretz along with pro-Peace group Peace Now wave flags at the Rabin memorial rally
Bill targets NGOs like settlement watchdog Peace Now following successful petitions against illegal outposts

Israel's parliament is set to debate on Sunday new legislation that would limit the ability of nongovernmental organizations to file petitions at the High Court of Justice on behalf of Palestinians.

The proposal follows a wave of petitions filed by NGOs on behalf of Palestinian landowners where settlement outposts have been built illegally. In 2104, the High Court notably ruled in favor of one such petition against the wildcat Amona outpost, leading to the community's evacuation and demolition earlier this year.

The proposed legislation would prevent lawmakers from challenging laws and cabinet decisions passed by the Knesset at the High Court, and would bar individuals, organizations, and public agencies from petitioning government action at the Supreme Court unless that action directly and personally harms the individual petitioner, members of the petitioning organization, or the interests entrusted to the petitioning public agency, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz.

The explanatory notes to the bill say the legislation is justified by the "proliferation of petitions filed by organizations and individuals on political and economic issues where the petitioner themselves have no connection to the subject matter of the petition and do not suffer any personal injury to which they seek relief."

"These petitions are intended to lead to judicial intervention in matters that are not usually within the jurisdiction of the court, thereby bypassing the authority of elected officials and the decisions of the voter," the bill reads.

Those promoting the bill also argue that it would also reinforce the separation of powers by preventing Israeli lawmakers from challenging laws passed by the Knesset, Haaretz reports.

The bill is backed by members of nearly every faction comprising the government's ruling coalition, and primarily targets human rights groups and left-wing NGOs such as settlement watchdog Peace Now, which regularly petitions the court on behalf of Palestinians.



sounds good to me.

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