Restoring the Full Implementation of the Morar High Court Decision
Rabbi Ascherman was very instrumental in winning the Morar decision of 2006. As a result of this decision, Israeli security forces are today allowing Palestinian farmers to access lands they could not access for as many as 16 years or more, and protecting them. However, over the years, the army has succeeded in chipping away at the decision.
Many Palestinians have internalized the idea that they only have the right to access their lands once or twice a year. In November of 2018, Torat Tzedek submitted to the Legal Advisor for the Occupied Territories initial results from our project mapping the gap between what Palestinian farmers need to do, and what they are currently allowed to do. We are invoking the authority of the Morar decision to demand that the army allow and protect all work required to meet these needs. Torat Tzedek had not planned on interventions until a fuller report was ready. However, we have been discovering immediate needs that cannot be ignored, and are trying to work with farmers to ensure that these needs be met. For example, in Jins Afut, our petitioning has resulted in the army liaison unit recognizing that farmers have a right to access a large tract of land denied to them for almost 20 years. We are now dealing with a brigade commander who is refusing to allow this access.
There are locations where the fact that the army doesn't allow Palestinian access to their trees more than once or twice a year, combined with malicious tree destruction, means that the land must be revitalized, and new trees planted. After a protracted effort, Farata farmers were allowed to replant trees uprooted near the Khavat Gilad outpost. They were again uprooted. We will ensure that the planting continues, and demand more vigorous efforts to protect them. Torat Tzedek helped the village of Awarta to form a restoration plan they submitted to the army for their lands inside the fence of the Itamar settlement…