Gisha is an Israeli not-for-profit organization, founded in 2005, whose
goal is to protect the freedom of movement of Palestinians, especially Gaza
residents. Gisha promotes rights guaranteed by international and Israeli
Since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel's
military has developed a complex system of rules and sanctions to control
the movement of the 3.4 million Palestinians who live there. The
restrictions violate the fundamental right of Palestinians to freedom of
movement. As a result, additional basic rights are violated, including the
right to life, the right to access medical care, the right to education,
the right to livelihood, the right to family unity and the right to freedom
Gisha, whose name means both "access" and "approach," uses legal assistance
and public advocacy to protect the rights of Palestinian residents. Because
freedom of movement is a precondition for exercising other basic rights,
Gisha’s work has a multiplier effect in helping residents of the occupied
territories access education, jobs, family members and medical care.
As part of its legal work, Gisha represents individuals and organizations
in Israeli administrative proceedings and courts. Gisha’s legal activity
is based on Israeli law, international human rights and humanitarian law.
As part of its advocacy work, Gisha reaches out to members of the public
and opinion-makers using publications in various media, in order to promote
awareness and sensitivity for human rights in the occupied territories.
Gisha also advocates directly before decision-makers to promote policies
that respect human rights.
Gisha is operated by a professional staff and guided by a board that
includes legal academics and practitioners, women and men, Arabs and Jews,
who have helped shape Israeli human rights law through their advocacy and
Gisha is registered in Israel as an independent, non-partisan,
not-for-profit organization. Gisha is generously supported by donations
from Israel and abroad.
Kenneth Mann – Legal Advisor to Gisha and Chairperson to the Advisory
Professor at the Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law, where he directs the
clinical program in legal assistance in the field of criminal law.
Professor Mann served as Israel’s Chief Public Defender between 1996 and
2002 and was among the founders of Israel’s Public Defender’s Office.
He has sat on a number of public committees addressing reforms in criminal
procedure, sentencing, and police powers. His published work includes books
and articles on international, criminal, and administrative law. Professor
Mann runs a law firm that specializes in criminal and administrative law
and serves on the board and reviewing board of the Israel Trauma Center for
Victims of Terror and War. He holds a B.A., M.A., and J.D. from the
University of California at Berkeley and a PhD in Philosophy from Yale
Graduate of the Haifa University Faculty of Law and recipient of the
“outstanding student” award from the Law Department in 2001. Starting
from 2007, Ms. Baker serves as a legal advisor for the Legal Clinic for
Prisoner Rights and Rehabilitation at the Law Faculty of Haifa University.
She had been a member of the legal staff of Adalah: The Legal Center for
Arab Minority Rights in Israel, where she coordinated the Criminal Justice
project from 2000-2006. Ms. Abeer also worked as a human rights lecturer in
Arab schools on behalf of the Arab Association for Human Rights and as the
Coordinator for the Center of Social Rights for the nonprofit organization
for community development in Acre. Ms. Abeer also works as a teaching
assistant in public law at the Haifa University.
Senior Lecturer at the Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law, where he
specializes in local government law, legal geography, educational law,
globalization and global cities, jurisprudence and critical theories of
law. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Law and the Department of
Philosophy at Tel Aviv University, and received his doctorate from Harvard
Law School. Articles by Dr. Blank have been published in academic journals
in Israel and abroad. Dr. Blank has also taught as a visiting professor at
the International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Oñati, Spain, as
well as at the Italian branch of Monash University’s Law School. Dr.
Blank is a board member of “Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights”.
Completed his LLB studies at the University of Tel Aviv, where his research
included the legal implications of arresting wanted persons under the Oslo
Accords. As a student, he worked for a law firm representing residents of
the Occupied Territories suing the state in tort. He clerked for the Public
Defender’s Office before receiving his license to practice law in 1999.
He went on to work for the headquarters of the Public Defender’s Office
until 2003, specializing in representation of arrested persons. He
currently works for a Tel Aviv law firm in the field of criminal law and
continues to take cases on behalf of the Public Defender’s Office,
representing indigent criminal defendants and mentally ill persons before
psychiatric review boards.
Professor of Anthropology at Tel-Aviv University. Having earned his PhD in
Social Anthropology at Cambridge, his scholarly books include Shakespeare
in the Jungle (1987, an edited collection), Overlooking Nazareth (1997),
Anthropology and the Palestinians (1998), Coffins on our Shoulders (2005),
Mixed Towns, Trapped Communities (2007) and a forthcoming book on The
Trans-Israel Highway. He is a regular contributor to Haaretz op-ed page,
and Chairman of Life and Environment – the Umbrella Organization of
Environmental NGO's in Israel.
Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Chair
Senior Lecturer of Criminology and Social Work at the Hebrew University in
Jerusalem and a Professor of Law and Women Studies at the UCLA-USA. She has
received international recognition for her work on behalf of Palestinian
women who are survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. She has also
written extensively on the effects of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian
women from a legal as well as psycho-social perspective. She is currently
writing a book on Women, Occupation and Militarization in Palestinian
Society. Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian serves on the board of various local
Palestinian and Israeli organizations including the Women's Centre for
Legal Aid and Counseling in Jerusalem and the New Israel Fund. She is
currently involved with two main research projects: one studies the effect
of occupation on Jerusalemite women, and the other is entitled:
“Political violence, gender and deprivation of education in Palestine.”
Nidal Abd El Kader
Senior tax supervisor in the Division of Income and Land Tax, Netanya
Assessment Office. He teaches and directs accounting studies at the
Technological Center at Beit Berel College. In 2003, he was appointed by
the Ministry of Interior to coordinate elections for the Tira municipality.
Mr. Abd El Kader has also worked in the private sector in marketing and
accounting. He received his B.A. in accounting and economics at the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem and has recently begun studying law at the Academic
Institute of Kiryat Ono.
JSD student at the Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law, where she has
conducted research and served as a teaching assistant in the fields of
Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Women in Law, Welfare Law,
Contracts, Family Law, and Commercial Papers. Her doctoral thesis focuses
on international human rights law, particularly its treatment of foreign
workers. She has been awarded a number of scholarships, including the
university's president and rector's scholarship for excellent students.
Prior to her admission to the Israeli Bar, Ms. Kritzman clerked for Israeli
Supreme Court Justice Mishael Cheshin. She is engaged in volunteer work in
the area of immigrant rights and welfare rights at Tel Aviv University's
legal clinics, and she teaches a course in immigration law.