Usama Halabi has been a Law Researcher and Advocate in Jerusalem since 1987; A Badil LSN member; founding member of ‘MADA Al-Carmel: Arab Center for Applied Social Research in Haifa; founding member of the ‘Arab Cultural Association’ in Nazareth; received his Law degree from Hebrew University; holds a LLM, specializing in national discrimination in Israeli law and a second LLM in International Legal Studies from American University in Washington, DC. His work and research focuses on constitutional and administrative law, planning law and land expropriation. His published work deals with the legal jurisdictional status of Jerusalem, Israeli practice in the West Bank and Gaza, and the status and rights of the Arab minority in Israel; has published several studies on legal issues, among them, more recently “Limits of a Place in Human Existence: Two Dimensions, Geography and Demography in Israel’s East Jerusalem Policy Between 1967–2000” (Jerusalem, Jerusalem Association for Legal Aid and Human Rights, 2001), and Israel’s Land Laws as a Political Tool –Confiscating and Appropriating Palestinian Arab Lands and Creating Physical and Legal Barriers in order to Preven Future Property Restitution (Working Paper, Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights, Bethlehem, Dec. 2004).
In this explanatory diagram, attorney Usama Halabi attempts to chart Israel's regime over land by situating the key institutions (Israel Lands Authority, Jewish National Fund, Israeli Development Authority) as well as the most important of Israel's laws over land in relation to one another.
The Palestinian Authority and other Palestinian institutions have not developed a clear policy as to whether Palestinians should challenge the Wall and its associated regime in Israeli courts. Moreover, no real evaluation of the consequences of such a decision has ever taken place. Since 2003, however, a large number of Palestinians have brought cases to the Israeli courts (mainly to the Israeli Supreme Court sitting in its capacity as High Court of Justice).