• Occupation

    • “Rafiq Halabi doesn’t have to be everywhere”

      The 48 pages of transcripts document a 1980 consultation Prime Minister Menachem Begin held with top security officials the day after the first attack by the Jewish Underground, in which two Palestinian mayors and a police explosives expert were injured. The discussion begins with the attack and its implications and continues with a string of topics including law enforcement on settlers, High Court of Justice involvement in security matters, restrictions on media coverage of the Territories and the silencing of political protest. The document

    • The Umbricht Brief: Israel and the 4th Geneva Convention

      A 1971 internal brief document presents background for Israel’s refusal to recognize applicability of the 4th Geneva Convention to the Occupied Territories: recognizing its policy on Jerusalem violates the convention and avoiding foreign interference “in matters we do not wish to be interfered with”, such as house demolitions, deportations, administrative detentions and others. The document

    • Rafah Salient expulsion: declassified 1969 cable presents plan

      A document Akevot has uncovered at the Israel State Archive illustrates the fraudulent use of military seizure orders (intended for military necessity alone) in order to displace Bedouin population and establish civilian settlements. The document

    • Insurance against political risk: Settlements and the Yanai governmental insurance corporation

      Archival records, now declassified at Akevot’s request, tell the story of the financial safety net Israeli government provided for commercial companies and settlement agencies beyond the Green Line. Referred to as a “political guarantee” or “political insurance”, it protected settlers and investors in the occupied territories against such “political risks” as Israel’s evacuation from the occupied territories, policy changes or boycotts. As use of the government guarantees gradually expanded, a government insurance corporation was created, to sell insurance policies against these political risks. This is the story of the political guarantee in the occupied territories and the Yanai insurance corporation. The documents

    • Petition on settlements' jurisdiction: documents submitted to Court

      The head of the council of Palestinian village of Jalud and human rights group Yesh Din filed a petition the High Court of Justice, demanding the court instruct proceedings for the demarcation of settlement jurisdictions be made public and transparent and include a public consultation process prior to jurisdiction declarations. The petition also seeks to revoke the jurisdiction allocated for the new settlement of Amichai. Petitioners submitted to Court two archived documents uncovered by Akevot. The documents

    • Committee of Directors-General: meeting minutes, 1967-1977

      Development of Israel’s civilian and economic policies in the Occupied Territories over the first decade of the occupation is documented in the records of The Committee of Directors- General on Civilian Matters in the Territories. Akevot Institute is now making all of these minutes available online. The documents

    • Abandoned babies from Sinai sent abroad for adoption

      1970’s Correspondence from the State Comptroller’s Office reveals Israeli welfare authorities illegally sent Muslim babies abandoned in the Sinai Desert for adoption by Christian families abroad. The documents

    • Appropriate tools

      Akevot’s research reveals an important, and, until now, unknown aspect of the efforts the Israeli government made to deflect criticism over human rights violations which were part of the occupation since the very beginning. The research

    • Training Zones in West Bank

      A legal Opinion on behalf of the-then Military Advocate General, Col. Meir Shamgar, instructed that evacuation of civilian population for the benefit of military training was forbidden. Akevot has located the document at the IDF & Security Establishment Archives, for residents of the Masafer Yatta area who petitioned the High Court of Justice. The documents (Hebrew, English)

    • Gush Etzion: Publicity

      A 1969 memo to the Foreign Minister, reveals Israeli government awareness of the illegal nature of building settlements on lands allegedly seized for military needs. The document (Hebrew).

    • Re: Settlement attempt on August 2, 1976

      Attorney General, Prof. Aharon Barak reports his failed attempts at law enforcement on Gush Emunim settlers on an August evening, 40 years ago. The documents (Hebrew)  

    • Expulsion from Rafah Salient : The Declassified Report of the Commission of Inquiry

      The 1972 expulsion of thousands of Bedouins from the Rafah Salient area was the epicenter of one of the major petitions to the High Court of Justice in the early years of the occupation. The report of the military commission of inquiry, declassified only following a lengthy litigation process and available in full here (Hebrew), reveals that the expulsion was meant to serve Israeli settlement in the occupied territories, rather than security purposes, as the state had argued in court. The document (Hebrew), Courtesy of Gershom Gorenberg.

    • “Re: Geneva Convention: Blasting Homes and Deportation”

      Theodor Meron, the then legal advisor of the Israeli Foreign Office, examined in 1968 the legality of house demolition and deportation policies in the Occupied Territories. The legal opinion he authored was classified “Top Secret” and was recently found in the Israel State Archives. The documents (Heb, Eng)

    • Refusing to reach an agreement

      In August 1969, head of Special Functions Office at the Hadera Subdistrict police, wrote to the General Security Service asking to put two Israeli citizens under administrative detention. The two, a 59-year-old man and his 23-year-old son lived in Khirbet Sharaye’, a small village in the ‘Ara valley, south of Um al-Fahm, and close to the Green Line. The documents (Heb, Eng)

    • Erasure of the Green Line

      Israeli classrooms have a map of the country hanging on their walls, sometimes official maps, sometimes unofficial. What they all have in common is the absence of the Green Line that separates Israel’s sovereign territory from the territories it occupied in 1967. This absence is the result of secret resolutions made by the Government of Israel several months after the war ended. These resolutions are presented here for the first time. The documents (Hebrew, English)

  • Military Government

    • File GL-17005/6: the reordering of control over Palestinian citizens of Israel at the late stages of the Military Government

      Israel State Archives (ISA) File GL-17005/6 from the Office of the Arab Affairs Advisor at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) contains hundreds of pages that document some of the final chapter of the Military Government over Palestinian citizens of Israel, before it was formally replaced with civilian oversight mechanisms in December 1966. The file

    • "Without unnecessary brutality"

      In December 1949, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Executive Director Walter Eytan wrote his superior minister, Moshe Sharett, about a plan to expel the residents of eight villages, some six months after the 1948 War ended. The document (Hebrew, English)  

    • Military Intelligence, The Sarahin Bedouins and the expulsion from Mount Negev: Military Governor’s Brief

      An August 1960 brief by the Military Governor for the Negev region traces Israel’s policy toward the local Bedouin population in Mount Negev area. The document reviews the relationship between Israeli intelligence and military government and sub-groups of the Azazma tribe, collectively referred to as “the Sarahins”: from the repeated efforts to use them for the benefit of Israeli military intelligence to the efforts to deport them from the area by punitive actions and expulsions. The document (Hebrew)  

  • 1967/8: Occupation's First Year

    • Gaza, '67: Military Governeor describes mass deportation

      This document presents a testimony of a mass deportation of 110 Palestinians, who were taken from the Gaza Strip and left to fend for themselves in the Sinai Peninsula, as well as a punitive house demolition operation in the Gaza Strip, shortly after its occupation in June 1967. The document (Hebrew, English).

    • Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meetings, June 1967 – June 1968: the complete transcripts. Part 3

      Over the course of the first year following the Six Day War, the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee discussed current affairs and strategic questions both in the committee forum itself, as well as with guest speakers, including government ministers and top military and police officials. Part 3: Transcripts of May, June 1968 sessions (Hebrew).

    • Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meetings, June 1967 – June 1968: the complete transcripts. Part 2

      Over the course of the first year following the Six Day War, the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee discussed current affairs and strategic questions both in the committee forum itself, as well as with guest speakers, including government ministers and top military and police officials. Part 2: Transcripts of October 1967-May 1968 sessions (Hebrew).

    • Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meetings, June 1967 – June 1968: the complete transcripts. Part 1

      Over the course of the first year following the Six Day War, the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee discussed current affairs and strategic questions both in the committee forum itself, as well as with guest speakers, including government ministers and top military and police officials. Part 1: Transcripts of June-October 1967 sessions (Hebrew).

    • The name “The West Bank”

      The occupied territories? Or is it the administered, held or liberated territories? Is it the West Bank, Judea and Samaria, or maybe even Judea and Ephraim? The exact name by which to refer to the territories newly occupied by the IDF in the war was already a subject of intense discussion in the early months of the occupation. The documents (Hebrew).

    • Researching the occupation

      During the Occupation’s first year, Israeli government agencies conducted a long list of studies and surveys on the occupied territories, their population and their economy. The titles of these surveys and studies offer a glimpse into the interests of Israeli government in the territories even at this early stage of the occupation. Two of the studies are also available here. The documents (Hebrew).  

    • Future of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

      A policy paper prepared in July of 1967 analyzes seven possible scenarios for the future of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, from annexation to Israel to an independent State of Palestine. The document (Hebrew).

    • Re: West Bank residents’ thoughts and opinions regarding the future

      As early as the first days of the Israeli occupation in the West Bank, various Israelis (intelligence officers, reporters and others) met with Palestinian leaders to hear their thoughts about the future. Roughly a month into the occupation, Deputy Director of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Shlomo Hillel prepared a three-page report summarizing the positions expressed by “some of the most important leaders”. The document (Hebrew).

    • Re: the West Bank, Kingdom of Jordan, Gaza Strip: a suggestion for a solution and policy

      On July 4th, 1967, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol appointed a Special Inter-Ministry Committee for Diplomatic Contacts in the Occupation Areas. The committee was tasked with making findings and drafting recommendations for Israel’s policy in the Occupied Territories. Dr. Yaacov Herzog, Director General of the PMO was put in charge of the committee’s work, and membership included Maj. Gen. Chaim Herzog, Dave Kimchi (Mossad), Moshe Sasson and Shaul Bar Haim (Ministry of Foreign Affairs). On July 20th, the committee submitted its findings and recommendations: a two-page summary and a number of short annexes which detailed reviews and proposals for Israeli rule in the West Bank. The document (Hebrew).  

    • IDF General HQ on future of the Territories: “a conversation with no conclusion”

      In late 1967, three weeks after the brainstorming session at the Prime Minister’s, Chief of Staff Major-General Yizhak Rabin held a discussion at the IDF General HQ. Titled “State of Israel’s potential borders in view of security needs” and held over two meetings, members of IDF senior command presented their views and assessments on Israel’s interests regarding its borders and future of the Occupied Territories. The documents (Hebrew).

    • Agenda: exchanging views on the Administered Territories

      On Tuesday, December 5th 1967, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol headed a consultation attended by Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, IDF Chief of Staff Yizhak Rabin and other senior IDF commanders and PM Office officials. On the agenda: “Exchange of views on the Administered Territories.” The document (Hebrew)

    • “There is the question of the Arabs and the question of the Jews”: Gov't discussion on future of West Bank, Aug. 20, 1967

      One of the topics on the agenda of the government in the session held on August 20, 1967 was Israel’s policy in the West Bank. The meeting that day had two parts. Most of the afternoon was devoted to discussing the future of the West Bank and the need to make decisions on this matter. The document (Hebrew)

    • Re: Deportation of Arabs to East Jordan

      On December 20, 1967 a Ramallah lawyer, Ibrahim Baqer, was deported to Jordan. Press reports of the deportation prompted a telephone call from Theodor Meron, the legal advisor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to IDF Military Advocate General, Col. Meir Shamgar. Meron said the deportation was a “grave violation” of article 49(1) of the Fourth Geneva Convention. In a memo he later wrote to the ministry’s director general, Meron quoted the section in full. Meron was also concerned over possible diplomatic troubles resulting from the publicity given to the deportation. Shamgar responded that he had warned the Ministerial Committee on Security that deportation of Palestinian residents from the Occupied Territories was a breach of the Geneva Convention, but the committee decided to approve the policy nevertheless, despite his opinion. The document (Hebrew, English)

    • Rule and law in the Occupied Territory of Gaza Strip and Northern Sinai

      An 8-page document prepared in August 1967 by Col. Ben-Ari, legal advisor of Israel Police. The document, intended to prepare officers of the Israel Police to their service in the newly Occupied Territories, briefly describes occupation law, legal status of the police in the occupied territories and the legal systems there. The document (Hebrew)

    • “Cautionary remarks with respect to the use of certain terms”

      One of the earliest examples of the effort to obscure the legal status of the Occupied Territories by avoiding the term “occupation” is in a memo sent on June 22nd, 1967, by Michael Comay, the Foreign Minister’s political advisor the ministry’s deputy executive director. The document (Hebrew, English)

    • Death Penalty in the Occupied Territories: the Coordination Committee designs a policy

      “To what extent is it possible and desired to sentence terrorists to death” was one of the topics of discussion at a late September 1967 meeting of the Small Coordination Committee, held at the Ministry of Defense. The document (Hebrew, English)  

    • Top Secret. Geneva Convention

      A Top Secret cable sent to the new Israeli ambassador in Washington DC, Yitzhak Rabin, explains, with rare frankness, the reasons why Israel avoided formally recognizing the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the territories it occupied in 1967. The document (Hebrew, English)  

    • Report of the Military Prosecutor in Gaza and North Sinai, July-August 1967

      Several weeks after the 1967 war, advocate M. reported for reserve service with the Military Advocate General Corps and was assigned to serve as a military prosecutor and deputy legal advisor in the Gaza Strip and Northern Sinai area. He summarized his conclusions of the 7-week service in a report he sent to Military Advocate General, Col., Meir Shamgar. The document (Hebrew, English)

    • MAG briefing on the legal and juridical problems in the territories of the military government

      Exactly one month after the 1967 Six-Days War broke out, Military Advocate General, Col. Meir Shamgar has briefed the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on the military legal corps response to its duties resulting from the recent occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Sini Peninsula and Golan Heights. The document (Hebrew, English)  

  • Gaza and Sinai, 1956/7

    • Intelligence and resistance during Gaza’s first Israeli Occupation

      Shortly after the occupation of the Gaza Strip in November 1956, Israeli security forces began tackling local resistance to the new rule. The documents below provide a glimpse into the work of Israeli intelligence agencies in Gaza. They show how intelligence and enforcement agencies deployed throughout the area and how they cooperated, and allow a glimpse into their operation. The documents also paint a picture of Palestinian resistance to the military during Israel’s first occupation of the Gaza Strip.  The documents (Hebrew. One translated to English)

    • The State of Israel and the Laws of Occupation: the Beginning

      How Israel almost, accidentally, annexed the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Desert, and got acquainted with international law on military occupation. The documents (Hebrew. Two translated to English)

    • Gaza Report. November 1956 – March 1957

      On November 3, 1956, during the Kadesh Operation (Suez Crisis), the IDF took over the Gaza Strip. It withdrew on March 8, 1957. During that time, the IDF maintained a military administration that ran civilian life in Gaza. Shortly after its withdrawal, the IDF prepared a comprehensive, 142-page report documenting this first Israeli military occupation of the Gaza Strip. The document (Hebrew)