Sample text for constituent use in emailing their representatives re: Feb. 12, 2023 Hearing
Email Subject Line: Time Sensitive action needed prior to Feb. 12, 2023
I am writing to ask you to contact the State Department to urge them to pressure Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) to complete the re-registration of the Nassar family’s legally owned farm located outside Bethlehem in the West Bank. The next COGAT hearing is scheduled on February 12th, 2023.
This Palestinian Christian family has owned, lived on, and farmed their land since 1920. They possess legal documentation of their ownership. They have been in the Israeli courts since 1991 defending their ownership, and seeking to re-register their land as is required by Israeli law for Palestinians living in Area C of the West Bank.
The family practices sustainable farming and has opened the farm for local and international visitors to come and learn. Over 10,000 pilgrims visit the farm each year, and find there a sense of hope in the midst of this conflicted situation.
After several years in the military courts of the Civil Administration, the family filed their case in the Supreme Court, and in 2007 the Civil Administration was instructed to allow the family to proceed with re-registration. Finally in 2019, after numerous delays, the Israeli military authorities informed the family that the re-registration process would proceed. After further delay, a hearing was finally scheduled for December 13, 2021.
The committee of the Israeli Civil Administration responsible for the re-registration process has scheduled six hearings since December of 2021, three of which were actually held. In the most recent hearing in January 2023, the Committee continued to delay a decision.
Over the past 2 years continued violence has been directed not only at family members, but also at the property; including theft of animals and produce, destruction of irrigation lines, and two fires intentionally set which resulted in the loss of mature fruit and olive trees. The situation for this family, in addition to many living in Area C – which is under Israeli control – grows more urgent and life-threatening by the day.
I would like to provide you with additional information pertinent to this case that you can use in your call or written communication with the State Department. I am able to provide a template for you to use in your letter to Secretary Blinken. Please call me at (include your phone number) or email me at: (include your email) to request this template and inform me what you have done to follow up on this particular case.