Although Palestinians have harvested these plants for centuries, Israel’s Environment Ministry has dubiously listed them as ‘protected’ under the law.
As a result, it became a criminal offense to pick, possess or trade in these plants, and many Palestinians have been indicted and convicted of related offenses. The picking of these plants continues in spite of the law, and many who do so regard it as an act of resistance and protest.
In a legal letter to Israeli authorities, Adalah demanded the cancellation of these laws and the freezing of their criminal enforcement. And in August 2019, the authorities declared that they would be revising the ban to allow freer harvesting for personal use!
Adalah will continue to closely follow developments to ensure the state's commitment is fulfilled.