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Palestinian leadership in Israel takes legal action against Jewish Nation-State Law

Palestinian leadership in Israel takes legal action against Jewish Nation-State Law

Israel's Druze minority - Arabic speakers who serve in the country's military -are protesting the contentious "Nation-State" law, saying it downgrades them to second class citizens.

Greenberg noted that prior to the passage of the nation state law as a Basic Law with quasi-constitutional status there were laws to protect individual freedoms and to define the various branches of government, but despite the fact that the "open, free and democratic nature of Israel was enshrined in law" there was none "defining the identity and objective of the state".

Regarding the collective rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel and the status of the Arabic language, attorneys argue in the petition that "the Nation-State Law - in violation of worldwide law - does not recognize any collective right of the Arabs as a homeland minority, as opposed to enshrining broad exclusive collective rights for the Jewish population, as if Jews were a minority requiring special protection".

"This law has all the characteristics of apartheid", the statement asserts.

Israel's justice minister, Ayelet Shaked, said on Sunday that any move by the High Court to overturn the nation-state law would lead to "an quake, a war between the authorities", Haaretz reported.

"Any law that denies Palestinians their civil and national rights is racist, colonialist and illegitimate", it said.

"In a almost 60-page document, the petitioners call on the Israeli Supreme Court to annul the Jewish Nation-State Basic Law, which is racist legislation that contradicts all norms of worldwide law", the statement reads. "There is also no single constitution in the world that does not include the right to equality for all its citizens and residents".

The Palestinian leadership in Israel took legal steps on Tuesday to bring down the new Jewish Nation-State Law, which they say is racist and discriminates against the original Palestinian Arab population in Israel. I'm holding the first draft of the Nationality Law, which was submitted in 2011.

It announces the country as a nation state of the Jewish people and makes Hebrew the country's national language.

At least 50,000 Israelis attended a Druze-led demonstration against the law in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Saturday night.

The legislation was passed as a so-called basic law, which, similar to a constitution, underpin Israel's legal system and are more hard to repeal than regular laws. "It guarantees Israel's ethnic-religious character as exclusively Jewish and entrenches the privileges enjoyed by Jewish citizens".

Since it was passed, three petitions against the law have been filed to the High Court, demanding it be overturned on constitutional grounds.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been trying to placate the Druze with a package of benefits, but efforts to negotiate it have stalled. The law has stirred calls for that to end.