Muslim judge takes permanent seat at Israel's Supreme Court
Khaled Kabub was named the first Muslim judge to have a permanent seat on the Supreme Court in Israel, court authorities said Monday.
More than 20% of Israeli citizens are Arab, and there has been an Arab jurist on the top court since 2003, but all previous appointees have been Christian.
Kabub, 63, has become the first Muslim permanently named to the tribunal in the nation where Arabs, Christians and Muslims, have complained of systematic discrimination.
Previously a judge at the Tel Aviv district court, Kabub was one of four new justices appointed by a committee comprised of Supreme Court judges, ministers, lawmakers and lawyers.
Born in Jaffa, he studied history and Islam at Tel Aviv University. He completed his law degree there, then worked in private practice before becoming a judge.
The only other Muslim to have sat on the Supreme Court was Abdel Rahman Zoabi, who was given a temporary, one-year term, in 1999.
Israel's Supreme Court regularly hears cases that touch on flashpoints in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including alleged violations by troops in the occupied West Bank.
The court is also due to decide on efforts by seven Palestinian families to overturn lower court rulings evicting them from their homes in the flashpoint neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem.
Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah have complained of repeated attacks by Israeli settlers, who reside next to them in homes taken from Palestinians over past years.
Last year, tensions ran high in the neighborhood after an Israeli court ordered the eviction of several Palestinian families in favor of Israeli settlers.