According to court officials, Khaled Kabub has been named the first Muslim judge to have a permanent seat on Israel’s Supreme Court.
More over 20% of Israelis are Arab, and an Arab judge has served on the Supreme Court since 2003, although all previous appointments were Christian.
Kabub is the first Muslim to be nominated to a permanent tribunal in a country where Arabs, both Christian and Muslim, have complained of systemic discrimination.
Kabub, who formerly served as a judge in the Tel Aviv district court, was one of four new justices nominated by a committee of Supreme Court judges, ministers, legislators, and attorneys.
He studied history and Islam at Tel Aviv University, where he was born in Jaffa. He earned his law degree there and subsequently practised law before becoming a judge. Abdel Rahman Zoabi, the only other Muslim to have served on the Supreme Court, was appointed for a one-year term in 1999.
The Israeli Supreme Court considers cases on a regular basis that deal with hotspots in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, such as alleged violations by Israeli military in the occupied West Bank.
The court will also rule on seven Palestinian families’ attempts to have lower court judgments evicting them from their homes in the tense Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem overturned.