This paper seeks to study the Tribal Islah system (Al-Islah Al-'asha'iri) as an application of informal justice in settling local disputes. It discusses the extent to which the Islah system can be an alternative to the official judicial system to resolve local conflicts within Palestinian society in the Gaza Strip. In doing so, it will consider the legal value of resulting 'sulh agreements' and legal practice in this regard. It concludes that although the Islah system is an accepted form of justice in the community, it is not considered an alternative for the formal judicial system. This is because whilst Gazan society still resorts to the Islah system for various reasons, the role of the Palestinian tribe in public affairs has significantly diminished. Nonetheless, this paper calls for adopting a positive perspective towards the incorporation of social structures in the resolution of local conflict.
This paper draws upon two major sources of data: published, reliable academic literature related to informal justice, social control, and conflict resolution, along with semi-structured interviews with multiple well-known family leaders at the local level in the Gaza Strip, activists in community conflict resolution, legal associates, and legal researchers. The interview sample was selected through snowball sampling. Face-to-face interviews were conducted by the author in person, through Skype, and over the phone. This article also relies on the cumulative experiences and observations of the authors given their professional engagements in the region.
To cite this article: Ghassan Alkahlout, Sultan Barakat, Wadee Alarabeed. 2022. Informal Justice Applications to Local Conflict Resolution: The case of Tribal Islah (Al-Islah Al-'asha'iri) in the Gaza Strip. Idafat, The Arab Journal of Sociology. Vol 55-56.