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Arranging the status of a Ukrainian citizen married to an OPT resident: the case of TY
3170/07 | documents: 4  |  Updates: 6 TY, a Ukrainian citizen, met HD, a Palestinian resident of the West Bank in medical school in the Ukraine. In 1995, they got married, and in 2000, they decided to leave the Ukraine and relocate to the West Bank. Since then, they have been living in Ramallah, working as physicians and raising their two children. Early in 2000, HD filed an application for family unification with TY in order to arrange for her status in the West Bank; meanwhile, her presence was arranged through a visitor permit.

Under the Oslo Accords, Israel effectively holds the power to approve family unification applications and issue visitor permits for foreign nationals. Until October 2000, family unification applications were approved subject to an annual quota decided upon by the government. But in October 2000, with the outbreak of the second intifada, Israel suspended all processing of applications it had received for family unification and visitor permits for foreign nationals, and refused accepting new applications. As a result, TY was left without legal status in her own home, and consequently avoided leaving the West Bank, not even for visits to her family abroad. For several years, HaMoked contacted the military repeatedly to have the processing of family unification applications filed for TY and other foreign spouses in a similar position resumed, but to no avail.

In April 2007, HaMoked began filing petitions to the HCJ on behalf of the families harmed by the freeze policy. By the end of 2007, HaMoked filed 46 such petitions, asserting that Israel's policy violated the right to family life, and infringed on the petitioners' right to choose a life partner with whom they wish to form a family. HaMoked asked the court to determine that the marital tie was an independent criterion for approving family unification applications, and that this right must not be subjected to quotas. The court decided to hear the first four petitions jointly as a general petition. One of the four was the petition of TY and HD.

In September 2007, in the context of the first hearing on the petitions, the court gave the state two months to decide whether it was possible to resume processing family unification applications. In its updating notice of January 2008, the state announced it had decided, as a "political gesture", to examine 12,000 applications for permanent residency in the West bank, including application based on marriage. Ahead of the second court hearing, the state announced that the "gesture" had been expanded to include 50,000 applications. As the applications of all of the petitioning couples were included in the "gesture", the court refused to consider the issue of principle.

In early 2008, TY's family unification application was approved as part of the "gesture".


HCJ 3170/07 Dwikat et al. v. The State of Israel et al. Decision
Judgment / Supreme Court  |  3170/07  |  24.9.2007
Following the series of HaMoked's petitions on the issue of family unification in the territories, the High Court of Justice decided that the State will inform the court within 60 days, whether the policy regarding family unification will be changed.
HCJ 3170/07 Dwikat et al. v. The State of Israel et al. Application on behalf of the petitioners to respond to the response on behalf of the respondents
Response to Petition  |  3170/07  |  20.9.2007
HaMoked’s response to the State’s response in the matter of the series of HaMoked petitions on the issue of family unification in the OPT. The State relies on a political argumentation such as the army commander is prohibited from considering; it disregards the right to family life and uses circular argumentation – the court’s decision that the court must receive applications for the resolution...
HCJ 3170/07 Dwikat et al. v. The State of Israel et al. Response on behalf of the respondents
Response to Petition  |  3170/07  |  18.9.2007
One of a series of petitions by HaMoked in the matter of family unification in the territories. The State claims that the petitioners are seeking to breach the Interim Agreement, and therefore it should be dismissed since it deals with specifically political matters. However the State’s claims are misleading, since in practice the petitioners are demanding from the state to renew the procedure ...
HCJ 3170/07 Dwikat et al. v. The State of Israel Decision
Judgment / Supreme Court  |  3170/07  |  6.8.2007
Updates
8.10.2008
Following a series of petitions filed by HaMoked against the military's policy which prevents Palestinian residents of the Territories from conducting family life and living with their spouses and children in the Territories, Israel announced it is willing to examine 50,000 family unification applications as a political "gesture": HaMoked further demands Israel fulfill its obligation to routine...
2.10.2008
On 5 October 2008, the HCJ will hold a hearing in a series of petitions filed by HaMoked against the military's policy which prevents Palestinian residents of the Territories from conducting family life and living with their spouses and children in the Territories: HaMoked claims that the military's refusal to process family unification applications infringes on the right of residents of the Te...
25.9.2007
Following a series of petitions that were filed by HaMoked - Center for the Defence of the Individual, the court has determined that it is incumbent upon the state to inform the HCJ, within 60 days, if there shall be a change in policy with respect to family unification in the territories: In a hearing held on 24 September 2007 the court criticized the army’s and state’s policies of completely ...
23.9.2007
The response of HaMoked - Center for the Defence of the Individual to the State’s reply, in the matter of the series of HaMoked petitions on the issue of family unification in the territories: The State relies on political arguments which army commanders are forbidden from considering; It ignores the right to a family life and chooses a circular argument – a ruling of the court ordering the arm...
19.9.2007
In the series of petitions that have been filed by HaMoked - Center for the Defence of the Individual in the matter of family unification in the territories, the state has claimed that the petitioners seek to violate the interim agreements, and therefore the petitions must be refused since they deal with essentially political issues: however the state’s claims are misleading, since in fact, the...
5.9.2007
The Supreme Court approved the joining of 8 human rights organization to four petitions by HaMoked - Center for the Defence of the Individual against the army, which has prevented Palestinian residents from enjoying a family life and living with their spouses and children: In these four petitions, as in 42 additional petitions that have been filed thus far in the same matter, the organizations ...
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