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Israelis allowed to enter the Gaza Strip in order to visit relatives during Id Al-Fitr: Following HaMoked's petition, the military pledged to allow Israelis who have immediate family in the Gaza Strip to visit them during the Muslim festival – this provided they had security clearance and submit the application 24 hours ahead of time

On 30 October 2005, HaMoked - Center for the Defence of the Individual petitioned the High Court of Justice (HCJ) to allow residents and citizens of Israel who have relatives in the Gaza Strip to enter the Strip over the Muslim holiday of Id Al-Fitr with their spouses and children. At the time the petition was filed, three days before the holiday, no response had been received from the District Coordination Office (DCO) in Gaza as to whether and how the visits would take place. The petition also called upon the army to make preparations for the visit such that the visitors have appropriate services while passing through the checkpoints. 

In the petition, HaMoked stressed that the right to family visits over the holidays stems from the rights to family life and religious freedom. If the military claims that the occupation of the Gaza Strip has ended, it is bound to remove the restrictions on entering the Strip and allow the visits. The military is also obliged to uphold this right considering its past pledges in previous petitions filed on this matter. 

Following HaMoked's petition, the State initially announced that over the four days of the festival, only 500 Israelis would be allowed into the Strip to visit immediate family. The State noted it would consider allowing non-immediate relatives to enter in humanitarian cases – beyond this quota - all conditional upon individual security clearance. 

Later, the State announced that it would also allow the spouses and children (under 18) of the visitors to enter the Strip. The State also withdrew its demand for a quota. Entry was subject to submitting an application 24 hours before the visit and obtaining security clearance. 

To view the petition (Hebrew) 

To view the State's response (Hebrew) 

To view previous petitions on this matter: 

HCJ 552/05 (Hebrew) 

HCJ 1034/04 (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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