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6.2.2006

Following HaMoked's petition to the HCJ, a mother and son are allowed to return from Gaza back to their West Bank home: for over five years the petitioners' family, formerly from Gaza, has been living in the West Bank. The mother and her young son went on a family visit to Gaza, expecting to return within a few days, but were prevented from doing so by the military. Following submission of the petition, they were allowed to return to the West Bank and the parties agreed that the debated legality of their presence in the West Bank would be decided in accordance with the ruling of the HCJ in another general petition by HaMoked, concerning the basic right to relocate within the occupied territory

On January 12, 2006, HaMoked petitioned the HCJ, asserting that the state had not exercised its discretion, as the humanitarian aspect merited. The state clings to a baseless argument, that the family is illegally present in the West Bank, treating them as foreign relatives who infiltrated the West Bank, rather than as Palestinian residents of the Occupied Territories, with the West Bank forming an inalienable part of their homeland.

The petitioners stressed that every person is entitled to relocate as he wishes within the state or authority where he lives. The right to choose and change a place of residence emanates from every individual's personal autonomy and human dignity and the state must respect his personal choice. This right clearly applies to relocation between Gaza and the West Bank, as they form an integral whole, that is unaffected by the altered status of post-deployment Gaza. Furthermore, under the current law in the territories there is no legal cause to require advance permission for such relocation. The only requirement is to notify after the fact. The petitioners' family relocated to the West Bank subject to the traffic arrangements of the period. There is no legal cause to force them back to Gaza, long after they moved to the West Bank and have been living there ever since.

The petitioners also argued that the state's conduct is unacceptable, holding a mother and a six year old hostage in order to pressure the entire family into moving back to Gaza, is unacceptable.

On February 6, 2006, minutes before the scheduled hearing, the state agreed to allow the mother and son to return to the West Bank, and that the debated legality of Gaza residents' presence in the West Bank, would be decided in HaMoked's general petition HCJ 3519/05, concerning the basic right to relocate within the occupied territory.
mail@hamoked.org.il (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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