Security Prisoner
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Administrative Detainee

HaMoked has petitioned the High Court of Justice (HCJ) in the case of a Palestinian minor from Jordan who applied to be registered in the Population Registry in the territories despite having passed age 16: The HCJ rejected the petition, and even saw fit to express its opinion regarding the Petitioner’s quality of life in Jordan as opposed to “the distress facing others in the current political situation”

The Petitioners – a father and his son – wish to visit the West Bank in order to register the son in the Palestinian Population Registry. Under the orders applying through 1995, the son could not be registered since only his father is a resident of the Territories. In the Interim Agreement, the authority for the registration of children was transferred to the Palestinian Authority, provided the children were under the age of 16, and that at least one of their parents was a resident of the Territories. Despite the transfer of authority, Israel continued to demand, as a condition for registration in the Population Registry, that the child be physically present in the Territories at the time of registration. Accordingly, those wishing to be registered must obtain a permit to visit the Territories. Israel holds the authority to issue such permits, but has frozen the granting of permits since the end of 2000. 

After the outbreak of the second intifada in September 2000, Israel froze the processing of visitor permits for the Territories (hereinafter “the freeze policy.”) As a result, children living abroad could not be registered in the Palestinian Population Registry until the freeze was partially lifted and children were permitted to enter the Territories for the purpose of registration. The Petitioner did not manage to secure his registration prior to Israel’s imposition of the freeze policy, when he was 11 years old. By the time the policy was changed he had already passed the age of 16. HaMoked argues that the Petitioner’s parents had no way of knowing that come September 2000, the window of opportunity to register their son as a resident of the Territories would be closed. 

The state argued that the Petitioners have only themselves to blame, since they did not see to the registration before 2000, despite the fact that they visited the area. The state further attempted to shift the blame onto the Petitioners by arguing that they made no attempt to circumvent the freeze policy imposed by Israel. Israel is concerned that permitting the Petitioner to be registered after reaching the age of 16, this will create a “dangerous” precedent leading to the registration of all the children who reached this age during the period when the freeze on visitor permits was in force (2000-2005). 

The court accepted the state’s arguments and rejected the petition. Among other grounds, the HCJ agreed that such a precedent would lead to additional demands to register children in the same situation as the Petitioner. Moreover, the court took the unusual step of expressing its opinion regarding the Petitioners’ quality of life, determining that “the situation of the Petitioners, whose center of life is in Jordan, may actually be better than that of others; in any case, the Petitioners’ distress is no different from that of others in the current political situation, and we cannot be of assistance to them.” HaMoked believes that this was precisely the point of the petition – to help the Petitioners solve the problem they face. 

To view the ruling dated 7 May 2008 (Hebrew) 

To view the Petitioners’ response to the state’s response dated 23 April 2008 (Hebrew) 

To view the state’s response dated 13 April 2008 (Hebrew) 

To view the petition dated 14 March 2008 (Hebrew) (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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