Security Prisoner
Security Detainee
Administrative Detainee

HaMoked – Center for the Defence of the Individual filed an urgent petition in the matter of eight Palestinians who are located in the danger zone near the fence separating the Gaza Strip from Israel without food or water: The eight men, members of Fatah, fled their homes in the Gaza Strip on 25 July 2008, after Hamas forces entered their neighborhood with the intention of killing them. Two of the fugitives were injured during clashes with Hamas and are need of urgent medical treatment and one is a heart patient who needs medication

On Friday, August 8 2008, HaMoked filed an urgent petition with the Court in a bid to allow the eight men to cross to the West Bank, or to any other location. The men fled their neighborhood, Tel al-Hawa in the Gaza Strip, fearing for their lives after a battle with Hamas during which Hamas forces set fire to their homes and attempted to kill them. The eight men went into hiding but were forced to abandon their hiding place for fear of being discovered by Hamas. They have been hiding ever since in a citrus orchard near the fence separating the Gaza Strip from Israel, without shelter, food or water. Two of the eight men were injured during the clash with Hamas and one is a heart patient who needs medical treatment. 

In the petition, HaMoked stated that "When a person begs for his life one must recall the adage: 'he who saves a life saves the entire universe.' That person is not a 'Palestinian' or a 'Fatah member.' He is neither 'our man' nor 'theirs.' He is an individual, a living soul, with death lurking at his door." The petition goes on to say: "In the air-conditioned bureaus of military officers, officials and diplomats, – both Palestinian and Israeli – some cynical considerations might now be on the table – who turned to whom, in what avenues, what will I gain, what will I lose, what about my weekend rest, were the papers filled out properly…? The cry of a man begging for his life, the individual's cry, must not, under any circumstances, be subject to cynical political considerations. The cry of a man begging for his life is always louder and must always be heard over every other noise." 

In its responses to the petition, the State initially stressed that it was under no obligation to allow foreigners located outside the country to enter it. The State also stipulated three conditions for letting the eight men out of the danger zone and into Israel for the purpose of traveling to the West Bank: the existence of a real danger to their lives in the Gaza Strip, security clearance and Palestinian Authority approval of their passage to the West Bank. In a later response, dated 10 August 2008, the State said that the Israel Security Agency (ISA) confirmed that some of the eight men were indeed wanted by Hamas and faced mortal danger; that there were security concerns regarding three of them and that the Palestinian Authority had not approved passage. 

In response, HaMoked mentioned that Israel's reliance on Palestinian Authority approval for passage to the West Bank was odd considering the fact that Israel maintains sole authority to permit Palestinians to leave the Gaza Strip for the West Bank. It does not require approval from the Palestinian side to allow Palestinians into the West Bank which is an occupied territory under Israeli control. HaMoked also emphasized that the three people against whom there were, ostensibly, security concerns, were willing to be interrogated and arrested by the Israeli military, so long as they reached safety. 

To view one of the petitions dated 10 April 2007 (Hebrew) 

To view HaMoked's report Perpetual Limbo 

To view the Court's decision on adding the other human rights organizations as petitioners dated 6 August 2007 

To view the response on behalf of the Respondents dated 18 September 2007 (Hebrew) 

To view HaMoked's response to the response on behalf of the Respondents dated 20 September 2007 (Hebrew) 

To view the supplementary response on behalf of the Respondents dated 29 January 2008 (Hebrew) 

To view HaMoked's response to the Respondents' response dated 3 March 2008 (Hebrew) (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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