Security Prisoner
Security Detainee
Administrative Detainee
Total
30.12.2008

The Interior Ministry launches a new policy: women in the process of family unification with spouses who are permanent residents of Israel are being deported or threatened with deportation from Israel without being afforded the opportunity to exhaust all legal channels: these are women whose husbands filed applications for permanent residency on their behalf, but were refused on the grounds that their relatives are involved in security related activities. HaMoked: Center for Defense of the Individual cautions that such policies are a feature of dark regimes, and demands that the Ministry stop this practice  immediately.

In a letter to the Head of the Population Administration, Head of the Foreign Workers' Enforcement Unit, and the Immigration Administration, HaMoked cautions against a new Israeli policy – women in the process of family unification with spouses who are permanent residents of Israel, who were previously granted temporary permits to enter and remain in in Israel, are now being deported or threatened with deportation. HaMoked recently learned that these women, who have already supplied proof that they reside with their spouses in Israel and are not involved in any criminal or security related activities, are having their applications for unification rejected on the grounds that their relatives are involved in security related activities. 

Evidence gathered by HaMoked indicates that after the couples receive the letters of rejection, often before they have had a chance to appeal the decision, they receive a call from a person claiming to be a representative of the Interior Ministry, who asks to schedule a meeting in order to arrange an additional hearing on their case. Under false pretenses, the caller then makes an appointment to meet the women in a Jerusalem location: a police station, a checkpoint, or even the entrance to offices of the Population Administration in East Jerusalem.  When the women arrive at the location, the hoax is revealed – plain clothed police are there waiting for them, and order them to board a civilian vehicle. 

The police then transfer the women to an Immigration Administration facility, where they undergo brief, general questioning, which does not include questions about the security claims against their relatives. When the session is over, the police officers demand that the women leave Israel within two or three days. They also make it clear to the women that their refusal to do so will lead to deportation to the Occupied Territories. 

This policy is reminiscent of the operating methods of dark regimes. Deporting or threatening to deport women – all mothers –using deception and misinformation, and denying any possibility to appeal against the deportation, are acts which have no place in a civilized country. 

HaMoked demands the immediate cessation of these measures.  

HaMoked also demands that couples whose request for family unification is denied for reasons of security, be entitled to a hearing following the decision in their case, and be able to submit an appeal to the Interior Ministry and exhaust their rights in the courts. 

Up to this point, HaMoked filed a petition in the case of one couple against whom the Interior Ministry took such measures. HaMoked attempted to prevent the petitioner's deportation until the completion of legal proceedings in her case. The Court issued a temporary order instructing the State to avoid any further steps towards deportation. 

To view HaMoked's letter against the deportation policy (Hebrew)

To view HaMoked’s petition dated 5 November 2008 (Hebrew)  

mail@hamoked.org.il (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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