Security Prisoner
Security Detainee
Administrative Detainee

The Court ordered the military to pay the expenses of the Petitioners, a father and his young son, who requested passage from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip: the Court was not convinced by the military's claim that it had retracted the stipulation it had made for reasons unrelated to the petition – that the petitioners undertake never to return to the West Bank

The Petitioner, a native of Hebron, married a Palestinian from Gaza and had been living with her in the Gaza Strip, because of the severe restrictions Israel placed on the passage of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank. The Petitioner remained in the Gaza Strip for close to 7 years, never returning to visit his family in Hebron, for fear that Israel would block his return to Gaza. In May 2007, the Petitioner decided, in spite of his fear, to return to the West Bank with his son, in order to be by his mother's side as she underwent a leg amputation. When he requested permission to return to the Gaza Strip, his worst fears were realized: all the requests he filed for a travel permit were denied. Requests for his wife and daughter's passage from Gaza to the West Bank were also rejected. In March 2008, the Israeli District Coordination Office finally answered his request, and stated that his passage from the West Bank to Gaza would be permitted – but only if he supplied a written undertaking declaring he would never return to the West Bank.

In a petition filed by HaMoked: Center for Defence of the Indidvidual on 10 July,2008, the Petitioners claimed that Israel was violating their right to family life, and their children's right to be with their parents. Israel is disregarding its obligation to honor the freedom of movement of Palestinians between the two sections of their land. The Petitioners also pointed out the difference between the right of passage through Israel (the Right of Transit) and the right of entry into Israel, and clarified that the petitioners were not requesting entry into Israel for the purpose of staying or settling in it. All the Petitioners ask of Israel is that they be permitted necessary passage between the West Bank and Gaza trip.

On 4 August 2008, in response to the petition, the Respondent retracted its original demand that the Petitioner guarantee never to return to the West Bank, and permitted the Petitioner and his son to travel to the Gaza strip without imposing any demands or conditions. In light of the military's withdrawal of the stipulation, the Court deleted the petition on 9 January, 2008.

On 11 January 2009, the Court addressed the issue of expenses relating to the petition. The Court rejected the military's claim that it was not responsible for expenses because the Petitioners had originally failed to clarify the purpose of their passage to the Gaza Strip – whether for visiting or settling permanently. The Court rules that the military's retraction of its previous demand for an undertaking never to return to the West Bank, without any convincing explanation for the retraction, leads to the conclusion that the petition filed against this demand is the real reason behind change in the Army's position.

The Court ruled that the Respondent would be charged with the Petitioners' legal fees amounting to 5000 NIS, and with an additional 500 NIS in expenses, due to the great difficulties the petitioner faced before he could obtain the final permit.

To view the Court's decision dated 11 January 2009 (Hebrew)

To view the military's response dated 4 August 2008 (Hebrew)

To view the petition dated 10 July 2008 (Hebrew) (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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