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HaMoked to the GOC Southern Command: in view of Gilad Shalit's release, family visits by Israelis to Gaza during Id al-Adha should be resumed

Since the outbreak of the second intifada in late 2000, Israeli residents and citizens have been literally cut off from their families in the Gaza Strip. This because Israel has established a sweeping policy which allows such visits in exceptional cases only.

In 2004, following HaMoked's petitions to the High Court of Justice (HCJ), Israel formulated a procedure which allows Israeli residents and citizens to visit their immediate relatives in Gaza during the major holidays of Id al-Fitr, Id al-Adha, Easter and Christmas, together with their spouses and children under 18, provided no individual security ban exists.

However, since 2007, Israel has renounced its undertaking to the HCJ in the matter, and has been banning all family holiday visits, declaring them to be impossible under the current security situation.  

On October 26, 2011, following the completion of the deal for the release of Gilad Shalit from captivity of Hamas in Gaza, used, inter alia, to justify Israel's restrictive policy on the Gaza Strip and its population – HaMoked urgently appealed to the GOC Southern Command to allow Israelis into Gaza to visit their relatives there during the upcoming Id al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice), in early November.

In its appeal, HaMoked stressed that the absolute ban on family visits severely infringes on the rights of Israeli residents and citizens to family life and freedom of religion, and recalled that Israel is obligated to safeguard their human rights, and ensure their ability to maintain familial ties with their relatives, those in Gaza included.
HaMoked asserts that given the change of circumstances, Israelis should once more be allowed to visit family in Gaza during the holidays. The family holiday visits should be resumed on the upcoming Feast of the Sacrifice, as was the practice in the past. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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