Security Prisoner
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Following HaMoked's petition: a Palestinian woman from Gaza will be able to travel to the West Bank to attend a board meeting of the General Union of Palestinian Women

The petitioner, living in Gaza, joined in 1999 the General Union of Palestinian Women (GUPW) which works to enhance the role and participation of Palestinian women in the social, economic and cultural spheres in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The organization has branches in many countries and holds its board meetings in Ramallah.

Since she started working at GUPW, she has been allowed to travel through Israel to the West Bank to attend GUPW meetings held there or abroad. Therefore, in December 2011, the petitioner applied for a permit to travel across to the West Bank in order to attend a GUPW board meeting set for January 16, 2012. She was then notified that the Israeli side had refused to accept her application because the date of the event in question was as yet far in the future. The petitioner was instructed to resubmit her application a week later. However, her second application was denied by the military, claiming she was banned from travel on "security grounds".

Acting on her behalf, HaMoked contacted the District Coordination Office (DCO) in Gaza, requesting it to reconsider her application, recalling that the board meeting was close at hand. With no reply from the DCO, Hamoked petitioned the High Court of Justice, demanding the petitioner be allowed to participate in the West Bank board meeting, and return to her home in Gaza.

In the petition, Hamoked asserted that preventing the petitioner from traveling from Gaza to the West Bank was an illegal and excessive act, and constitutes a sweeping restriction of unlimited duration on the petitioner's freedom of movement inside her own country. A person's right to freedom of movement is a substantive right that is vital for human dignity and liberty and firmly established in international law. Furthermore, the denial of this right harms a range of inter-related rights, most prominently the right to work – a right whose significance is acknowledged in Israeli legislation, in an affirmation that employment not only provides an income for life's necessities but also enables a person to meet his intellectual, social and personal needs.

Four days later, it was announced that the military would allow the petitioner to travel as requested. The security threat attributed to her seems to have faded away. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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