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Military refuses to allow Palestinian into “seam zone”, saying he is a Hamas activist. After the man stopped working at a store and opened his own business, the refusal was withdrawn

On November 17, 2014 a Palestinian resident of the West Bank filed an application for a permit to enter the “seam zone” for the purpose of commercial employment. The man, who worked at a housewares and carpet store in Barta'ah a-Sharqiyah, needed the permit in order to reach his workplace every day. On December 3, 2014, after the deadline for response passed, HaMoked contacted the military demanding an answer.

The military’s response arrived on December 29, 2014, stating the permit application had been denied, with the following brief explanation: “refused given your connection and your relatives’ connection with Hamas”. HaMoked appealed the refusal on December 30, 2014.

At the hearing held before the appeals committee on February 9, 2015, the military provided an updated explanation: “You are a Hamas activist… your brother is a Hamas activist with connections to weapons. Approving the application puts the security of the Area at risk”. The man denied he had any connection to Hamas and said he was not responsible for his brother’s actions. He also said that he has owned his own, new store, in Barta’ah since early 2015, and has therefore filed a new application for a permit to enter the seam zone, one for commercial, rather than commercial employment, purposes. The military said it would reconsider its position given the man’s change of status from store employee to store owner.

On March 11, 2015, the appeals committee said that given the new information regarding the man’s store, the security establishment had retracted its objection to the permit. The appeals committee ordered the military to issue the man a seam zone permit for one year.

Despite the decision of the appeals committee, an official administrative tribunal, as at April 12, 2015, the man has not yet received the permit to which he is entitled. In addition, this case exacerbates the mistrust surrounding the reliability of the many different security preclusions alleged by the military. For people who are not versed in the Israeli occupation, these security preclusions may seem menacing, but in this case for example, the preclusion, at best hinged on the type of permit sought, and at worst, on how the military defines risk to the security of the area. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

red-id | רד אינטראקטיב