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Despite long wait for committee appeals to hear applications made by four Palestinians for seam zone entry permits: The hearing was cancelled due to “the committee head’s scheduling conflict”

On January 12, HaMoked wrote a letter to the State Attorney’s Office regarding a Palestinian resident of Bani Na’im in the Hebron district, whose application for a seam zone entry permit was denied three months earlier. HaMoked stressed that in breach of army operating procedures, the refusal and the grounds for it were never provided to the applicant himself. HaMoked found out about the refusal during a telephone inquiry with the army on October 12, 2015. HaMoked demanded to know the grounds for the refusal and whether it was security related, receive as much detail as possible and have the applicant summoned to an appeals committee.

Following HaMoked’s letter, the army announced that it would convene an appeal committee to review the man’s application, along with three other applications, on January 28, 2016.

However, the day before the scheduled hearing, HaMoked was informed that the session had been cancelled “due to the committee head’s scheduling conflict”. On January 28, 2016, HaMoked contacted the military urgently, demanding an alternative date for hearing the four applications be provided immediately. HaMoked argued that the cancellation was a violation of the applicants’ rights, in disregard of the schedules stipulated in army protocols. HaMoked also stressed that it voiced its objection to splitting the appeals procedure into two stages back in 2014, when the amendments to the military legislation governing the seam zone permit regime were published. Despite the army’s contention at the time that introducing an appeals committee as the second stage in the appeal process would “improve services provided to the Palestinian public”, in practice, residents’ rights are being trampled underfoot and the military shows utter disrespect for the time of those waiting for a hearing – a hearing on which their livelihood depends.

HaMoked demanded the new hearing take place no later than February 3, 2016 and clarified that should the demand be unheeded, it would have no choice but to take legal action. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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