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HaMoked in a petition to the HCJ: the military confiscates personal property during arrest operations in the West Bank, without recording the fact to allow the property’s return to the owners

On April 14, 2016, HaMoked petitioned the High Court of Justice (HCJ) against the wrongful practice of confiscating without record private property of Palestinians from the West Bank during military arrest operations.

HaMoked has received numerous reports about the military’s conduct during night operations of search and arrest, during which soldiers take personal items of property, including computers, mobile phone, documents and even money, without giving the owners a certificate documenting the items taken, to allow seeking their return.

In the petition, HaMoked stressed that this is a severe violation of the right to property – done in the framework of routine planned policing operations, where it is reasonable to expect that the military supply written confirmation as to the seizure or confiscation of personal property. Furthermore, under international law, the residents of the OPT are protected persons, and as such the property must not be looted or confiscated.

In its correspondence with the military, HaMoked was informed that residents whose property was taken may “apply to the zone DCO to ascertain further details about the circumstances of the seizure”. HaMoked argued that it was preposterous to suggest that person whose property was confiscated by the authorities in the middle of the night should waste an entire workday to travel to the DCO when s/he has no official document confirming his/her claims; the chances to succeed in this endeavour are practically zero. Clearly the burden of responsibility lies with the authority rather than the individual whose rights have been violated.

The hearing in the petition was scheduled for January 23, 2017. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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