Too little, too slowly: the Civil Administration is instructed by the HCJ to draft a mechanism for improving its work vis-à-vis OPT residents, but only announces tighter supervision on keeping deadlines
On July 5, 2016, in a brief judgment on a petition by HaMoked, the High Court justices strongly criticized the Civil Administration’s inadequate mechanism for handling applications of OPT residents, including, inter alia, the routine failure to comply with the deadlines set in military protocols. The court clarified that it was weary of the state’s conduct in such cases, which compelled applicants to turn to the HCJ for assistance: “who ever does consider it [the court] at all, and the time of the secretariat staff and the justices… We are weary of the like”. The court instructed the state to submit within a week from the judgment a notice with an affidavit of the head of the Civil Administration, explaining its conduct and outlining a mechanism for correcting the failures.
Two months later, the state submitted a brief notice to the court, along with an affidavit by the head of the Civil Administration, whereby compliance with the stipulated timetables would be closely monitored. No explanation was given as to the Administration’s thus far inadequate conduct, no mechanism was outlined for improving efficiency or reducing processing times – so it seems that the HCJ’s recommendations are as yet unimplemented. Nonetheless the state announced that it considers authorizing the zone district coordination offices to provide responses to Palestinians’ requests, which at present, is the exclusive authority of Civil Administration liaison officer.