Israel denies Palestinians’ basic right to family life: Military prevents “divided families” from uniting in Gaza due to “the state of security”, but removes the block once a High Court petition is filed
People from Gaza who are married to Israeli residents or citizens, cannot live in Israel with their spouses because of the restrictions imposed by the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law. The Israeli spouses must, therefore, split their time between Israel and Gaza, and they need a permit from the military to travel to and remain in their Gaza homes.
If the forced split, because Israel will not allow Gaza resident to enter its territory, were not enough, in July 2015, the military decided to further restrict the entry of Israelis into Gaza, exacerbating the harm to the basic right to family life.
This is evidenced in the case of one family, in which the mother is an Israeli resident and the father a Gaza resident. For years, the mother and children tried to enter Gaza to visit the father whenever the military allowed it. However, in December 2015, the military denied an application filed by the mother, identical to her previous applications, because of “the state of security in the Gaza Strip”.
On January 19, 2016, HaMoked filed a High Court petition to allow the mother and children, including a five-month-old baby who had never met her father, to visit the father in Gaza. After the petition was filed, on February 14, 2016, the military notified that “following a review of the information in the petitioner’s matter, as provided in the petition, the competent officials have decided to approve the application”. The petition was withdrawn.
This is not an isolated incident. In the first half of 2016, HaMoked processed similar cases.