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13.12.2017

The Appeals Tribunal accepted HaMoked's position and cancelled the Minister of Interior’s decision to revoke the residency status of four family members of an assailant: the Ministry of Interior has to make new decisions in their matter and if they decide to continue this form of collective punishment must initiate new proceedings accordingly

On January 25, 2017, Minister of Interior Deri hastened to announce his decision to revoke the status of eleven relatives of a man who perpetrated an attack against Israelis in Armon HaNatziv, Jerusalem, on January 8, 2017. Four of the relatives, represented by HaMoked, received notices on the revocation of their Israeli stay permits and the termination of their family unification procedure – this, on the grounds that “several elements in your extended family are suspected of association with the ISIS organization and involvement in terrorist activity”.

On January 26, 2017, HaMoked submitted on behalf of the four family members urgent appeals to the Appeals Tribunal, requesting to prevent their deportation from Israel and order the cancellation of the illegal decision. Thereupon, the Tribunal issued temporary orders suspending the Minister of Interior’s decision for the time being.

Surprisingly, in the state’s responses of June 6, 2017, there was no trace of the claim that the family members were linked to ISIS and to terrorist activity; a new claim appeared instead: “In Jabel Mukabber Village there has long been an atmosphere supporting terror attacks ... Therefore, the status revocation will assist in creating significant deterrence against the intensification of the phenomenon”. The state also noted its willingness to present, ex parte, classified security material substantiating its new claim.

In its response of June 22, 2017, HaMoked notified the Tribunal that it was categorically opposed to the presentation of classified material concerning deterrence, given that the alleged information was completely unconnected to the claim of a security preclusion against the appellants – which was the grounds on which the appellants’ status was revoked to begin with. HaMoked also asserted that raising the deterrence claim was an invalid attempt to broaden the harm to innocent people beyond that which was established in the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law; this, contrary to the basic principles of the Israeli legal system and Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.

Later on, following the Tribunal’s comments during the hearing of September 10, 2017, the state announced on December 7, 2017, that the four appellants were being summoned again, within a week’s time, to a “supplementary interview”, where they would be given the opportunity to argue before the Ministry of Interior against the new revocation claim.

In an urgent response sent that same day, HaMoked requested the Tribunal to order the Ministry of Interior to delete the proceedings and initiate new ones instead, while giving the appellants sufficient time to prepare their oral and written arguments. HaMoked clarified that the notice of the intent to summon the appellants to “supplementary interviews” was nothing but a perfunctory step in violation of the appellants’ right to due process, and that it effectively amounted to an admission that the proceedings which had thus far taken place were severely flawed - hence the Minister’s decision must be cancelled and the appeals deleted.

On December 12, 2017, the Appeals Tribunal accepted HaMoked’s position, canceled the Minister of Interior’s decision regarding the four and deleted the appeals, saying that “underlying the decision to cancel the appellants’ stay permits, there are other and different considerations than those stated in the respondent’s letters, against which the appellants had defended themselves; and I accept the appellants’ argument that a flaw occurred in the hearing proceeding conducted for them”.

The Appeals Tribunal ruled that the Ministry of Interior must hold new interviews with the appellants, to be held not earlier than 45 days from the date of the judgment. It was also ruled that the Ministry of Interior must pay the appellants’ expenses in the sum of ILS 3,500 for each appeal. The Tribunal also left the protection orders it had issued for the appellants standing, until 30 days pass from the time a new decision is issued in their case, allowing them to turn to the Tribunal once more.
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