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Following HaMoked’s High Court petition: the military hastened to lift a foreign-travel ban imposed on a Palestinian academic from Hebron, before the court hearing on the petition

On January 24, 2018, HaMoked sent the military an urgent request to lift a ban on foreign travel of a Palestinian academic from Hebron, justified on “security grounds” and without any further explanation. The man, a lecturer in mechanical engineering at a Hebron university, was invited to a UN meeting in Geneva, as a member of the Expert Working Group concerning the Basel Convention. In the objection, HaMoked stressed that the meeting was in less than two months, and therefore a response was needed urgently.

On March 11, 2018, just ten days before the man’s scheduled departure, and in the absence of any pertinent response, HaMoked filed an urgent petition to the High Court of Justice (HCJ) on his behalf. Two days later and just a day before the scheduled hearing of the petition, the military notified that “At present, there is no security objection to the departure abroad of the petitioner in the said petition…”. Thus, as in many other cases handled by HaMoked, the military lifted the security ban just before the HCJ hearing of the case – a clear indication that the ban was imposed on him arbitrarily and without any substantive reason.

It should be noted that the man was obliged to sign a pledge not to engage in “terror” – and also deposit a NIS 5,000 guarantee – despite the fact that he was never arrested or imprisoned by either the Israeli or Palestinian security forces.

Once the man agreed to the military’s conditions, his departure to the meeting in Switzerland was allowed and the petition was therefore deleted.

This is just one of hundreds of cases occurring each year, in which the security forces enter “security bans” on foreign travel against Palestinians from the OPT – without a hearing and without proactively notifying the person about the travel ban – bans which are often lifted quickly once a High Court petition is filed.
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