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8.7.2018

The Ministry of Interior is sticking to its decision to deport the relatives of an assailant from Jerusalem: HaMoked appealed the decision

On December 12, 2017, the Appeals Tribunal overturned the Ministry of Interior's decision to revoke the stay permits of four Palestinians who have been living in Jerusalem for years by virtue of family unification processes. The four are relatives of the assailant in an attack that took place on January 8, 2017, in the Armon HaNetziv neighborhood in Jerusalem. The Tribunal's decision was made pursuant to appeals submitted by HaMoked, where it claimed that the Ministry of Interior's conduct harmed the right to due process of the four, and that the State is attempting to expand the harm of innocent parties beyond the definition in the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, in an effort to create deterrence. The Tribunal ruled that the Ministry of Interior's decision was flawed, and instructed that new proceedings be initiated, enabling the four to plead against the intention to revoke their status before a final decision is made.


On December 31, 2017, the four were summoned to interviews at the Ministry of Interior bureau in East Jerusalem, following which the Minister of Interior announced his renewed decision to revoke the family unification processes they are taking part in, as well as the stay permits they hold. The Minister's decision declared that "intelligence actors… have expressed the opinion whereby even following a reassessment, and in spite of the claims presented during the interviews, there are still security motives stemming from deterrent motives".


Soon after, on May 15, 2018, HaMoked submitted appeals to the Appeals Tribunal for the second time, against the Minister's decision to deport the four, claiming that revoking their stay permits due to the actions of their second and third degree relative, for the purpose of deterrence alone, is flawed and contrary to the law and precedent on the subject. HaMoked claimed that there is no security threat, either direct or indirect, stemming from the four themselves, and the Ministry of Interior itself recognizes as much, declaring that the purpose of the revocation is to create deterrence – a consideration that has no place in family unification processes. HaMoked further claimed that expelling the four would lead to a serious harm of the constitutional right to family life of innocent parties who pose no threat.


It is worth noting that in a recent judgment on a different case handled by HaMoked, the Appeals Tribunal ruled that revoking the status of a person due to someone else's actions constitutes wrongful collective punishment, and that the Minister of Interior does not have the authority to deport a person living lawfully in East Jerusalem in order to punish him for someone else's actions. The Tribunal also ruled that the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law does not permit the Ministry of Interior to deport someone from their home in order to create deterrence.


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