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The High Court of Justice summarily rejects HaMoked’s petition for regular phone contact between Palestinian minors incarcerated by Israel and their families

On March 31, 2019, HaMoked petitioned the High Court of Justice (HCJ) to instruct the Israel Prison Service (IPS) to allow incarcerated Palestinian minors who are classified as “security inmates” to maintain regular telephone contact with their families, even if subject to close supervision and individual security checks.

In the judgment of July 1, 2019, the panel of justices adopted the IPS’ position, ruling that “The proper course for challenging IPS’ resolutions and procedures, is by filing an individual prisoner petition to the District Court”. This, despite HaMoked’s claims during the hearing that the minors at issue are in an especially vulnerable situation and are disconnected from their parents, and as such it is unreasonable to place on them the burden of fighting for their rights in prison; more so given that many are still preoccupied with their criminal process throughout or for much of their incarceration.

The HCJ also addressed the “pilot program” revealed by the IPS for the first time in its response to the petition, “in which framework the possibility of phone contact will be expanded.” The HCJ said “it is to be hoped this pilot program will soon be launched”, but did not raise any questions or set any conditions to the IPS concerning its implementation.

In its brief judgement, the court completely ignored the current reality: the classification of minors as “security inmates”, their illegal incarceration inside Israel, and the fact that it can be months until their parents manage to obtain the military permit necessary to visit them. All of this means that the minors are denied the support of their parents not only during their interrogation, but also well into the court proceedings, and makes telephone contact all the more crucial. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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