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3.8.2020

The Appeals Tribunal again invalidates the Minister of Interior’s decision to deport an assailant’s relatives for the purpose of deterrence: The Ministry of Interior must reconsider their case

On August 2, 2020, the Appeals Tribunal accepted HaMoked’s appeals against the Minister of Interior's decision to revoke the stay permits granted to four Palestinians as part of family unification processes. The only “crime” of the four, who have been living in East Jerusalem for years, is that they are second and third degree relatives of an assailant who committed an attack against Israelis on January 8, 2017 in the Armon HaNatziv neighborhood in Jerusalem. This is the second round of appeals submitted by HaMoked on their behalf, following the Appeals Tribunal’s earlier ruling that held the Minister's original decision-making process had been flawed, but left the door open to new proceedings against the four.

The Tribunal based its ruling on the January 2019 judgment of the Court for Administrative Affairs, saying it was “a final and conclusive judgment which expressly determined that in the Temporary Order [The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law], no grounds had been established based on a consideration of deterrence”. In the cited judgment – concerning a similar case, also handled by HaMoked – the Court rejected the State’s appeal against the Tribunal ruling that a mother of a suspected assailant, who is suspected of nothing herself, could not be deported as a “deterrent”, or “punishment” or due to “parental responsibility”. It should be noted that recently, in the framework of a separate judicial proceeding, the same court ruled that the Ministry of Interior cannot reject on such grounds the woman’s request for temporary residency status.

In the latest judgment, the Tribunal noted that harming basic rights is permissible only when there is clear, unequivocal and express legal authorization for doing so. The Tribunal also cited the legal precedent whereby, authorization must be given a narrow interpretation that accords with the importance of the right and the severity of the harm to it. The Tribunal concluded by ruling that in the cases at issue, the Ministry of Interior had not duly addressed all of the pertinent considerations prior to reaching its decision. Therefore, the Tribunal ordered the Ministry to reexamine the appellants’ matter and to issue a new decision – for the third time – within 90 days.
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