Freedom of information application by Gisha reveals: Since the publication of the protocol regarding entry to Israel from Gaza for legal needs, not a single application has been approved under the protocol
For decades, Israeli law has recognized the right of residents of the occupied Palestinian territory to seek remedy from Israeli courts. Nevertheless, Palestinian residents have faced insurmountable obstacles when attempting to enter Israel for legal needs.
During the hearing in HCJ 9408/10, Palestinian Center for Human Rights v. Attorney General et al. (June 23, 2013), the court suggested to the State Attorney’s Office that it reconsider the question of allowing Gaza Strip residents to enter Israel for legal needs and to draft an official protocol to that end. Following the court’s suggestion, in May 2013, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) published the Protocol regarding Review of Entry Applications by Palestinian Residents of Gaza to Enter in order to Conduct Legal Proceedings in Israel (Hebrew). On September 4, 2014, more than a year after the protocol was published, Gisha submitted an application (Hebrew) under the Freedom of Information Act 5758-1988, asking to receive data on the way the protocol had been implemented.
On November 24, 2014, the COGAT Freedom of Information Officer responded. According to the response (Hebrew), not a single application has been approved since the protocol was published. Forty-nine applications were refused and six others are still under consideration. The 55 applications were submitted by 187 residents, of whom 170 were refused and 17 are still awaiting an answer.