Gisha files petition for change-of-address of a Palestinian living in the West Bank,HCJ 1337/15 Bali v. Minister of Defense
On February 22, 2015, Gisha petitioned (Hebrew) the High Court of Justice on behalf of a journalist and academic who has been living in the West Bank since 1995. Though the petitioner has been living and working in the West Bank for almost twenty years, and despite his requests to have his official address changed from Gaza to the West Bank, to reflect where he actually resides, his registered address remains in the Gaza Strip.
The petitioner has been trying to get his address changed since 2000 to no avail. For instance, the petitioner applied to have his address changed in 2011, shortly after the announcement of a package of gestures which included a change-of-address for 5,000 Palestinians who had moved to from Gaza to the West Bank before 2008 and were still listed with Gaza addresses.
While his application goes unanswered almost every aspect of his life has been affected by the fact that his listed address does not match where he actually lives. He is fearful of being discovered as a “Gaza resident” and thus is cautious to approach the military authorities to request travel permits. As a result,the petitioner cannot see his relatives in the Gaza Strip, he has trouble traveling inside the West Bank, and has had difficulty finding work as a result. He cannot travel abroad for academic purposes. This results in severe violations of the petitioner’s fundamental rights, mainly the rights to family life, freedom of movement, freedom of religion and religious worship, freedom of occupation and academic and professional development.
Mr. Bali is one of four people on behalf of whom Gisha filed a petition under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to the District Court. The petition was filed on October 26, 2014, after the military refused to respond to an application under the FOIA concerning the processing status of change-of-address applications made as part of the gesture package. On January 25, 2014, the petition filed under the FOIA was withdrawn, after the court recommended the petitioners seek a change-of-address from the Supreme Court.