Court dismisses Gisha petition to allow Israeli citizen to unite with his spouse in the Gaza Strip, HCJ 8563/14 Hamamdeh v. Minister of Defense
On December 15, 2014, Gisha filed a petition (Hebrew) to the Supreme Court sitting as the High Court of Justice on behalf of an Israeli citizen who is married to a Palestinian living in the Gaza Strip. The court was asked to instruct the respondents – the defense minister, the GOC Southern Command and the commander of the Gaza DCO, to allow the petitioner to enter the Gaza Strip under the Divided Families Procedure (Hebrew).
The petitioner and his wife married in 2010 and have since spent only a few days together, seeing as the petitioner may not enter the Gaza Strip, while his wife, a Palestinian resident of the Gaza Strip, cannot live with him in Israel. The only way the two can realize their family life is for the petitioner to enter the Gaza Strip, as do hundreds of other Israeli citizens who are married to Gaza residents.
In their response (Hebrew), dated January 15, 2015, the respondents claimed that the petition must be rejected given security officials’ objection to allowing the petitioner to enter the Gaza Strip at this time. The Respondents mentioned general concerns regarding the possible abduction of Israeli citizens in the Gaza Strip, attempts by terrorist organizations to recruit them (including without their knowledge), and risks specific to the opening of Erez Crossing.
In its response, Gisha clarified that the alleged risks mentioned in the respondents’ submission were inaccurate, outdated and unsubstantiated. Gisha also said that the respondents’ submission contained no indication that the petitioner himself is dangerous, nor did it include reasons that justify violating his right to family life.
On March 30, 2015, during a hearing on the petition, the respondents presented the court with classified material. Later that day, the court ruled (Hebrew), based on consent, that the petitioner could file a new application in six months and that it would be reviewed on its merits.
The court ordered the dismissal of the petition without prejudice. No costs order was issued.