Application by Gaza resident to enter Israel to support his spouse who had to undergo pregnancy termination was not handled with due expediency by COGAT. The urgent petition filed on his behalf by Gisha did not help (AP 17560-04-16 S.N. v. Minister of Defense et al.)
S., a resident of Gaza, applied to enter Israel for the Christian holidays together with his wife and their three minor children. The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) approved entry for the mother and the children, but S.’s request was denied without explanation. While in Israel, S.’s wife was told she had to undergo an emergency caesarian section to terminate her pregnancy due to a birth defect detected in the fetus. After receiving the terrible news, S. applied for an exceptional permit to enter Israel, even if just for a few days, to be by his partner’s side as she underwent the traumatic procedure, and to make arrangements for the child’s burial.
The urgent application Gisha made on behalf of S. on April 7, 2016 was not handled by the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) with the speed and sensitivity warranted by the humanitarian nature of the case. When no response was forthcoming by April 10, 2016, Gisha field an urgent administrative petition (Hebrew) with the Be’ersheva District Court sitting as the Court for Administrative Affairs. The court was asked to hear the petition urgently and instruct the state to grant S. permission to enter Israel in order to support his spouse, and take part in the mourning rituals for his deceased son.
Regrettably, the hearing was scheduled for a week later (Hebrew), by which time S.’s spouse had despaired of waiting in Israel. She underwent the cesarean section on her own, and once she had recuperated slightly, and buried the child in Israel in a very small ceremony, she returned to her home and family in Gaza.
The petition became moot and the court erased it without the state ever responding to the arguments.