Supreme Court orders state to release Gaza “red lines” document
In issuing its decision, the court upheld a March 2011 Tel Aviv District Court decision ordering the document to be turned over to Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement. Although the state had already turned over three other documents related to the Gaza closure policy, it had insisted on not revealing "red lines", claiming that it was a draft document addressing sensitive issues.
After examining the document, Justices Jubran, Hayut and Amit found no justification for preventing its release. Moreover, the court accepted Gisha's argument that because the document related to public health and safety, the law obliges the state to release it even if it is a draft.
The court also ordered the state to pay 25,000 NIS ($6,000) in court costs to Gisha, in addition to the 12,000 NIS ($3,000) already paid to Gisha at the District Court level. Costs were imposed after the state obstructed Gisha's Freedom of Information Act request first by refusing to answer and later by falsely claiming that no documents existed.
In his concurring opinion, Justice Salim Jubran berated the state for obstructing the public's right to know, noting that "A situation in which the state gives incorrect information to the court, even if innocently, is extremely serious, and it undermines public trust in the rule of law and in the ability of the court to review the actions of the executive branch".
Gisha's Director, Sari Bashi: "The court sent a clear message to the Defense Ministry that in a democratic society, the public's right to know must be taken seriously. Had this information come to light earlier, the policy of restricting even food items from entering Gaza might not have lasted three years".