State attorney requests an extension from the court to submit its response regarding travel by students from Gaza to the West Bank

Loujain Zaeem, one of the petitionersJuly 9, 2012, The state attorney’s office has asked for a three-week extension to submit its response in a petition filed by Gisha on behalf of five women students from Gaza who seek permission to travel the West Bank for the purpose of academic studies. The state attorney’s office had been instructed by the court to submit its response by yesterday, though it now claims it requires an extension until July 29. It cites a large case load, the fact that the file was reassigned to a different attorney and the fact that the expert opinion of the respondents was received only yesterday.

Gisha opposes the request as it creates an unrealistic deadline. Gisha has 15 days to respond to the state’s eventual submission. If the court accepts the request for an extension, we would have to respond by August 13th. The students must arrive at Birzeit University by the 15th in order to complete their registration and pay their tuition. Classes begin on August 22nd. Giving the state an extension would not leave the court enough time to render its decision. Gisha notified the court that it would agree to a week’s extension only.