R., a 51-year-old resident of the Gaza Strip and a married mother of six, wanted to visit her cancer-stricken sister who lives in East Jerusalem. On December 9, 2021, about a month after contacting the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) via the Palestinian Civil Affairs Commitee, she received a response that the application had been denied “for security reasons, which naturally cannot be disclosed.”
On December 14, 2021, Gisha petitioned (Hebrew) against the decision and demanded that the security ban be lifted. Gisha argued that the ban was imposed perfunctorily, with no explanation and without providing R. any information about the security allegations made against her. Gisha also noted that the practice of imposing baseless security bans and removing them once a petition is filed in order to avoid judicial review is extremely common.
As if on cue, after the petition was submitted, the state announced that the security ban had been “lifted” and that R. would be able to exit Gaza for one day to visit her sister. Gisha insisted that she be given a week-long permit. Although the state refused to back down from its plan to give R. a single-day permit, in practice, the permit was extended as Gisha had demanded.