Today in Haaretz, Jacky Khoury covers the Israeli army’s refusal to process humanitarian permit applications by Palestinians, including Palestinian citizens of Israel, if the documents they submit are labeled with “State of Palestine” insignia. The “State of Palestine” header often appears on medical records or death certificates issued by Palestinian authorities.
“One such case came up in connection with a petition filed in Jerusalem District Court by the Israeli human rights organization Gisha seeking permission for a Gaza resident and her three children to travel to the West Bank. They were seeking to make the trip to visit the woman’s husband, who was undergoing life-threatening surgery. They petitioned the court after prior requests were rejected without explanation.
“At a hearing on the case, it was agreed that Gisha would submit an official medical document issued by the Palestinian Health Ministry to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories pertaining to the woman’s husband’s critical condition. The Israeli government demanded, however, that the document only be submitted to it via the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee in Gaza, explaining that it ‘doesn’t transfer documents with the heading ‘State of Palestine.’’ The woman only received permission to travel to the West Bank after she submitted the document to the Civil Affairs Committee and the ‘State of Palestine’ heading was obscured.
“In another case, a 72-year-old Israeli citizen applied to enter the Gaza Strip on a condolence visit due to the death of her brother. The woman submitted her brother’s death certificate, but the staff of the Israeli District Coordination and Liaison office claimed that the documents were not in order. When staff from Gisha contacted the office, they were reportedly told that ‘the State of Israel does not recognize the State of Palestine and any document that we receive with such a heading from our standpoint is a document that is not in order.'”
Israel’s refusal to process urgent permit applications because the official documents submitted in support of the application include “State of Palestine” insignia does unfathomable harm and is yet another example of Israel’s political posturing at the expense of Gaza residents.
To read the full article, click here.