A. is a 24-year-old man living in the Gaza Strip. He was accepted to a Ph.D. program in mechanical engineering at a university in the UK, and had even received a scholarship from the European Union. As the closure imposed on Gaza was tightened during the coronavirus pandemic, A. began attending his studies remotely in October 2020.
In February 2021, about a year after coronavirus restrictions were imposed on Gaza, Gisha filed a petition on A.’s behalf, as Israel did not respond to his application to exit Gaza and travel to the UK to study. The state informed the court that leaving Gaza for academic studies was not one of the criteria for requesting an exit permit and took the position that there were no grounds to make an exception to the policy in place in A.’s case. The court recommended striking the petition down, stating that it could not intervene in the government’s policy.
In early August 2021, after the exit criteria were changed, A. submitted another application to the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) via the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee. Gisha contacted the CLA on his behalf as well, but the CLA only said that the application had been received and was being processed. While A. waited for the CLA’s response, his Jordanian transit visa expired, and he had to renew it. On September 12, 2021, Gisha submitted another petition on A.’s behalf so that he would not miss the start of yet another academic year.
Immediately after the petition was filed, the state said A. would receive a permit to travel. He set out on September 14, 2021, reaching Jordan through the Allenby Crossing, and from Jordan he flew to the UK.