Gisha argues before the Supreme Court on the state’s freedom of information petition appeal

Gisha appeared before the Supreme Court on Monday, December 19, 2011 in the State’s appeal against a judgment which compelled it to disclose a presentation on figures related to the Gaza closure. The state requested that the justices review the presentation in camera, in the absence of Gisha Executive Director Adv. Sari Bashi who represented the organization in the hearing. The reason for the request was the state’s intention to provide additional information about the presentation ex parte. Since the proceeding was an appeal against a judgment, Adv. Bashi objected, stating that if the state wished to introduce new evidence, it should have done so during the proceedings at the Tel Aviv District Court. The justices accepted Adv. Bashi’s objection. They heard the arguments on their merits and determined that this sufficed for giving their decision in the appeal.
Gisha and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel submitted a petition to the Tel Aviv District Court requesting that the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) disclose documents on the policy regarding entrance of goods to Gaza since the year 2005. The petition was filed in February 2011, and following its acceptance, COGAT began gradually releasing the documents, with the exception of the presentation in question here, which it has refused to release.