COGAT and Population Authority ordered to pay 20,000 NIS in costs to Gisha

May 21, 2013. The Tel Aviv District Court ordered the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) and the Population and Immigration Authority to pay 20,000 NIS in costs in a Freedom of Information petition (Hebrew) (AP 27605-01-11 Gisha v. Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Unit). The petition for information on the subject of Palestinian labor flows into Israel was filed by Gisha and Kav LaOved – Worker's Hotline on January 16, 2011.

The attempts to receive the requested information spanned almost four years in total. Over the course of two-and-a-half years of legal proceedings, the petitioners slowly and gradually received statistics on the quotas for employing Palestinians in Israel and the number of work permits actually issued. Also following the petition, the authorities exposed protocols that had until then been concealed from the public. In response to the petitioners' demand, these protocols were posted on the authority's website for public use in Hebrew and Arabic.

Given that the requested information was received by the petitioners, in a judgment delivered on May 19, 2013, Justice Michal Agmon-Gonen ordered that the petition be deleted. However, since the petition was the sole reason the respondents provided the information, which, according to law, should have been provided anyway, and in view of the difficulties and delays introduced by the respondents until the information was finally provided, the court awarded 20,000 NIS in costs to the petitioners.

To read the judgment (Hebrew)