State withdraws demand to make Israeli citizens living in the Gaza Strip without Israeli identification documents undergo genetic tissue testing

June 10, 2013. The Ministry of Interior has withdrawn its demand for genetic tissue testing for Israeli citizens who live in the Gaza Strip and have no Israeli identification documents. The ministry's new position came after Gisha petitioned the District Court on behalf of Ms. al-Wahidi (AP 63291-12-12 Wahidi v. Minister of Interior (Hebrew)).

The State demanded al-Wahidi undergo genetic testing in order to be able to enter Israel to have her identity papers renewed. Al-Wahidi is an Israeli citizen living in the Gaza Strip who had been trying to coordinate entry into Israel since August 2012 without receiving a concrete response from the authorities. After the petition was filed, the state agreed to hold an inquiry in order to identify if the petitioner is an Israeli citizen; once her identity was confirmed, she was issued an Israeli passport.

Given that the dispute was thus resolved, the petition was deleted with consent of the parties. Despite this, the judge decided to grant Gisha's request for a costs order. In the judgment, delivered on 4 June 2013, the judge ruled that "the very fact that the petition was filed led to the resolution of the matter" and that "despite the extensions granted to the respondents, they did not haste to hold the inquiry – to put it mildly – and the inquiry was held only after the court scheduled a date for the same".

On May 22, 2013, Ms. al-Wahidi entered Israel and reunited with her mother, whom she had not seen for 12 years.