HaMoked’s petition regarding lack of response by IPS to an inquiry as to the place of release of a prisoner now held at the Ketziot detention facility: in view of past experience, HaMoked fears that the soon to be released petitioner will be deported to Gaza, his registered address. HaMoked demands to release him back to Bir Zeit in the West Bank, where he has settled and lived for three and a half years before his arrest
On August 3, 2006 HaMoked petitioned the High Court of Justice against the withheld response of the Israel Prison Service (IPS) to its inquiry as to the transfer of the petitioner, a prisoner at the Ketziot detention facility, to his West Bank home, upon his release. In view of HaMoked's past experience, there is substantial cause for concern that the petitioner will be deported to the Gaza Strip, his registered place residence.
The petitioner moved from Gaza to the West Bank in 2000, during the brief period in which the "Safe Passage" was operational. He settled in the West Bank and was attending Bir Zeit University there until his arrest, in February, 2004. Throughout the period, the petitioner was unable to update his address in the population registry due to the freeze of Israeli-Palestinian relations following the outbreak of the second intifada.
The petition holds that that the respondents' position that the petitioner may live only in Gaza, where his address is registered, is without legal foundation. Note there is no prerequisite to seek the approval of the authorities before relocation. The resident’s duty to notify the competent authority of his change of address arises only after the relocation occurred. The resident’s sole duty is to notify the competent authority under the law in the Territories, in this case the Palestinian Authority, while the latter has no discretionary power. The Israeli side did not respect Palestinian authority in this matter, and in result, the Palestinian authorities ceased to update the population registry.
This violation of the basic right to relocate and the threat of deportation facing the petitioner, are both contradictory to the state's consistent position, that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip constitute a single territorial unit, under article 11 of the interim agreement signed by Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This position was presented in the Ajuri case, and upheld by the court. Therefore, insofar as the military holds the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a single territorial unit, any person is entitled to change his residence as he sees fit between the West Bank and Gaza. This basic right may be restricted in exceptional cases by issuing an "assigned residence" order, possible only as a preventive measure, and for strictly security grounds.
The petition stresses the severe consequences the feared deportation will have on the petitioner's life. Apart from heavily damaging his much-invested, hard-earned life in West Bank, it will violate his right to education which is an intrinsic part of the human rights to dignity and autonomy.