The petition was submitted on 4 April 2006 after three years during which the respondent ignored requests from HaMoked. The appellant entered the Territories in 1993 in order to live with her husband. She received a permit from the Ministry of the Interior in East Jerusalem. Since then, the appellant has lived continuously in the Territories and the couple have had three children in the area. The appellant belongs to what is known as the “Second HCJ Population.” The origins of this term lie in an undertaking made by the military during a series of petitions filed to the High Court of Justice (HCJ) during the early 1990s. The essential point of the arrangement is that those belonging to this population group may stay permanently in the Territories on the basis of visitor’s permits extended every six months. They may also leave and the area to travel abroad and return without restriction. The regulation of the status of those belongings to the Second HCJ Population was supposed to take place through an application for family unification, and under the limits of an annual quota.
In 2000 the appellant and her husband contacted the Palestinian Authority and asked to convert and extend her permit. As required by the procedure, the application was forwarded to the Israeli side, which refused to approve it. Over a long period HaMoked repeatedly contacted the respondent and asked that the application for the extension of the permit be accepted, and that the permit be converted into one for the Territories. Only after three years was a response forthcoming. In its reply, the respondent stated that a condition for inclusion in the Second HCJ Population had always been that the applicant’s “center of life” was in the Territories, and claimed that the appellants did not meet this criterion.
In a letter dated 26 April 2006, HaMoked informed the respondent that it had made a serious error, and clarified the historical background and inherent logic of the agreements relating to the HCJ Population. In fact, contrary to the respondent’s claim, the fact that someone’s “center of life” was in the Territories was actually grounds for denying their application for a permanent permit. This situation is due to earlier military policy, which permitted only short and predetermined visits, as well as to its policy of deportation, which denied partners who are not residents of the Territories the opportunity to settle in the area legally.
On 16 January 2007, the State Prosecutor’s Office announced that if the appellant submitted the application for conversion of the permit again, together with the relevant documents, the application would be considered favorably. The appellant did so and on 20 May 2007, five years after she first contacted the authorities and over a year after the petition was submitted, an official from the Civil Administration notified HaMoked that the appellant had received the permit, and that this was waiting for her on the Palestinian side.