HaMoked and four other human rights organizations have petitioned the Administrative Affairs Court in Jerusalem, requesting free access to the full and updated file of procedures of the Ministry of the Interior relating to the Population Administration, and allowing them to copy this material: The procedures that guide the actions of the officials in the Population Administration are concealed from the public, the Knesset, and the courts; they are frequently amended and, in some cases, the officials responsible for applying the procedures are unaware of their content המוקד להגנת הפרט
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01.07.2007
HaMoked and four other human rights organizations have petitioned the Administrative Affairs Court in Jerusalem, requesting free access to the full and updated file of procedures of the Ministry of the Interior relating to the Population Administration, and allowing them to copy this material: The procedures that guide the actions of the officials in the Population Administration are concealed from the public, the Knesset, and the courts; they are frequently amended and, in some cases, the officials responsible for applying the procedures are unaware of their content
HaMoked and four other human rights organizations have petitioned the Administrative Affairs Court in Jerusalem, requesting free access to the full and updated file of procedures of the Ministry of the Interior relating to the Population Administration, and allowing them to copy this material: The procedures that guide the actions of the officials in the Population Administration are concealed from the public, the Knesset, and the courts; they are frequently amended and, in some cases, the officials responsible for applying the procedures are unaware of their content

The petition submitted on 31 May 2007 emphasizes the importance of publishing the procedures, since the Population Administration in the Ministry of the Interior is a powerful body empowered to realize the most basic rights and liberties of persons present in Israel. The officials of the Population Administration issue identity cards and passports and are authorized to provide persons who are not Israeli citizens with an entry visa and permission to be present in the country. They are also authorized to establish conditions for the granting of status in Israel; to withdraw status after it has been granted; to order the deportation of individuals from Israel; and to order detention in custody pending deportation. 

The claim by the Ministry of the Interior that its procedures are published on the internet is disingenuous. The “publication” on the website does not constitute publication in accordance with the provisions of the law. Many procedures are not published at all (such as the procedure for regulating the status in Israel of the children of residents). Those procedures that are “published” appear in partial form, and are therefore misleading (an example is the procedure for nullifying Israeli citizenship). Moreover, “published” procedures are not updated (for example – the procedure for regulating the status of elderly parents of Israeli citizens). Moreover, two important components in the collection of procedures are the instructions of the Legal Bureau of the Ministry of the Interior and the guidelines of senior ministry officials. These instructions and guidelines are not published, despite the fact that they constitute procedures used for the operation of the Population Administration (for example, the instruction defining the criteria for the granting of permanent residency in Israel). 

In the absence of the full publication of the procedures of the Population Administration, human rights organizations learn of Ministry of the Interior policy and changes from various sources: From the unreliable press releases of the ministry; from contradictory comments made to applicants for various services by the officials in the Population Administration offices; and from the notifications given to the courts by the State Prosecutor’s Office, which sometimes include procedures. The petition argued that these means cannot effectively bring the content of the procedures and guidelines to the attention of those concerned or their representatives, or to the attention of the various organizations that address human rights violations by the Population Administration in the Ministry of the Interior.   

Although the courts have repeatedly emphasized, in a series of rulings, that every individual is entitled know the relevant procedures for determining his or her status in Israel, and that the Ministry of the Interior must bring the full and updated procedures and instructions to the attention of the public, the ministry continues to refuse to publish these documents in an effective manner. This grave failing causes injury to thousands of people. The rule of law and the Freedom of Information Law emphasize the obligation incumbent on the Ministry of the Interior to publish the procedures. Accordingly, the court is asked to order the full and comprehensive publication of the procedures of the Population Administration. 

Read the petition dated 31 May 2007 (Hebrew)
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The petition submitted on 31 May 2007 emphasizes the importance of publishing the procedures, since the Population Administration in the Ministry of the Interior is a powerful body empowered to realize the most basic rights and liberties of persons present in Israel. The officials of the Population Administration issue identity cards and passports and are authorized to provide persons who are not Israeli citizens with an entry visa and permission to be present in the country. They are also authorized to establish conditions for the granting of status in Israel; to withdraw status after it has been granted; to order the deportation of individuals from Israel; and to order detention in custody pending deportation. 

The claim by the Ministry of the Interior that its procedures are published on the internet is disingenuous. The “publication” on the website does not constitute publication in accordance with the provisions of the law. Many procedures are not published at all (such as the procedure for regulating the status in Israel of the children of residents). Those procedures that are “published” appear in partial form, and are therefore misleading (an example is the procedure for nullifying Israeli citizenship). Moreover, “published” procedures are not updated (for example – the procedure for regulating the status of elderly parents of Israeli citizens). Moreover, two important components in the collection of procedures are the instructions of the Legal Bureau of the Ministry of the Interior and the guidelines of senior ministry officials. These instructions and guidelines are not published, despite the fact that they constitute procedures used for the operation of the Population Administration (for example, the instruction defining the criteria for the granting of permanent residency in Israel). 

In the absence of the full publication of the procedures of the Population Administration, human rights organizations learn of Ministry of the Interior policy and changes from various sources: From the unreliable press releases of the ministry; from contradictory comments made to applicants for various services by the officials in the Population Administration offices; and from the notifications given to the courts by the State Prosecutor’s Office, which sometimes include procedures. The petition argued that these means cannot effectively bring the content of the procedures and guidelines to the attention of those concerned or their representatives, or to the attention of the various organizations that address human rights violations by the Population Administration in the Ministry of the Interior.   

Although the courts have repeatedly emphasized, in a series of rulings, that every individual is entitled know the relevant procedures for determining his or her status in Israel, and that the Ministry of the Interior must bring the full and updated procedures and instructions to the attention of the public, the ministry continues to refuse to publish these documents in an effective manner. This grave failing causes injury to thousands of people. The rule of law and the Freedom of Information Law emphasize the obligation incumbent on the Ministry of the Interior to publish the procedures. Accordingly, the court is asked to order the full and comprehensive publication of the procedures of the Population Administration. 

Read the petition dated 31 May 2007 (Hebrew)
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