Despite a petition by HaMoked – Center for the Defence of the Individual, the military will not allow family visits in the Gaza Strip over the coming holiday of Id Al-Fitr for alleged security reasons: This despite the fact that, in its response, HaMoked refuted the State’s claims that the visits put soldiers and civilians at risk המוקד להגנת הפרט
10.10.2007
Despite a petition by HaMoked – Center for the Defence of the Individual, the military will not allow family visits in the Gaza Strip over the coming holiday of Id Al-Fitr for alleged security reasons: This despite the fact that, in its response, HaMoked refuted the State’s claims that the visits put soldiers and civilians at risk
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In a hearing held on 10 October, 2007, HaMoked pulled its petition to allow holiday visits during Id Al-Fitr. The petition was pulled after the Court made it clear that there was little chance it would be accepted, as the Court did accept the State’s claims regarding potential security threats arising from allowing Israeli citizens and residents into the Gaza Strip. It was, however, stated that the State will reconsider allowing visits in future holidays, security conditions allowing. 

This year, as is the case every year before the holiday, Israel causes difficulties for its citizens and residents who wish to visit with their relatives in the Gaza Strip along with their spouses and children under the age of 18. Israel forbids residents of the Gaza Strip to enter Israel and Israelis to enter the Gaza Strip. The result is an almost complete break up of family ties between relatives living in the Gaza Strip and those living inside Israel. The only times relatives can meet is during the Muslim or Christian holidays which families must, according to tradition, celebrate together. 

The State claims the holiday visits must not be carried for fear, for example, that Israelis would be kidnapped for bargaining purposes. It also claims that soldiers or civilians at the Erez crossing might be hurt; attempts may be made to enlist Israeli citizens and residents to terrorist organizations and the visitors might be hurt during military operations in the Gaza Strip. 

In its response, HaMoked refuted the State’s “concerns.” For example, HaMoked noted that despite the State’s claim that civilians might be kidnapped for bargaining purposes, since an Israeli civilian was kidnapped and interrogated by Hamas in October 2006, and since Hamas took office, there have been five – problem free – holiday visits. HaMoked further claimed that the State is trying to obfuscate the fact that people have been entering and leaving the Gaza Strip on a daily, frequent basis with no unusual events or violence for a long time. 

To view HaMoked’s response from 9 October, 2007 (Hebrew) 

To view the State’s response from 8 October, 2007 (Hebrew) 

To view the Petition from 3 October, 2007 (Hebrew)

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