Nine human rights organizations, including HaMoked, have petitioned the High Court of Justice (HCJ) demanding that the Defense Minister be instructed to end the restriction on the quantity of fuel transferred to the Gaza Strip. The restriction was imposed as part of a prohibited policy of collective punishment: For more than month, Israel has systematically violated the HCJ ruling from January 2008 determining that it must be ensured that the restriction of fuel does not cause humanitarian injury to the residents of the Gaza Strip המוקד להגנת הפרט
15.05.2008
Nine human rights organizations, including HaMoked, have petitioned the High Court of Justice (HCJ) demanding that the Defense Minister be instructed to end the restriction on the quantity of fuel transferred to the Gaza Strip. The restriction was imposed as part of a prohibited policy of collective punishment: For more than month, Israel has systematically violated the HCJ ruling from January 2008 determining that it must be ensured that the restriction of fuel does not cause humanitarian injury to the residents of the Gaza Strip
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On 30 January 2008 the HCJ granted its ruling in HCJ 9132/07 Albasiuni et al. v Prime Minister et al. The ruling rejected the petitionon the basis of an undertaking by the state that the supply of fuel to the Gaza Strip would not fall below certain quantities (hereinafter: “the cutback policy,”) and that developments in the Gaza Strip would be monitored in order to ensure that the fuel cuts do not cause humanitarian injury to the residents of the area. The ruling stated, inter alia, that the state must “meet the obligations incumbent on it under international humanitarian law, and within this framework must permit the supply to the Gaza Strip only of such goods as are required in order to meet the vital humanitarian needs of the civilian population.” 

On 13 May 2008 Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations again petitioned the HCJ, demanding the removal of the restriction on the quantity of fuel transferred to the Gaza Strip. The organizations argue that Israel is violating the ruling in the previous petition as well as its undertakings before the court. The position of the organizations is that any deliberate cut in the supply of fuel to the Gaza Strip is contrary to international law, since it reflects a prohibited policy of collective punishment of the entire population of the area; violates the obligation of the state to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance; and violates Israel’s obligation to see to the well-being of the residents of the Gaza Strip. 

The organizations emphasize that there is no disagreement between the parties regarding the pertinent facts in the petition: For some five weeks, the Defense Minister has permitted the transfer of fuel to the Gaza Strip in quantities that fall tens of percent below the quantity on which the court agreed in the framework of the cutback policy. The significant reduction in the quantity of fuel supplied to the Gaza Strip has led to a further and severe deterioration in the humanitarian situation. Israel is failing to meet its undertakings, which it itself has defined as a “minimum level.” 

Since the state has failed to meet the conditions under which the court permitted the cutback policy, it has eroded the legal foundation for this policy. The Petitioners urge the court to instruct the state to desist immediately from this policy and to remove all restrictions on the transfer of all types of fuel to the Gaza Strip.  

To view the petition dated 13 May 2008 (Hebrew)

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