Following HaMoked's petition, it was revealed that the officials who had permitted entry to Israel from the Gaza Strip before February 2009 did so without legal authorization: The Court rejected HaMoked's request for expenses, and ignored the fact that the State broke the law and failed to respond to appeals, for a long period of time המוקד להגנת הפרט
14.06.2009
Following HaMoked's petition, it was revealed that the officials who had permitted entry to Israel from the Gaza Strip before February 2009 did so without legal authorization: The Court rejected HaMoked's request for expenses, and ignored the fact that the State broke the law and failed to respond to appeals, for a long period of time
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On 29 January HaMoked submitted a petition under the Freedom of Information Act, demanding to receive information regarding the identity of the officials to whom the Interior Minister delegated his authority to grant permits to enter Israel from Gaza. The petition was submitted after four months in which the Ministry failed to provide a substantive response to HaMoked's appeals, and only replied that the matter was "being processed".

Several days after the submission of the petition, on 5 February 2009, the Ministry of the Interior published the names of the authorized officials, and the same publication also served as an official authorization. Following the publication, the petition was deleted and HaMoked requested that the Court charge the State with expenses.

The respondents' response to HaMoked's request for expenses, dated 25 May 2009, indicated that prior to the submission of the petition, the Interior Minister had not authorized any official to permit entry from Gaza to Israel, as the law requires. The State also claimed that HaMoked had rushed to submit the petition, despite the fact that the State had indicated that the matter was "being processed". The State also rejected the claim that the authorization of the officials was only carried out after the petition was submitted, and claimed this was a coincidence.

On 31 May 2009, HaMoked submitted its response, in which it rejects the State's position and claims that the State's responses, stating the matter was being processed, were a disgraceful attempt to stall until the officials were duly authorized. This conclusion is strengthened by the fact that the State's response to the simple question "who is authorized to permit entry to Israel from Gaza" was, for four months, "the matter is being processed". This is a reprehensible evasion – indeed, if the Minister had a list of authorized officials in his possession, he would have had no need for a thorough inquiry in order to produce it. Thus, the State acted unlawfully: prior to the submission of the petition it had not authorized any official to permit entry to Israel from Gaza.

The respondents deviated from the provisions of the Freedom of information Act which establish that substantive information must be forwarded within 30 days of the date of the appeal, and that this period of time may be extended by an additional 30 days so long as grounds are provided for the delay.

The Court chose to ignore the violation of the law and disregarded the fact that the State published a list of authorized officials only after the petition was submitted. In a very brief, hand-written judgment, the Court rules that "after reviewing the claims of both sides and considering the totality of the circumstances of the case as detailed in the response by counsel for the respondents, and since the petitioner received the remedy it sought in the petition and a hearing was not necessary, I have found no justification to charge the respondents with expenses."

To view the decision dated 2 June 2009 (Hebrew)

To view HaMoked's response dated 31 May 2009 (Hebrew)

To view HaMoked's petition dated 28 January 2009 (Hebrew)

 To view HaMoked's appeal dated 24 September 2008 (Hebrew)

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