The Tel Aviv District Court ordered the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories to pay HaMoked 35,000 NIS in legal costs, prior to final proceedings in a petition under the Freedom of Information Act, in view of its outrageous treatment of HaMoked's request for information המוקד להגנת הפרט
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28.06.2010
The Tel Aviv District Court ordered the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories to pay HaMoked 35,000 NIS in legal costs, prior to final proceedings in a petition under the Freedom of Information Act, in view of its outrageous treatment of HaMoked's request for information
The Tel Aviv District Court ordered the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories to pay HaMoked 35,000 NIS in legal costs, prior to final proceedings in a petition under the Freedom of Information Act, in view of its outrageous treatment of HaMoked's request for information
On June 20, 2010, the court imposed, in an unprecedented step, the payment of 35,000 NIS plus VAT, as costs due to the state's manner of handling HaMoked's petition under the Freedom of Information Act for information on the number of people precluded from traveling abroad, out of the Occupied Territories.

For some time, HaMoked has been aiding individuals precluded from traveling from the West Bank abroad by the Israel Security Agency (ISA) – the " ISA precluded " population. In October 2006, HaMoked and additional organizations petitioned the High Court of Justice regarding the numerous restrictions imposed on this group, not least, impinging their ability to travel within the Occupied Territories and depart thereof. At the time the petition was filed, the organizations estimated that the group of "ISA precluded" numbered scores of Palestinian residents of the Occupied Territories. In the proceedings, the state claimed that the numbers of those barred from traveling abroad has decreased significantly; without, however, supplying exact figures.

In May 2009 HaMoked appealed to the spokesperson's office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), under the Freedom of Information Act, in a request to reveal the exact numbers of West Bank residents who were under a security preclusion that barred their travel abroad between 2005 and 2009, and some other relevant details.  Eight months elapsed without reply, despite the legal obligation of public authorities to respond to such a request no later than 30 days of its reception. HaMoked petitioned, therefore, the Court for Administrative Affairs, demanding to compel COGAT to reply.

The day before the scheduled hearing, and more than a year after the initial request, the Tel Aviv district attorney's office submitted a partial, preliminary response, without detailing the essential data requested, and without a corroborating affidavit – as the court had instructed.

In the decision, the court stipulated that the response was not pertinent, since "it includes nothing but general statements that are not backed by any content". The court further stated that the respondents seem not to have internalized the provisions of the law, and that at issue are foot dragging and contempt for the provisions of the law and the court.  

In view of the state's contemptuous conduct, the court ordered it to submit a response corroborated by an affidavit within a week, stressing that the period for submission shall not be extended, and imposing on it the said payment in HaMoked's favor. The court stated in conclusion that "it is inconceivable that the provisions of the law and the court become a dead letter with no consequences."
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On June 20, 2010, the court imposed, in an unprecedented step, the payment of 35,000 NIS plus VAT, as costs due to the state's manner of handling HaMoked's petition under the Freedom of Information Act for information on the number of people precluded from traveling abroad, out of the Occupied Territories.

For some time, HaMoked has been aiding individuals precluded from traveling from the West Bank abroad by the Israel Security Agency (ISA) – the " ISA precluded " population. In October 2006, HaMoked and additional organizations petitioned the High Court of Justice regarding the numerous restrictions imposed on this group, not least, impinging their ability to travel within the Occupied Territories and depart thereof. At the time the petition was filed, the organizations estimated that the group of "ISA precluded" numbered scores of Palestinian residents of the Occupied Territories. In the proceedings, the state claimed that the numbers of those barred from traveling abroad has decreased significantly; without, however, supplying exact figures.

In May 2009 HaMoked appealed to the spokesperson's office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), under the Freedom of Information Act, in a request to reveal the exact numbers of West Bank residents who were under a security preclusion that barred their travel abroad between 2005 and 2009, and some other relevant details.  Eight months elapsed without reply, despite the legal obligation of public authorities to respond to such a request no later than 30 days of its reception. HaMoked petitioned, therefore, the Court for Administrative Affairs, demanding to compel COGAT to reply.

The day before the scheduled hearing, and more than a year after the initial request, the Tel Aviv district attorney's office submitted a partial, preliminary response, without detailing the essential data requested, and without a corroborating affidavit – as the court had instructed.

In the decision, the court stipulated that the response was not pertinent, since "it includes nothing but general statements that are not backed by any content". The court further stated that the respondents seem not to have internalized the provisions of the law, and that at issue are foot dragging and contempt for the provisions of the law and the court.  

In view of the state's contemptuous conduct, the court ordered it to submit a response corroborated by an affidavit within a week, stressing that the period for submission shall not be extended, and imposing on it the said payment in HaMoked's favor. The court stated in conclusion that "it is inconceivable that the provisions of the law and the court become a dead letter with no consequences."
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