Center for the Defence of the Individual - The court grants HaMoked's petition: nine years after their application was filed, the adult sons of an East Jerusalem resident will receive Israeli stay permit
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חזרה לעמוד הקודם

The court grants HaMoked's petition: nine years after their application was filed, the adult sons of an East Jerusalem resident will receive Israeli stay permit

Six children were born to a Jerusalem resident woman and her husband, a resident of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The four younger received permanent residency status in Israel, while the eldest, twin boys born in 1986, remained without status. The father listed the twins, born in Saudi Arabia, in the OPT population registry.

The family has been permanently living in Jerusalem since 2001. In February 2003, when the twins were a few months over 16, their mother applied to grant them Israeli status. The application was filed before the enactment of the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order), when the previous Government Resolution no. 1813 prevailed, dealing with the cessation of the family unification procedure for OPT residents. The Government Resolution also applied to the granting of status to children whose one parent was an East Jerusalem resident and the other an OPT resident. As a result, the twins' application was denied. Later that year, the first version of the Temporary Order entered into force, whereby status could only be granted to children 12 and under. The mother's administrative petition against the Ministry of Interior's decision was rejected on the grounds that the boys were over age 12.

In 2005, the law was amended, allowing the issuance of Israeli stay permits to children between the ages of 14 to 18. An additional application by the mother to legalize her sons' status was rejected on the grounds that on the filing date of the application and on the date of the Temporary Order Amendment, her sons were over age 18, hence ineligible for stay permits under the Temporary Order.

In September 2010 HaMoked filed another administrative petition on behalf of the twins. HaMoked pleaded, inter alia, that the Amendment was intended to make the Temporary Order more lenient and proportionate, in light of the Justices comments in the Adalah case. Furthermore, in HCJ 4022/02, the court had ruled that the Amended Temporary Order of 2005 would also apply to applications filed between May 2002, the date of Government Resolution no. 1813, and until August 2003, when the Temporary Order entered into force. HaMoked further asserted that according to the abundant case law, the applicant's his age at the time of the initial application is the relevant age for the purpose of the Temporary Order. In this case, the application had been filed in 2003, when the twins were 16 years old.

The court accepted the petition and ruled that the amended Temporary Order must be applied to the petitioners' application and they must be granted stay permits, despite being over 18.
In its ruling, the court also addressed the importance of the family unit – "the family unit, including the parents and those brothers holding stay permits, has not changed by the coming of age of petitioners 2 and 3. The family is the same. The problem of refusing its unification is the same. The passage of time neither lessens nor solves the problem". 

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