The Supreme Court proceeds along like a blind man in the darkness of "security": the military continues to prevent a West Bank student from traveling to Jordan to continued his studies המוקד להגנת הפרט
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16.10.2011
The Supreme Court proceeds along like a blind man in the darkness of "security": the military continues to prevent a West Bank student from traveling to Jordan to continued his studies
The Supreme Court proceeds along like a blind man in the darkness of "security": the military continues to prevent a West Bank student from traveling to Jordan to continued his studies
During his first year summer vacation, a West Bank student, majoring in accounting in Jordan, returned to the West Bank to visit his family. On September 12, 2011, upon his arrival at the Allenby Bridge border crossing on his way back to Jordan to resume his studies, the student was prevented by the military from leaving on the claim that he was "precluded by the Israel Security Agency (ISA)", without explanation or stated duration. Note, the man had never been arrested, and until then had traveled abroad without any problem.

The young man had no choice but to appeal against the military exit ban at the Hebron District Coordination Office (DCO). The DCO soldiers told him that, he would be able to receive a reply at the DCO in two months time. In view of the urgency involved, HaMoked appealed to the head of the DCO to allow the student's immediate departure for Jordan. In the absence of a response, HaMoked urgently petitioned the High Court of Justice (HCJ) to instruct the military to allow the man to resume his studies in Jordan.  

HaMoked pleaded that the decision to deny a person's departure – without a signed warrant, without explanation and without any time restriction – breaches the military obligation to safeguard the rights of the occupied territory residents and ensure their ability to maintain normal life, while adhering to the due process requirement. HaMoked added that the military violated the man's liberty, dignity and rights to freedom of movement, education, and higher education, leaving him trapped in his own country, and under extreme uncertainty.  

In its response, the state contended that the "security officials" were adamant in their decision, holding that "the petitioner's departure abroad would be utilized to promote activity liable to endanger the security of the Area". In an unusual step, the state openly disclosed some of the material relied upon, ostensibly presented as the major document which points to the petitioner himself as the source of the threat.

The state presented a statement taken by the police of a man from the petitioner's village, in which he reported a conversation he had held about a year before with another person who acts, inter alia, as a military trainer for young men in Jordan. In reply to the latter's question if he knew fellow villagers who studied in Jordan, he said he knew "many such people" and named the petitioner as an example.   

No one approached the petitioner, who remained unaware of any such conversation, or that his name had been thus mentioned. Therefore, his only crime, on account of which the military was obstructing his studies and academic career, consisted of the fact that, without his consent or knowledge, someone from his village had mentioned him as a student in Jordan to someone he did not know, neither of whom had ever contacted him. Furthermore, in the year that followed, the petitioner continued his studies, and visited the West Bank twice, and each time returned to Jordan.

An hour before the hearing, HaMoked received from the state additional open information, which, again, gave no rise to a claim that the petitioner posed any threat whatsoever. In the hearing, the state affirmed the "risk of recruitment of students" and requested to present privileged information, prima facie unconnected to the petitioner personally.

On October 9, 2011, the court dismissed the petition, ruling briefly that it found no fault in the state's decision. HaMoked recalls that under diverse Supreme Court decisions, imminent danger must be proved in order to infringe on a person's basic right to leave his country. We are left to wonder how can "the presence of imminent danger" be construed from the fact that a year before, one man had mentioned to another the name of the petitioner as a student abroad.
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During his first year summer vacation, a West Bank student, majoring in accounting in Jordan, returned to the West Bank to visit his family. On September 12, 2011, upon his arrival at the Allenby Bridge border crossing on his way back to Jordan to resume his studies, the student was prevented by the military from leaving on the claim that he was "precluded by the Israel Security Agency (ISA)", without explanation or stated duration. Note, the man had never been arrested, and until then had traveled abroad without any problem.

The young man had no choice but to appeal against the military exit ban at the Hebron District Coordination Office (DCO). The DCO soldiers told him that, he would be able to receive a reply at the DCO in two months time. In view of the urgency involved, HaMoked appealed to the head of the DCO to allow the student's immediate departure for Jordan. In the absence of a response, HaMoked urgently petitioned the High Court of Justice (HCJ) to instruct the military to allow the man to resume his studies in Jordan.  

HaMoked pleaded that the decision to deny a person's departure – without a signed warrant, without explanation and without any time restriction – breaches the military obligation to safeguard the rights of the occupied territory residents and ensure their ability to maintain normal life, while adhering to the due process requirement. HaMoked added that the military violated the man's liberty, dignity and rights to freedom of movement, education, and higher education, leaving him trapped in his own country, and under extreme uncertainty.  

In its response, the state contended that the "security officials" were adamant in their decision, holding that "the petitioner's departure abroad would be utilized to promote activity liable to endanger the security of the Area". In an unusual step, the state openly disclosed some of the material relied upon, ostensibly presented as the major document which points to the petitioner himself as the source of the threat.

The state presented a statement taken by the police of a man from the petitioner's village, in which he reported a conversation he had held about a year before with another person who acts, inter alia, as a military trainer for young men in Jordan. In reply to the latter's question if he knew fellow villagers who studied in Jordan, he said he knew "many such people" and named the petitioner as an example.   

No one approached the petitioner, who remained unaware of any such conversation, or that his name had been thus mentioned. Therefore, his only crime, on account of which the military was obstructing his studies and academic career, consisted of the fact that, without his consent or knowledge, someone from his village had mentioned him as a student in Jordan to someone he did not know, neither of whom had ever contacted him. Furthermore, in the year that followed, the petitioner continued his studies, and visited the West Bank twice, and each time returned to Jordan.

An hour before the hearing, HaMoked received from the state additional open information, which, again, gave no rise to a claim that the petitioner posed any threat whatsoever. In the hearing, the state affirmed the "risk of recruitment of students" and requested to present privileged information, prima facie unconnected to the petitioner personally.

On October 9, 2011, the court dismissed the petition, ruling briefly that it found no fault in the state's decision. HaMoked recalls that under diverse Supreme Court decisions, imminent danger must be proved in order to infringe on a person's basic right to leave his country. We are left to wonder how can "the presence of imminent danger" be construed from the fact that a year before, one man had mentioned to another the name of the petitioner as a student abroad.
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