Center for the Defence of the Individual - HaMoked to the Ministry of Interior: retract your decision to deport the widow of one of the perpetrators of the Har Nof terror attack in Jerusalem
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חזרה לעמוד הקודם

HaMoked to the Ministry of Interior: retract your decision to deport the widow of one of the perpetrators of the Har Nof terror attack in Jerusalem

On November 30, 2014 HaMoked filed an urgent petition with the High Court of Justice (HCJ) to direct the authorities to refrain from deporting the widow of one of the perpetrators of the terror attack in Har Nof from Israel. HaMoked emphasized that no security allegation had ever been raised against the woman, nor had any allegation been made that her mere presence in Israel was dangerous or a threat to public security. HaMoked argued that the decision to revoke the woman's stay permit in Israel completely disregarded her minor children and the fact that her deportation would either result in her forced separation from her three small children, or in the deportation of the children, who are permanent Israeli residents, to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) together with her, options in severe violation of the children's rights and contrary to the principle of the child's best interest.

Following the petition, the court issued a temporary injunction prohibiting the deportation of the woman from Israel pending another decision. On December 8, 2014, the state's response to the petition was received, in which the state argued that the graduated family unification procedure pursuant to which the woman resided in Israel, had terminated upon the death of her husband. Therefore, her case was transferred for recommendation by the Minister of Interior's humanitarian advisory committee. The state suggested that HaMoked would be allowed a week's time to submit all of its arguments in writing to the Minister of Interior; whereupon, the state would be allowed two weeks to submit its update on the matter.

In its response from December 9, 2014, HaMoked emphasized that the proceeding proposed by the state was a quasi retroactive hearing, given that the decision in the woman's case had already been made, and that the Ministry of Interior was willing to only reconsider it. HaMoked demanded a copy of the transcript of the Humanitarian Committee's meeting on the woman's case. The court ruled that HaMoked would be given ten days to submit its arguments to the Minister of Interior, following which the Ministry of Interior would submit its response until January 6, 2015.

On December 23, 2014, HaMoked received the requested transcript, which stated that all of the committee members – who had given their position over the telephone(!) – agreed that "the application has no special humanitarian grounds". The minutes also included position of the Israel Security Agency (ISA), according to which the deportation of the woman formed part of a move intended "to create deterrence and deliver a public message that terror attacks of this sort will not be tolerated without a complete and comprehensive response."

On December 25, 2014, HaMoked sent to the Minister of Interior its arguments against the revocation of the woman's Israeli stay permit. HaMoked reasserted that the responsibility for the unacceptable attack should not be imposed on the woman and children who were unquestionably innocent, and emphasized the severe violation of the children's best interest. In addition, HaMoked noted that the Ministry of Interior has misused the humanitarian mechanism, established to assist and enable individuals with special circumstances to live in Israel. The Ministry of Interior used the humanitarian committee to validate an irregular and injurious deportation procedure – along with the denial of rights – executed rapidly without proper consideration. Finally, HaMoked requested the Minister of Interior to retract his decision and enable the widow and her children to live on in their home in Jerusalem.

It now remains to be seen how the Minister of Interior – who reportedly had initiated the deportation decision – will respond to HaMoked's arguments.