The state sought to deport a Palestinian undergoing a family unification procedure based on classified material concerning his brother: following HaMoked’s petition and having reviewed the secret security material, the court advised the Ministry of Interior to approve the man’s continued stay in Israel המוקד להגנת הפרט
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28.05.2012
The state sought to deport a Palestinian undergoing a family unification procedure based on classified material concerning his brother: following HaMoked’s petition and having reviewed the secret security material, the court advised the Ministry of Interior to approve the man’s continued stay in Israel
The state sought to deport a Palestinian undergoing a family unification procedure based on classified material concerning his brother: following HaMoked’s petition and having reviewed the secret security material, the court advised the Ministry of Interior to approve the man’s continued stay in Israel
In 1996, a Palestinian woman from East Jerusalem married a man from the Gaza Strip. The husband moved to live with his wife in East Jerusalem and in October 2001, she applied for family unification with him, in order to legalize his status in Israel. Four years later, the Ministry of Interior approved the application and the husband began receiving stay permits – issued by the military for Palestinians undergoing a family unification procedure. Since the 2003 enactment of the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order), Palestinians from the OPT (or defined as such), cannot receive status in Israel, only these temporary stay permits, which do not constitute status and do not afford any rights in Israel.

In August 2009, 12 years into his life in East Jerusalem, the Ministry of Interior announced that the husband was banned from staying in Israel due to “security reasons”; that the family unification application – which the Ministry of Interior approved four and a half years earlier – was denied; and that the man would no longer receive stay permits, as he had for years. The reason: “the brother of the sponsored [i.e. the husband] … is linked to terrorist activity”.

HaMoked appealed the refusal before the Ministry of Interior and demanded that the man be afforded a hearing in which his case would be decided, but the Ministry of Interior made no response. It took two objection to the Ministry of Interior’s Appellate Committee for Foreigners – authorized to review ministerial decisions and conduct relating to family unification processes – for the Ministry of Interior to hold a hearing for the man and announce its decision. The decision was identical to the previous one: the application was denied based on security officials’ recommendation. After the Ministry’s own Appellate Committee ruled that the refusal was “balanced and reasonable”, HaMoked petitioned the District Court.

In the petition, HaMoked requested the court to instruct the Ministry of Interior to cancel its family unification refusal and resume granting the husband Israeli stay permits. HaMoked noted that the spouses had never been arrested, and added that good governance, the rules of natural justice and basic human principles precluded punishing a person for the sins of a relative. HaMoked added that in another case, the HCJ ruled that a family tie to a “terror activist” did not justify automatic termination of a family unification procedure, but was just one of varied guiding considerations to be weighed in deciding the case, and that “the state must convince that the likelihood of danger to public security [if the application is left intact] is at a high level, reaching, at the very least, a likelihood close to certainty, and that guarding from it is impossible without violating a human right”. HaMoked also noted that weight should be given to the fact that the spouses’ application had already been approved seven years earlier, and that the refusal would unreasonably violate the spouses’ right to family life and the wellbeing of their four daughters.

The Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office responded that the security officials had “considerable and substantial” security information about the husband’s brother establishing “clear, strong, conclusive and substantiated assessment […] as to an actual security threat to the State of Israel”. The District Attorney’s Office further claimed that a tie, “even if moderate“, between the husband and his brother was enough to establish a substantial concern of exploitation of the stay in Israel for terror purposes, and that “the intensity of the security threat […] prevails over the considerations relating to the wish of the petitioner’s family to live in Israel”.

In the hearing, held on April 23, 2012, HaMoked consented to have the classified material revealed ex parte to the court. Having viewed “the considerable and substantial” material, the judge recommended that the Ministry of Interior continue allowing the husband to stay in Israel legally by giving him stay permits. In effect, the court accepted HaMoked’s position: the security material on the brother did not justify terminating the family unification application.

A month later, at the parties’ request, the petition was deleted and the court entered as a judgment the parties’ agreement, whereby, subject to standard security checks, the husband would continue staying in Israel pursuant to stay permits issued in the framework of the family unification procedure.
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In 1996, a Palestinian woman from East Jerusalem married a man from the Gaza Strip. The husband moved to live with his wife in East Jerusalem and in October 2001, she applied for family unification with him, in order to legalize his status in Israel. Four years later, the Ministry of Interior approved the application and the husband began receiving stay permits – issued by the military for Palestinians undergoing a family unification procedure. Since the 2003 enactment of the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order), Palestinians from the OPT (or defined as such), cannot receive status in Israel, only these temporary stay permits, which do not constitute status and do not afford any rights in Israel.

In August 2009, 12 years into his life in East Jerusalem, the Ministry of Interior announced that the husband was banned from staying in Israel due to “security reasons”; that the family unification application – which the Ministry of Interior approved four and a half years earlier – was denied; and that the man would no longer receive stay permits, as he had for years. The reason: “the brother of the sponsored [i.e. the husband] … is linked to terrorist activity”.

HaMoked appealed the refusal before the Ministry of Interior and demanded that the man be afforded a hearing in which his case would be decided, but the Ministry of Interior made no response. It took two objection to the Ministry of Interior’s Appellate Committee for Foreigners – authorized to review ministerial decisions and conduct relating to family unification processes – for the Ministry of Interior to hold a hearing for the man and announce its decision. The decision was identical to the previous one: the application was denied based on security officials’ recommendation. After the Ministry’s own Appellate Committee ruled that the refusal was “balanced and reasonable”, HaMoked petitioned the District Court.

In the petition, HaMoked requested the court to instruct the Ministry of Interior to cancel its family unification refusal and resume granting the husband Israeli stay permits. HaMoked noted that the spouses had never been arrested, and added that good governance, the rules of natural justice and basic human principles precluded punishing a person for the sins of a relative. HaMoked added that in another case, the HCJ ruled that a family tie to a “terror activist” did not justify automatic termination of a family unification procedure, but was just one of varied guiding considerations to be weighed in deciding the case, and that “the state must convince that the likelihood of danger to public security [if the application is left intact] is at a high level, reaching, at the very least, a likelihood close to certainty, and that guarding from it is impossible without violating a human right”. HaMoked also noted that weight should be given to the fact that the spouses’ application had already been approved seven years earlier, and that the refusal would unreasonably violate the spouses’ right to family life and the wellbeing of their four daughters.

The Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office responded that the security officials had “considerable and substantial” security information about the husband’s brother establishing “clear, strong, conclusive and substantiated assessment […] as to an actual security threat to the State of Israel”. The District Attorney’s Office further claimed that a tie, “even if moderate“, between the husband and his brother was enough to establish a substantial concern of exploitation of the stay in Israel for terror purposes, and that “the intensity of the security threat […] prevails over the considerations relating to the wish of the petitioner’s family to live in Israel”.

In the hearing, held on April 23, 2012, HaMoked consented to have the classified material revealed ex parte to the court. Having viewed “the considerable and substantial” material, the judge recommended that the Ministry of Interior continue allowing the husband to stay in Israel legally by giving him stay permits. In effect, the court accepted HaMoked’s position: the security material on the brother did not justify terminating the family unification application.

A month later, at the parties’ request, the petition was deleted and the court entered as a judgment the parties’ agreement, whereby, subject to standard security checks, the husband would continue staying in Israel pursuant to stay permits issued in the framework of the family unification procedure.
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