HCJ orders Palestinian physician to deposit ILS 10,000 as a condition for going abroad: unable to raise this amount, the man will not be able to accompany his brother who is going to France to undergo heart transplant surgery
On July 12, 2015, HaMoked submitted to the military an objection against the foreign travel ban issued against a Palestinian man from Hebron. HaMoked explained that the man, a practicing physician, was the only one in his family who spoke English well and that he now wanted to accompany his sick brother to France, who was scheduled to undergo an urgent heart transplant operation there. As no response arrived for some three weeks, HaMoked petitioned
the High Court of Justice (HCJ) to instruct the military to allow the man to travel from the West Bank abroad. HaMoked stressed that the military’s delay in handling the objection infringed on the man’s right to freedom of movement, and also jeopardized the condition of the man’s brother, whose life depended on the urgent operation.
In its response from August 11, 2015, the state requested the court to dismiss the petition on the grounds that the petitioner was “a Hamas activist, with ties to Hamas activists”. To further justify its refusal to allow him to leave the West Bank, the state claimed that the man had previously breached an undertaking not to return to the West bank for 18 months, subject to which, he had been allowed at the time to leave for Yemen to study medicine there. HaMoked countered
that this claim was incorrect, as, on that occasion, the man had returned to the West Bank with the knowledge and approval of Israeli security officials, once he had learnt that his mother had grown ill.
On August 18, 2015, in the court hearing, the state agreed to allow the man to leave for France for a period of two weeks once the operation was imminent. However, the state insisted that the man be obligated to deposit a money guarantee – in an amount to be set by the court – to ensure he returned on time to the West Bank. The court disregarded HaMoked’s claim that the state’s demand was unreasonable in the circumstances, and set the sum of the guarantee at ILS 10,000 – an almost unimaginable sum by the economic standards of the OPT.
Sorrowfully, the physician had to forgo the trip.