For years, the military has banned Palestinians living in Israel in the framework of the family unification procedure from entering the city of Eilat: in response to HaMoked’s letter, the military acknowledges this was “an error” המוקד להגנת הפרט
30.11.2015
For years, the military has banned Palestinians living in Israel in the framework of the family unification procedure from entering the city of Eilat: in response to HaMoked’s letter, the military acknowledges this was “an error”
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Israel has been imposing various restrictions on Palestinians who live in Israel lawfully with stay permits given to them in the framework of the family unification procedure. One of the restrictions was the sweeping prohibition on entry to the city of Eilat. This unacceptable policy has been in place for years without a clear legal basis.

On November 18, 2015, HaMoked requested the military to lift the ban and delete the restriction from the stay permits given to these Palestinians. HaMoked stressed that permits afford their holders freedom of movement across Israel. HaMoked asserted that Israel’s policy violated these individuals’ basic right to freedom of movement and that it was not prescribed in any procedure and given no justification; it thus appeared to be an ungrounded prohibition, which should be swiftly cancelled.

HaMoked also sent an application under the Freedom of Information Law, inquiring about the justification for this policy and asking whether other groups of people were also banned from entering Eilat.

In its response, the military stated that the ban on entry to Eilat does not apply to Palestinians living in Israel pursuant to stay permits given as part of the family unification procedure, and that insofar as such a ban appears on the permits – it was an error. As to the policy of barring the entry to Eilat of Palestinians holding permits of entry to Israel (not in the framework of family unification), the military noted that recent staff work suggested that the origin of this policy was not sufficiently clear, but is apparently tied to “the unique characteristics of the city of Eilat, as it borders the countries of Egypt and Jordan”. The military added that in July 2015, a pilot project was launched, in which framework mitigations have been implemented in issuing Israeli entry permits, among them entry to Eilat.
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