HaMoked to the Ministry of Interior: Timeframe for responding to residency revocation notices issued to four men from East Jerusalem should begin on the day on which the notices were provided to their lawyers
The Minister of Interior has recently launched proceedings for revoking the residency
status of four Palestinians from East Jerusalem who are suspected of committing attacks against Israelis. The state’s conduct in this matter so far has been marred by flaws: Despite a letter HaMoked sent the Minister of Interior on October 22, 2015, stating that it was acting as legal counsel for the four men, the minister never bothered informing HaMoked of the decision to revoke their status or of the relevant procedures. Additionally, the notices of the intent to revoke status were provided to the four men – whose mother tongue is Arabic, which is also an official language in Israel - in Hebrew.
On November 16, 2015, HaMoked contacted the Minister of Interior, demanding a stay of the residency revocation procedures, pending a decision in a general petition that concerns the Minister of Interior’s powers to revoke the residency of East Jerusalem residents on grounds of “breach of allegiance” to the country. In response, the Ministry of Interior stated, on November 17, 2015, that there was “no justification” for HaMoked’s demand to stay proceedings, and that it may submit its responses to the residency revocation notices by December 8, 2015, before the minister makes the final decision in the matter.
On that day, November 17, 2015, HaMoked again wrote to the Ministry of Interior
, this time demanding a 30-day leave to submit written arguments in response to the residency revocation notices, beginning on the day the notices were provided to HaMoked. HaMoked noted that the deadline issued by the Ministry of Interior, December 8, 2015, was unacceptable. HaMoked repeated its position that the process by which the four men received the notices was fundamentally flawed – the notices were received long after their issue date. They were never provided to HaMoked, which acts as counsel for the four in the residency revocation proceedings, and, to top it all off, they were provided in Hebrew and not in Arabic. Given the fact that a decision to revoke residency is fateful, HaMoked argued that counsel must be given the time allotted in the law to submit arguments against the impending procedure.
HaMoked insisted that the dates that should be considered as the dates on which each of the residency revocation notices were issued are the dates on which HaMoked received them: November 9, 12 and 17, 2015 (two notices were received on the 12th), and that accordingly, the dates for submission of written arguments should be December 9, 12 (for two men) and 17, 2015.