Following HCJ petition: A Palestinian married to an Israeli resident received status on humanitarian grounds, despite Ministry of Interior trend of approving stay permits only המוקד להגנת הפרט
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06.10.2015
Following HCJ petition: A Palestinian married to an Israeli resident received status on humanitarian grounds, despite Ministry of Interior trend of approving stay permits only
Following HCJ petition: A Palestinian married to an Israeli resident received status on humanitarian grounds, despite Ministry of Interior trend of approving stay permits only
A Palestinian girl, born in Nablus to a mother who was a resident of Jerusalem and raised in the city ever since age two, was married to a Jerusalem resident when she was 14. So long as she was a minor, the husband could not ask for family unification with her. In 2001, around the time she turned 18, her husband was shot in the head and fell into a coma. The woman was left without status and without rights, having to take care of her husband and children. In 2003, the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) blocked residents of the OPT married to Israelis from receiving status in Israel. In August 2005, the law was amended, allowing such individuals to receive Israeli stay-permits. This was only option of getting the woman in question status in Israel.

However, the amendment applied only to men over age 35 and women over age 25. HaMoked attempted to have the woman’s status regularized before she reached age 25, and contacted the Inter-Ministerial Committee at the Ministry of Interior on August 15, 2006. This committee has a mandate to discuss humanitarian applications for status in Israel. HaMoked argued that given the husband’s coma, and the fact that the woman was taking care of him and their two young children, all of whom are residents of Israel, she should be granted status in the country. HaMoked noted that she was eligible for status as a child, thanks to her mother’s status, but that the matter was not resolved for reasons she had no control over. As it is wont to do, the Ministry of Interior rejected the application for failure to meet criteria, as she was not yet 25. An appeal HaMoked filed was also rejected.

On September 14, 2009, after the woman turned 25, HaMoked filed an application to the Humanitarian Committee (established in 2007, as part of the amendment to the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, in order to review applications made by residents of the OPT for an Israeli residency or stay permit for special humanitarian reasons). The minister of interior decided to grant the woman “an Israeli stay permit for special humanitarian reasons” as she was functioning as a single parent. The permit would only be valid for as long as the woman was caring for her children.

Following this development, on July 6, 2011, HaMoked filed a petition to instruct the minister of interior to grant the woman temporary status (A/5 visa) in Israel, which would give her and her family security and stability. HaMoked argued that that it was not reasonable to consider the petitioner a resident of the OPT given that she had lived most of her life in Jerusalem, without any ties to the West Bank. HaMoked also stressed that the woman has nowhere to live in the West Bank and asserted that the decision to deny her the A/5 visa was unfounded and that it violated the right to family life and the best interest of the children, who are dependent on their mother.

In the hearing held on February 21, 2013, the Ministry of Interior said the woman would be given a temporary residency permit for one year, or until regulations, in processing at the time, regarding health insurance for persons lacking status in Israel were enacted. However, the woman would have to sign a 10,000 ILS guarantee that she is aware the status is time-limited and will be revoked once social security rights are secured. The state added that the woman was married to a bigamist and that “the committee does not recommend permits for wives of bigamists in general, and when they remain their children’s sole guardians, they receive stay permits until their children come of age”.

On January 13, 2014, HaMoked notified the court it objected to the conditions stipulated in the state’s decision since, contrary to the state’s contention, the husband was married to another woman only in the beginning of the marriage, and the petitioner had been his only wife for many years. HaMoked also said the Ministry of Interior erred when it found the woman arrived in Israel once she was married, as she had lived in Jerusalem since infancy.

In a hearing in the High Court of Justice, the court instructed the state to revaluate its decision and consider granting the woman an A/5 residency visa without conditions. The justices criticized the state’s conduct in processing this application in particular, and its conduct in exceptional cases in general, emphasizing the need to “consider serious cases such as this one and make more magnanimous decisions in them”.

On May 5, 2015, the state announced that, in keeping with the justices’ recommendations, the minister of interior had decided to approve an A/5 visa for the woman with no conditions. The petition was, therefore, deleted by consent.

On October 6, 2015, the court ordered the state to pay 12,000 ILS in costs due to the long period of time that passed from the time the petition was filed until the matter was resolved.
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A Palestinian girl, born in Nablus to a mother who was a resident of Jerusalem and raised in the city ever since age two, was married to a Jerusalem resident when she was 14. So long as she was a minor, the husband could not ask for family unification with her. In 2001, around the time she turned 18, her husband was shot in the head and fell into a coma. The woman was left without status and without rights, having to take care of her husband and children. In 2003, the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) blocked residents of the OPT married to Israelis from receiving status in Israel. In August 2005, the law was amended, allowing such individuals to receive Israeli stay-permits. This was only option of getting the woman in question status in Israel.

However, the amendment applied only to men over age 35 and women over age 25. HaMoked attempted to have the woman’s status regularized before she reached age 25, and contacted the Inter-Ministerial Committee at the Ministry of Interior on August 15, 2006. This committee has a mandate to discuss humanitarian applications for status in Israel. HaMoked argued that given the husband’s coma, and the fact that the woman was taking care of him and their two young children, all of whom are residents of Israel, she should be granted status in the country. HaMoked noted that she was eligible for status as a child, thanks to her mother’s status, but that the matter was not resolved for reasons she had no control over. As it is wont to do, the Ministry of Interior rejected the application for failure to meet criteria, as she was not yet 25. An appeal HaMoked filed was also rejected.

On September 14, 2009, after the woman turned 25, HaMoked filed an application to the Humanitarian Committee (established in 2007, as part of the amendment to the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, in order to review applications made by residents of the OPT for an Israeli residency or stay permit for special humanitarian reasons). The minister of interior decided to grant the woman “an Israeli stay permit for special humanitarian reasons” as she was functioning as a single parent. The permit would only be valid for as long as the woman was caring for her children.

Following this development, on July 6, 2011, HaMoked filed a petition to instruct the minister of interior to grant the woman temporary status (A/5 visa) in Israel, which would give her and her family security and stability. HaMoked argued that that it was not reasonable to consider the petitioner a resident of the OPT given that she had lived most of her life in Jerusalem, without any ties to the West Bank. HaMoked also stressed that the woman has nowhere to live in the West Bank and asserted that the decision to deny her the A/5 visa was unfounded and that it violated the right to family life and the best interest of the children, who are dependent on their mother.

In the hearing held on February 21, 2013, the Ministry of Interior said the woman would be given a temporary residency permit for one year, or until regulations, in processing at the time, regarding health insurance for persons lacking status in Israel were enacted. However, the woman would have to sign a 10,000 ILS guarantee that she is aware the status is time-limited and will be revoked once social security rights are secured. The state added that the woman was married to a bigamist and that “the committee does not recommend permits for wives of bigamists in general, and when they remain their children’s sole guardians, they receive stay permits until their children come of age”.

On January 13, 2014, HaMoked notified the court it objected to the conditions stipulated in the state’s decision since, contrary to the state’s contention, the husband was married to another woman only in the beginning of the marriage, and the petitioner had been his only wife for many years. HaMoked also said the Ministry of Interior erred when it found the woman arrived in Israel once she was married, as she had lived in Jerusalem since infancy.

In a hearing in the High Court of Justice, the court instructed the state to revaluate its decision and consider granting the woman an A/5 residency visa without conditions. The justices criticized the state’s conduct in processing this application in particular, and its conduct in exceptional cases in general, emphasizing the need to “consider serious cases such as this one and make more magnanimous decisions in them”.

On May 5, 2015, the state announced that, in keeping with the justices’ recommendations, the minister of interior had decided to approve an A/5 visa for the woman with no conditions. The petition was, therefore, deleted by consent.

On October 6, 2015, the court ordered the state to pay 12,000 ILS in costs due to the long period of time that passed from the time the petition was filed until the matter was resolved.
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