A Palestinian man living in Israel for many years and raising his four children alone is about to be expelled. HaMoked to the High Court of Justice: it is inconceivable that humanitarian cases will fall between cracks of bureaucracy at the expense of individuals in distress המוקד להגנת הפרט
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07.02.2017
A Palestinian man living in Israel for many years and raising his four children alone is about to be expelled. HaMoked to the High Court of Justice: it is inconceivable that humanitarian cases will fall between cracks of bureaucracy at the expense of individuals in distress
A Palestinian man living in Israel for many years and raising his four children alone is about to be expelled. HaMoked to the High Court of Justice: it is inconceivable that humanitarian cases will fall between cracks of bureaucracy at the expense of individuals in distress
A father of four minors, residents of East Jerusalem, raising and providing for his children alone, has been living lawfully in Israel for many years under a family unification procedure. The man, originally a resident of the West Bank, has temporary residency status in Israel since 2009 by virtue of marriage with a permanent resident. As a result of the spouses' divorce in 2015, the need arose to arrange the father's status in Israel, who received full custody over his children, so as to enable him to continue lawfully residing in Israel, taking care of his children and providing for them.

In August 2015, HaMoked turned, on behalf of the father, to the humanitarian committee vested with the authority to recommend to the Minister of Interior to grant status in Israel to spouses of Israelis, residents of the occupied territories, who lost their status after their marriage with an Israeli resident terminated as a result of divorce, violence or death. At the same time, HaMoked turned to the Ministry of Interior and requested to extend the validity of the man's status by virtue of his marriage (A/5 visa) until such time as the committee's decision was given. The Ministry of Interior extended the validity of the father's status.

However, recently, when the man submitted an additional request to extend the validity of his status – in view of the fact that the humanitarian committee has not yet given a decision in his matter – the Ministry of Interior denied his request, strangely arguing that it was not authorized to do so. An appeal filed by HaMoked against the decision of the Ministry of Interior was also denied. The father, who takes care of his children, now faces the threat of expulsion since his status is about to expire on February 9, 2017.

On February 7, 2017, HaMoked filed an urgent petition with the High Court of Justice (HCJ), requesting it to order the Ministry of Interior to extend the validity of the man's status in Israel and prevent his expulsion, and to also extend the validity of the status of others found in a similar situation, for as long as their application to receive status in Israel for humanitarian reasons was pending before the humanitarian committee. HaMoked emphasized that the refusal of the Ministry of Interior to extend the status in Israel of the father and other applicants in a similar situation, on the one hand, and the humanitarian committee's procrastination in responding to status applications, on the other, exposes individuals in severe distress to the threat of being expelled from their homes and disconnected from their families.

Moreover, HaMoked argued that "a person should not be deprived of a residency status which had already been granted to him, particularly when humanitarian circumstances are raised"; this logic guides the interministerial committee which handles applications similar to those handled by the humanitarian committee, subject to one difference: it does not handle Palestinians, residents of the occupied territories. HaMoked emphasized that said conduct was discriminatory and totally unjustified!

On that very day, the HCJ ordered the state to respond to the petition within 30 days and clarified that should the state intend to expel the father from Israel, notice to that effect should be given to the court at least 72 hours beforehand.
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A father of four minors, residents of East Jerusalem, raising and providing for his children alone, has been living lawfully in Israel for many years under a family unification procedure. The man, originally a resident of the West Bank, has temporary residency status in Israel since 2009 by virtue of marriage with a permanent resident. As a result of the spouses' divorce in 2015, the need arose to arrange the father's status in Israel, who received full custody over his children, so as to enable him to continue lawfully residing in Israel, taking care of his children and providing for them.

In August 2015, HaMoked turned, on behalf of the father, to the humanitarian committee vested with the authority to recommend to the Minister of Interior to grant status in Israel to spouses of Israelis, residents of the occupied territories, who lost their status after their marriage with an Israeli resident terminated as a result of divorce, violence or death. At the same time, HaMoked turned to the Ministry of Interior and requested to extend the validity of the man's status by virtue of his marriage (A/5 visa) until such time as the committee's decision was given. The Ministry of Interior extended the validity of the father's status.

However, recently, when the man submitted an additional request to extend the validity of his status – in view of the fact that the humanitarian committee has not yet given a decision in his matter – the Ministry of Interior denied his request, strangely arguing that it was not authorized to do so. An appeal filed by HaMoked against the decision of the Ministry of Interior was also denied. The father, who takes care of his children, now faces the threat of expulsion since his status is about to expire on February 9, 2017.

On February 7, 2017, HaMoked filed an urgent petition with the High Court of Justice (HCJ), requesting it to order the Ministry of Interior to extend the validity of the man's status in Israel and prevent his expulsion, and to also extend the validity of the status of others found in a similar situation, for as long as their application to receive status in Israel for humanitarian reasons was pending before the humanitarian committee. HaMoked emphasized that the refusal of the Ministry of Interior to extend the status in Israel of the father and other applicants in a similar situation, on the one hand, and the humanitarian committee's procrastination in responding to status applications, on the other, exposes individuals in severe distress to the threat of being expelled from their homes and disconnected from their families.

Moreover, HaMoked argued that "a person should not be deprived of a residency status which had already been granted to him, particularly when humanitarian circumstances are raised"; this logic guides the interministerial committee which handles applications similar to those handled by the humanitarian committee, subject to one difference: it does not handle Palestinians, residents of the occupied territories. HaMoked emphasized that said conduct was discriminatory and totally unjustified!

On that very day, the HCJ ordered the state to respond to the petition within 30 days and clarified that should the state intend to expel the father from Israel, notice to that effect should be given to the court at least 72 hours beforehand.
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