The HCJ to the state: an effort is needed to make it as easy as possible for the Palestinian population requiring permits on the administrative level in order to simplify life under the complex political, legal and daily reality
In a petition filed by HaMoked
against the military, seeking a response to a request to allow a Palestinian from the West Bank to travel abroad, the High Court of Justice severely criticized the state for its poor performance in processing applications made by Palestinians to lift travel bans. In a brief judgment
, handed down on July 5, 2016, the court clarified that it was fed up with wasting its valuable time on these matters, and instructed the state to file notice, within one week, supported by an affidavit from the head of the Civil Administration, as to “why are responses not provided to applicants in time … forcing them to file a petition with all the entailed waste of resources…” The court also instructed the state to outline a detailed plan for successful application processing.
On September 4, 2016, two months after the judgment was delivered, the state submitted a brief, meager response
, supported by an affidavit from the head of the Civil Administration. The notice failed to explain the poor performance of the past, nor did it provide a plan for improvement. Instead, the state said that when processing of applications for travel abroad was delayed, certain Civil Administration officials should be informed, with applicants then waiting for these officials to do their work. The state further noted that instead of having responses delivered by a single body, as had been the case thus far, regional coordination offices would be delegated powers to provide responses.
In a letter to the state
, dated November 7, 2016, HaMoked stressed that “neither the notice submitted to the court, nor the affidavit provide an adequate solution for the many cases in which Palestinians do not receive responses to their applications to have a travel bans lifted”. Therefore, HaMoked demanded that the state design an actual, detailed system, as instructed by the High Court. In the updating notice
to the court, dated February 8, 2017, the state provided no new solutions, only more planned meetings and retraining on existing procedures.
Given the state’s inaction, HaMoked repeated
the demand that it present a plan for preventing the recurrence of non-responsiveness to applications made by Palestinian residents, who depend on the military for their everyday needs. HaMoked also noted that the decision to delegate the power to respond to applications has made matters worse. Since this particular change came into effect, answers are delayed even longer, and many military officials are not aware of the new operating procedure which exacerbates the red-tape.
In a brief decision
from April 20, 2017, the High Court asserted: “The ideology should be simple: without harming security in the least… an effort is needed to make it as easy as possible for the Palestinian population requiring permits on the administrative level, to simplify life under the complex political, legal and daily reality”. The court further noted that “The many petitions that are filed and deleted before a hearing is held because the specific issue has been resolved, thus proven to have been unwarranted had the matter been addressed, testify to the need for improvement… Clear and organized arrangements must be reached. This is, of course, not out of reach”.
A further hearing is scheduled for May 9, 2017 at 11:00 AM