Center for the Defence of the Individual - Following HaMoked’s petition: two motherless children from Gaza are allowed to relocate to the West Bank to live with their father
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חזרה לעמוד הקודם

Following HaMoked’s petition: two motherless children from Gaza are allowed to relocate to the West Bank to live with their father

Israel pursues a policy designed to isolate the Gaza Strip and separate it completely from the West Bank. In this framework, Israel imposes severe restrictions on travel in and out of Gaza, while tearing families apart, separating between spouses and between children and their parents. Travel of Palestinians between the West Bank and Gaza has been drastically restricted, and visit permits are given only in “exceptional humanitarian cases” according to the military’s strict and narrow criteria. Israel’s policy is largely one-directional: the military allows Palestinians to move from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip – provided the applicant undertakes to relocate to Gaza indefinitely, without intent of ever returning to the West Bank. Applications to relocate from Gaza to the West Bank are dismissed out of hand.

Thus in the case of a West Bank resident and his two children who were born in Gaza. The family used to live in the Gaza Strip. Following the death of his wife, the man was left to raise his orphaned children on his own. Later on, due to the difficult economic situation in the Gaza Strip, the father had to move to the West Bank to support his family, leaving children behind in the care of their grandmother. Once his economic situation stabilized, the father wanted to reunite with his children and bring them over to the West Bank.

On September 29, 2014, HaMoked contacted the military, asking to allow the children to travel across to the West Bank. The application was rejected for “failing the criteria”.

Therefore, on May 21, 2015, HaMoked petitioned the High Court of Justice (HCJ) to invalidate the military’s decision, claiming it caused disproportionate harm to the right to family life of the father and children, leaving them motherless and fatherless.

In its response of November 1, 2015, the state maintained that the application was not submitted according to the regulations, and was in fact misunderstood – the military allegedly assumed the application was filed to enable the children to visit in the West Bank, rather than relocate there. The state said that if the father wanted his children to come live with him in the West Bank, he must file a new application, which would be considered promptly.

On December 6, 2015, the HCJ deleted the petition, ruling that the children’s application to settle in the West Bank was to be transferred to the military according to the regulations, with a decision to be reached within a month from receipt.

In February 2016, the children moved to the West Bank and were reunited with their father.

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