Center for the Defence of the Individual - Only due to HaMoked's intervention: the military removed an arbitrary preclusion banning the overseas travel of a Palestinian resident of the West Bank
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Only due to HaMoked's intervention: the military removed an arbitrary preclusion banning the overseas travel of a Palestinian resident of the West Bank

Every year, Israeli security forces ban the overseas travel of hundreds of Palestinian residents of the occupied territories, without conducting a hearing or notifying people that they have been barred from traveling abroad. "Security preclusions" are often arbitrarily registered against people, and are frequently removed following the submission of a petition by HaMoked.

In early July 2018, the military barred the overseas travel of a Palestinian resident of Hebron in his 30's who works as the manager of the volunteer team of the Red Crescent in Hebron, and acts as a member of the organization's managing board. This, despite the fact that for years, the man, who has never been arrested or suspected of anything, routinely traveled abroad several times a year as part of his work, and met with no difficulties. After discovering that he was precluded from traveling abroad, on July 3, 2018, the man submitted an objection against the preclusion, among else because he had been invited to take part in a Red Cross training program in London, scheduled for September 17-23, 2018. A month later, having received no response to his objection, the man turned to HaMoked for help. On August 9, 2018, HaMoked submitted a letter to the military, asking whether the man's objection had been received and whether it is being examined, emphasizing the purpose and date of the planned trip.

Nine weeks after the submission of the objection, having received no response from the Military, HaMoked submitted an urgent petition to the High Court of Justice on September 6, 2018, demanding that the military be instructed to urgently respond to the petition in accordance with its own procedures (which state that objections will be answered within 8 weeks from their submission), and to permit the man's travel abroad. HaMoked requested, in light of the circumstances of the case, that the hearing on the petition be scheduled urgently, and stressed that the preclusion against the man's overseas travel seriously harms his right to freedom of movement and to the freedom to choose an occupation and to engage in work.

On September 12, 2018, the Court announced that the hearing on the petition had been scheduled for September 20, 2018 – three days(!) after the start of the training program in London. In a last attempt to enable the man's travel to the program, HaMoked contacted the state's attorney's office, requesting that the man's objection be urgently reviewed. And indeed, on September 13, 2018, the state's attorney's office announced that the security forces had withdrawn the preclusion against the man's travel abroad.

This case demonstrates the arbitrary nature of preclusions registered against the overseas travel of residents of the occupied territories. The state flippantly harms the right of many Palestinians to freedom of movement, which is a basic condition for the realization of many other rights, forcing those who wish to assert their right to engage in lengthy and exhausting bureaucratic and legal procedures.

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