Center for the Defence of the Individual - Banning exit abroad: at any given time, over 10,000 Palestinians in the West Bank are barred by Israel from leaving their country, for undisclosed security reasons and with no notice or hearing
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חזרה לעמוד הקודם

Banning exit abroad: at any given time, over 10,000 Palestinians in the West Bank are barred by Israel from leaving their country, for undisclosed security reasons and with no notice or hearing

Every year, the Israeli security forces impose a ban on thousands of Palestinians from the oPt from going abroad, without a hearing, or even notifying them of the existence of the travel ban and for how long it will be in force. Some people submit an “advance inquiry” to the Israeli military before they travel, but most people discover they are banned from exiting their country only when they reach the Allenby Bridge border crossing on their way to Jordan (the West Bank’s only gateway abroad).

Palestinians may file an objection to the military, asking to remove the ban. Military procedure requires that the objection be answered within 8 weeks, but often the response arrives much later, occasionally only following a court petition simply to demand a response.

Each year, HaMoked represents dozens of Palestinians barred from travelling abroad for “security reasons”. HaMoked files objections to the military, and if these are unsuccessful files a petition to the Court for Administrative Affairs, in an effort to bring about the cancellation of the “security preclusions”, and to protect the freedom of movement of residents of the occupied territories. In many case, "security preclusions" are arbitrary, and as such, they are quickly cancelled following the submission of a petition– a phenomenon that was severely criticized by the High Court of Justice (HCJ) in the past, when it was still within its jurisdiction to rule on such cases.

On May 2, 2021, HaMoked sent to the military a freedom-of-information request for “data concerning, among other things, the implementation of the March 2017 procedure titled “Processing Requests to Ascertain the Existence of a Security Preclusion to Going Abroad and to Seek its Removal”. However, nine months later, and despite repeated reminders, there was still no response, and so HaMoked had to file a petition to the Jerusalem Court for Administrative Affairs on February 6, 2022. Only following the petition and just two days before the scheduled court hearing, the military provided its response, with data substantiating HaMoked’s claims regarding the arbitrary and largescale imposition of foreign travel bans. 

In the response of March 1, 2022, data was provided for the first time regarding “the number of residents in whose matter an exit-abroad ban is entered against them”, and this, for the first day of each of the years 2017-2021. The data shows that at any given time, Israel bans over 10,000 Palestinians from leaving their country and going abroad for classified security reasons. This number exceeded 13,000 in the years before the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic: 


Number of residents











The data includes the number of residents whose travel ban was removed; and of them, in the years 2019-2021, those whose ban was lifted without an objection or petition on their behalf:


No. of residents the ban against them was lifted

Of them: ban lifted without  objection or petition



No data



No data










The data provided includes the annual number of requests to lift a foreign-travel ban received by the military; the annual number of approved requests; the percentage of requests answered on time, and the average processing time:


Ban-removal requests submitted to the military

Approved requests
(ban removed)

Requests answered within 8 weeks (%)

Average processing time



352 (42%)


48 days



247 (48%)


53 days



143 (49%)


53 days

At the end of the hearing, held on schedule, the Court ordered the petition’s deletion “given that the information has been provided to the petitioner, although greatly in delay, and part of it only during this session”. The Court also ruled that “given that the Petitioner had to file the petition following the Respondents’ many-months-long failure to respond to the information request, and especially given that the Respondents failed to reply to the Petitioners repeated communications, Respondent 1 is to pay the Petitioner attorney’s fee in the sum of ILS 5,000”.   

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