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Entry of Israelis into the Gaza Strip during the holidays: HCJ 7235/09
documents: 0  |  Updates: 2 Until July 2007, the military allowed Israeli residents and citizens to enter the Gaza Strip to visit their relatives on religious holidays. Once Hamas seized control of security apparatuses in Gaza, Israel stopped this practice. The sweeping cessation of visits caused thousands to be almost completely cut off from their relatives, except in cases of exceptional humanitarian need, such as the death or critical illness of a relative. Around the time Hamas took power, HaMoked petitioned the High Court of Justice demanding that the military allow visits to Gaza during Id al-Fitr. The military refused, and the court chose not to intervene in the matter in view of the situation at the time, but in its decision, clarified that if the situation changed, the military would have to reconsider allowing the visits.

In September 2009, HaMoked filed a similar petition, demanding that the state comply with its own undertaking to the court, given time and again in the context of various petitions, to allow Israeli residents and citizens to travel with their spouses and children to visit their relatives in the Gaza strip during the religious holidays. The petition asserted that Israel's policy infringes on the rights of many – Israelis and Palestinians alike – to family life and freedom of religion. In its response, the state claimed that according to the military's periodic assessment, conducted following Operation Cast Lead, the policy of banning visits by Israelis could not be altered under the current security situation, out of concerns over their safety and possible exploitation by terrorist organizations.

The HCJ denied the petition. In a brief judgment, the court ruled that while it was indeed severe, the infringement of the protected rights of Israeli citizens and residents was strictly proportionate given the security situation in Gaza.

The High Court rejected HaMoked’s petition to allow visits in Gaza during Id al-Fitr: The court ruled that the continued severe infringement on the protected rights of Israel’s residents and citizens is proportionate
HaMoked petitions the High Court of Justice to allow visits to the Gaza Strip during the upcoming Id al-Fitr: The state must stop severing family ties between Israel’s residents and citizens and their relatives in the Gaza Strip (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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