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Military admits: “Security” block against two minors, ages 6 and 8, which denied them visits with their father, imprisoned in Israel, was likely an error

The right of OPT residents to visit incarcerated family members depends on receiving an Israeli entry permit, often denied by the military due to a “security block”. This condition, however, does not apply to minors under the age of 16, as they do not require such a permit.

HaMoked has recently received a communication regarding two minors, aged 6 and 8, from the West Bank who were not permitted by the military to visit their father, who is incarcerated in Israel, due to a “security block”. On January 6, 2016, HaMoked contacted the military regarding the children, asking why the military had denied them the visit.

When no answer was received, on April 21, 2016, HaMoked petitioned the Jerusalem District Court to instruct the military to let the children visit their father. HaMoked stressed that the father had been given two life sentences, meaning his release was not on the horizon, and that denying the visit with his children harmed their right to family life and the children’s best interest.

On June 28, 2016, the military said that “approval” has been given to issue the children permits for 45 days. HaMoked said, in response, that the decision to issue 45-day permits means the minors were classified as barred entry into Israel by the authorities. HaMoked wondered why there would be a security block against children in the first place, and recalled that children do not ordinarily need permits. Following the petition, the children visited their father in prison in July for the first time in some 18 months.

It was only in the Respondent’s response, dated October 31, 2016, that the state admitted the security block against the two minors was “likely an error”. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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