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Following a two year battle, and only due to HaMoked's intervention: the military has permitted the entry into Israel of a West Bank resident for the purpose of visiting her imprisoned spouse

The ability of residents of the occupied territories to visit relatives imprisoned in Israel is conditioned on receiving a permit to enter Israel. In many cases, the military prevents the issue of such permits due to "security restrictions". Often, no justification for the restriction is given, or the justification provided is vague and general.

Since November 2016, the military has prevented the entry into Israel of a resident of the West Bank in her 20s, for the purpose of visiting her imprisoned husband, with the vague justification of a security restriction entered due to "recommendations by security agents". This, despite the fact that the woman has never been arrested, interrogated, or accused of anything.

On June 14, 2017, HaMoked submitted a petition to the Court for Administrative Affairs, requesting the woman be granted permission to visit her husband in an Israeli prison. Following a hearing on the petition, during which classified information was presented to the Court, the Court recommended that the woman withdraw the petition and submit an additional request to visit her husband a few months later. Her new request, however, submitted on October 10, 2017, was also rejected due to a security restriction – once again with no details, and without being told when the restriction would be removed.

On March 15, 2018, HaMoked submitted a second petition, demanding that the military allow the woman to visit her imprisoned husband, whom she had not seen for over 18 months. HaMoked claimed that by holding Palestinian prisoners in its territory, Israel is violating international law and seriously harming their constitutional right to family life. HaMoked further claimed that the state has alternative methods for dealing with the alleged danger arising from the woman's visit, what with the prison visit being supervised from start to finish, and a lack of direct contact between the visitor and the prisoner. HaMoked further noted that the prisoner's wife is the only relative who is able to visit him, and that visits by the couples' children (aged 4 and 5) depend on approval of their mother's request to visit their father, as they are unable to undergo an exhausting visit day without adult accompaniment.

On May 23, 2018, the military submitted its response to the petition, insisting that the woman's presence in Israel could pose a threat to the security of the state and the public, and that she does not have an automatic right to enter Israel. However, on July 10, 2018, five days before the scheduled hearing on the petition, another notice was received from the military, according to which the "danger" stemming from the woman had been reexamined, and it was decided to approve her request to visit her husband.

Thus, following HaMoked's intervention and almost two years since her last visit, the woman will be able to visit her spouse, and bring their young children along to see their father. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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