A Palestinian police officer detained in Israel is demanding that the High Court of Justice give him refuge as he claims his life may be at risk if he is forced to return to the Gaza Strip.
The 24-year-old, a resident of Gaza who was arrested for infiltrating the border with Israel, is scheduled to be released from prison early next week but filed a petition Sunday asking that an order be issued allowing him to remain in Israel.
He says he has appealed to a committee managed by the Defense Ministry, which handles appeals from Palestinians at risk from Palestinian organizations, but that he had not yet received a response.
The former police officer says he became a wanted man when Hamas performed its hostile takeover of Gaza in 2007, along with his brother and father, because the three were seen as loyal to the Palestinian Authority.
The man says he turned himself in to the IDF after being attacked and shot by Hamas operatives. In order to do so he crossed the border into Israel illegally, and was thereafter brought to court and sentenced to one year in prison.
However after reviewing his case a parole committee decided to release him early. He then asked to be released into the West Bank and not Gaza, but despite a number of urgent calls by his attorney he has not yet received a reply to his request.
The officer is now asking to be allowed to stay in Israel or, as an alternative, to be granted residency in the West Bank. He is also demanding that the court prevent the state from transferring him to Gaza until a solution is found.