Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Supreme Court allows entry to Hamas kin for medical care
Israel's top court votes in favor of petition submitted last month by rights organizations objecting to Israel's policy of forbidding 5 critically ill women in Gaza from entering the country for medical treatment due to their relatives being members of the strip's ruling terror group.
Israel's Supreme Court has ruled that five critically ill women from Gaza may enter Israel for urgent medical treatment despite a government decision preventing relatives of Hamas members from doing so.
The five women appealed to the court last month after their requests to enter Israel were rejected on the grounds of their relation to members of the Hamas terror group.
The government decision denies entry for health care to relatives of Hamas members and is meant to exert pressure Gaza's rulers who currently hold the remains of two Israeli soldiers. Two other Israeli citizens are also being held by the terror group.
The court ruled late Sunday that the government decision was unreasonable and could not stand up to a legal test.
Four human rights groups representing the women said the government was using them and others seeking care unavailable in Gaza as "bargaining chips."
The court ruling came after a petition filed on July 29 this year by Gisha, Al Mezan, Adalah, and Physicians for Human Rights Israel was unanimously accepted by Supreme Court Justices Uzi Fogelman, Isaac Amit, and Ofer Grosskopf.
Adalah—The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel—released a press statement saying that the justices also ruled that the Israeli Security Cabinet’s 2017 decision to deny Gaza patients access to medical treatment as means of leverage over Hamas was ineffective and illegal.
“Basing the decision on a relative’s prohibited activity, with no suggestion that the patient herself is involved in or even aware of the activity, is contrary to the basic principles to which we are committed,” concluded Justice Fogelman, the lead justice on the case.
The four human rights organizations responded to the decision.
“We welcome the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision to allow five critically-ill women—most of whom are suffering from cancer—to exit the Gaza Strip for life-saving medical care,” they organizations were quoted in the press statement.
“However, it is most regrettable that it required three Supreme Court justices to raise a black flag over a policy” which the organizations described as “clearly cruel and illegal.”