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Top Court Rules Against Israel's Ban on Palestinians From Joint Memorial Day Event

12:00 Apr 23 2023 Israel's Supreme Court ( בֵּית הַמִּשְׁפָּט הָעֶלְיוֹן, المحكمة العليا)

Top Court Rules Against Israel's Ban on Palestinians From Joint Memorial Day Event
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Families at the joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day ceremony in 2018. Credit: Ofer Vaknin Published by Haaretz
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Defense Minister Yoav Gallant's refusal to let bereaved Palestinian families enter Israel to participate in memorial ceremony is opposed by the attorney general

by Chen Maanit for Haaretz
Apr 23, 2023
7:41 pm IDT

Israel's Supreme Court granted a petition against Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s ban on allowing Palestinians to enter Israel from the West Bank to participate in a joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day commemoration.

The court granted the petition unanimously, in light of previous rulings that allowed Palestinians to enter for the event, subject to security checks. The petition, filed by Israeli Palestinian Bereaved Families for Peace and by Combatants for Peace, sought a show-cause order against Gallant’s refusal to allow entry to the Palestinians.

The petition cites Supreme Court President Esther Hayut's decision in a 2019 case that reversed the then defense minister's order and allowed the entry of most of the Palestinians for whom the organizers had sought permission.

Hayut said the ceremony “has a declared goal and a clear message of reconciliation and peace. From [the families’] point of view, it appears that people have come together here who are seeking through their activity to actively change the reality of enmity and to instill hope.”

The 18th joint ceremony is scheduled for the eve of Memorial Day at Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park. Members of four bereaved families – Israeli and Palestinian – are scheduled to speak. The three most recent ceremonies were held virtually, in part due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara stated last week that her legal opinion was against Gallant’s ban, saying there was no reason to change the arrangement existing in previous years. In explaining Gallant's decision, his office said it wouldn’t be possible to allow Palestinians to enter Israel because of security tensions in the West Bank, and since “a general curfew will be imposed on that date” in light of the sensitivity of the date.
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