The Israeli High Court ordered the government, on Monday night, to permit five women from Gaza to immediately enter Israel for medical treatment at two Jerusalem hospitals, Augusta Victoria and al-Makassed.
The women are close relatives of known Hamas terrorists, and the state refused to let them enter, in order to pressure Hamas to return the Israeli citizens and the bodies of IDF soldiers that Hamas has been holding captive.
The High Court ruled that the decision to not allow the close family members of the Hamas terrorists to enter Israel, to be in contravention of Israel’s humanitarian obligations under international law and constituted collective punishment.
The decision was made by Justices Uzi Fogelman, Yitzhak Amit and Ofer Grosskopf. Amit even declared the hospitals to be “Palestinian” even though they are located in Jerusalem.
Amit wrote in his verdict, according to a Jerusalem Post report, “The state is requested not to prevent the petitioners from receiving medical treatment in a Palestinian hospital, at the expense of the Palestinian Authority, in a place where Palestinian patients are treated from all areas of Judea and Samaria. Indeed, the two hospitals [al-Makassed and August Victoria] are in east Jerusalem.”
Criticism of the High Court’s decision was very strong.
MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) stated that the court’s decision was irresponsible and the judges are damaging the security of Israel. He explained that Israel was withholding entry from Hamas family members to pressure Hamas to release Israeli captives, and the intervention by the High Court is Chutzpah. The court, Smotrich said, prefers the lives of our enemies, over our ability to handle Hamas.
Deputy Defense Minister Eliyahu Ben-Dahan (Bayit Yehudi) said that if the High Court continues in this direction, we will have to place restrictions on their authority via legislation.