Petitioning for Habeas Corpus and Demanding Information on Gaza Freedom Flotilla Passengers

HCJ 4193/10 Adalah et al v. Minister of Defense, et. al


On 2 June 2010, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected a petition for habeas corpus and demand for information about individuals detained, wounded and deceased following the attacks by the Israeli navy on 31 May 2010 on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Following the release of some information on the number and the locations of the wounded, and representations made by the State Attorney’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office to the effect that all foreign detainees have been deported or are in the process of being deported from Israel, the court ruled that the main remedies requested by the petitioners had been met and that the case was moot. The three justice panel was comprised of Chief Justice Beinisch, and Justices Fogelman and Naor.


The petition was submitted by Adalah Attorney Orna Kohn on 31 May 2010, soon after the events, on behalf of Adalah, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) due to the fact that no information about the detainees, wounded and deceased was being released by the Israeli authorities. The petition demanded that the Supreme Court oblige the state to inform the families of the deceased of the death of their loved ones; and to inform the families of the wounded about their health condition and their whereabouts. It also demanded information regarding the detainees including a list of names, legal status and location of the detention facility, as well as immediate access for attorneys to meet them.

At the hearing before the Supreme Court, State Prosecutor Moshe Lador stated that all foreign detainees were released or on their way to the airport. He also stated that the wounded who were medically fit, were also already sent home, and while two additional injured individuals were still hospitalized in Israel because their medical situation prevented them flying back.

Adalah Attorney Fatmeh El-Ajou represented the petitioners before the court. She sought additional information concerning the names of the deceased; the number, the nationalities, the locations, and access to the wounded still in hospital; and more information on the detainees, considering that some individuals on the state’s list were noted as “being held for criminal prosecution”. While this information was not released at the hearing, Adalah was subsequently able to gain access to three of the seven remaining wounded (as of 3 June), and is following up on any new information concerning detainees.

Case citation: HCJ 4193/10, Adalah, et al. v. The Minister of Defense, et. al. (petition rejected, 2 June 2010)

For more information, see:

Legal Documents

The petition

The state’s response

The Supreme Court’s decision