pr 08-06-04

Adalah * Association for Civil Rights in Israel * Bimkom * Gisha * HaMoked * Physicians for Human Rights-Israel * The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel * Rabbis for Human Rights * Yesh Din

15  January 2009

Today at 16:30: Supreme Court to Hold Additional Hearing on Urgent Petition Filed by Adalah and Seven Other Human Rights Organizations against the Targeting of Medical Personnel in Gaza and Preventing Them from Assisting the Wounded

At First Hearing on the Petition: Supreme Court Gives State Four Days to Respond to Specific Arguments Contained in Petition Submitted by Eights Human Rights Organizations Regarding Transportation of the Wounded and Fuel Supplies in Gaza

Adalah: In light of the current humanitarian crisis in Gaza the Court should have compelled the army to operate in accordance with international law immediately

Friday, January 9, 2009: In a hearing on two court petitions submitted by human rights groups in Israel, the Supreme Court today gives State four days to respond to specific arguments contained in petitions submitted by eights Human Rights Organizations regarding transportation of the wounded and fuel supplies in Gaza.
The court issued its interim decision following a hearing in which the human rights groups argued that Israel was failing to fulfill its commitment to the civilian population of Gaza, suffering from a collapse of humanitarian services, including medical care, water supply, and basic sanitation. The court gave the state four days, until January 13, to provide explanations.

The groups noted that international organizations declared a cessation of humanitarian operations Thursday following complaints by the ICRC about delays in evacuating patients and incidents in which UNRWA workers came under Israeli fire when trying to facilitate civilian supply. One UNRWA worker was reportedly killed Thursday. The groups demanded that the military refrain from attacking medical teams in Gaza, permit the wounded to be evacuated to hospitals, supply fuel and electricity to run Gaza's hospitals, water wells, and sewage pumps, and permit technicians to fix the crumbling infrastructure.

In Gaza, more than half a million people have been without water supply for more than a week because of lack of electricity. Sewage has leaked into the streets, and Israel has not provided safe access for technicians seeking deliver fuel and to maintain and repair the system. UNRWA has refused to escort the technicians until Israel guarantees they will not come under IDF fire.

Representatives of the Attorney General’s Office were unable to answer the specific arguments made in the two petitions, and merely gave very general responses. The Supreme Court then decided to award the state four days to provide clear and specific responses to the petitioners’ arguments. The judicial panel that heard the petition was composed of Supreme Court Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch and Justices Gronis and Rubinstein.

The Decision of the Supreme Court (Hebrew)

The Petition (Hebrew)

The Response of the State (Hebrew)





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