The High Court of Justice overruled Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Monday, ordering a Gazan who was shot by the IDF in his legs during confrontations at the Gaza border be allowed to travel to the West Bank for medical attention.
Yusef Iad Karnaz was shot by the IDF on March 30 while allegedly participating in violent aspects of protests that were organized by Hamas on the Gaza border.
Medical facilities in Gaza are insufficient to save his legs from needing to be amputated, although one of his legs had already been amputated by the time of a hearing before the High Court on Sunday.
The petition to permit him to travel to Ramallah for medical treatment that could possibly save his legs had been filed before the amputation by his Adalah and Al Meezan lawyers, who forcefully pursued the request after the amputation.
Liberman blocked his request to travel to the West Bank when he had both legs and again after one leg was amputated.
Liberman said because Israel is at war with Gaza, it would generally only allow humanitarian life-saving cases to leave. In addition, he said, Israel specifically reserves the right to oppose any travel for any Gazans associated in any way with Hamas.
Justices Uri Shoham, Yael Wilner and George Kara said that while in light of security considerations, Liberman and the state have significant discretion about who can leave Gaza, they are still obligated to review specific exceptional circumstances of each case.
The court said Karnaz must be allowed to go in light of the fact that no one asserted he posed any real security threat; he had already lost a leg; and he would imminently need the other leg amputated if he did not travel to the West Bank for treatment.
The court criticized Liberman and the state for responding generally to the request without looking at the specific extreme circumstances.
Finally, the court said that the case was extreme and could not necessarily serve as a precedent for other cases.
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