Supreme Court orders government to permit Gazan women treatment in Israel

"Using a patient in desperate need of life-saving medical treatment as a 'pressure lever' is not compatible with the values of the State of Israel."

Israeli Supreme Court (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Israeli Supreme Court
Supreme Court judges ordered the Israeli government to allow five Gazan women, who are close relatives of Hamas terrorists, to receive life-saving medical treatment in a hospital in Jerusalem on Sunday.
The women require medical treatment that is not available in the Gaza Strip. They applied to Israel for medical treatment at the Augusta Victoria and al-Makassed hospitals in east Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority said it would undertake the expenses.
However, the state refused their request in an attempt to exert pressure on Hamas, to promote negotiations that would lead to the return of prisoners and missing persons.
The Supreme Court argued that the decision contravenes Israel's humanitarian obligations under international law, and that even under domestic Israeli law, this decision is arbitrary, unreasonable as well as disproportionate and constitutes collective punishment.
"The purpose of the prevention does not relate to the applicant and does not give proper weight to his fate and the effect of the refusal on his health," adding that, "we must remember the principle that 'you cannot punish if you do not warn first,'" wrote Justice Uzi Fogelman in his decision.
Justice Fogelman wrote that this decision is unreasonable, and therefore decided to issue an absolute order that would allow the petitioners to enter Israel to receive treatment at hospitals in Jerusalem immediately.
His verdict was joined by judges Yitzhak Amit and Ofer Grosskopf. Judge Amit, perhaps as a slip of the tongue, wrote in the judgement that the hospitals in question were Palestinian, despite the fact that they are located in areas in Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty. "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."
Judge Grosskopf wrote that "the option of using a patient in desperate need of life-saving medical treatment, and when there is no claim that she herself is involved in activities against the State of Israel, as a "pressure lever" is not compatible with the values of the State of Israel and cannot stand legally. This is a sweeping policy aimed at a group of an unknown number of critically ill patients, whose only crime is that they are first-degree relatives of Hamas members, junior and senior officials, and I therefore agree with my colleagues that the petition should be accepted."