The High Court of Justice demanded that the government explain by Sunday why it is legal to schedule and limit the number of Israeli voters who want to return to the country to vote in the March 23 election.
The schedule set by the court on Thursday – whereby the government must respond by 11:30 a.m. and the petitioners must counter no later than 2:30 p.m. – suggests that the justices may rule later on Sunday.
Earlier this week, multiple parties filed a petition with the High Court demanding that it order the government to let into the country all Israelis overseas who want to vote in the election.
The petition said that the recent government expansion of those who can return was inadequate, as it is limited to 1,000 a day at certain points and maxes out at 3,000 per day.
The Movement for the Quality of Government in Israel took the government to task for limiting entry points for such returning citizens.
According to the petition, Israel is the only country in the world putting such limits on returning citizens, though many countries have limits on non-citizens entering their borders.
The Movement asked the court for an immediate emergency order so that the situation will be amended in time for Israelis to arrive before Election Day.
This is not the only petition that the Movement has filed regarding entry controversies at Ben-Gurion Airport.
The NGO filed a petition last week to compel the government to publicize its decision-making process for granting special permits to enter the country.
“There is a suspicion that the decisions were made with preference to people who have special connections in the corridors of power,” the Movement said.
According to the NGO, the special committee for granting exceptional entries into Israel must publicize in detail the justifications for its various decisions, in order to confront allegations of “systematic discrimination” and “giving preference to certain sectors.”
The airport has been mostly closed in recent weeks to limit new coronavirus cases from entering the country, with only a small number of exceptions.
Some are charging that the government gave preference for special entry to people from the haredi sector and other potential voters who would support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and parties aligned with the Likud.
According to the Movement, publicizing the details of the committee’s decisions is “a crucial tool to ensure public accountability.”
The petition also said that judicial intervention was necessary “in light of the great harm to public faith in the relevant authorities.”