Israeli Supreme Court Roundup
Israeli Supreme Court Roundup
On December 14, the High Court of Justice rejected a petition by Gaza’s citizens to enter Israel in order to handle lawsuits against the State. The State Prosecutor specifically differentiated between strictly humanitarian cases, which residents of Gaza are permitted to litigate, and civil claims, which is what the petition had asked for.
“The state wears two hats, being responsible for security on one hand, and as a defendant in the cases on the other, and it must take care as much as possible not to mix between the two,” Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein ruled on the matter.
On the international front, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee's torture report cites the "Israeli example" as legal justification for cases where "torture was necessary to prevent imminent, significant, physical harm to persons, where there is no other available means to prevent the harm." According to Israel Today, the CIA used Israeli Supreme Court precedents to justify their use of torture.
The CIA's Office of General Counsel said the "Israeli example was the justification for "ticking time bombs" where "torture was necessary to prevent imminent, significant, physical harm to persons, where there is no other available means to prevent the harm."
At a conference held by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) during the week of December 15, former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner explained that the Supreme Court actually has no influence on the reality of the “occupation of the West Bank.” The conference, which took place at Tel Aviv University’s law school, was dedicated to ACRI’s new report, “One Rule, Two Legal Systems: Israel’s Regime of Laws in the West Bank,” which provides a detailed account of the alleged structural discrimination that has become a pillar of the political and legal reality in Israel.
On December 10, the High Court rejected MK Haneen Zoabi’s appeal and upheld the six month suspension imposed on her following her statement that Palestinian kidnappers of three Israeli teenagers were not terrorists. Zoabi contended that the Knesset Ethics Committee had deviated from its authority in order to silence her, “and not just me but freedom of expression and freedom of Palestinian citizens to protest inequality, oppression, racism and discrimination.” In their decision, the justices essentially chose “not to interfere” with the Knesset committee’s decision, and said they took into account that her suspension will end before the next election.
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