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Israel Suspends Policy on Medical Permits for Hamas Families

Israel Suspends Policy on Medical Permits for Hamas Families

Wednesday, 17 January, 2018 - 09:15
Ismail Haniyeh talks to his supporters during a Hamas rally in Gaza City. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Israeli government announced in a legal brief that it would no longer allow members of the Hamas group or their immediate family members in Gaza to enter Israel with entry permits issued out of humanitarian concerns, including to seek medical treatment in Israeli hospitals, as opposed to medical facilities in the Gaza Strip.

The announcement was made Monday after the government acknowledged to the Supreme Court that it had hitherto not fully implemented a security cabinet decision which included sanctions targeting Hamas leadership.

The state submitted its complete response to a High Court petition made by the family of Israeli Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, whose body is held by Hamas in Gaza, saying it intended to make stricter policy providing entrance permits to Israel for Hamas activists and their families for medical treatment.

"A comprehensive ban on admitting Hamas activists and their families to Israel for medical treatments will not include life-saving treatments," the statement added.

Last November, a legal team assembled by the Goldin family accused the government of not implementing the cabinet decision and filed an appeal with the Supreme Court to intervene. The government said that the National Security Council lacked the information needed to determine which individual Hamas members and their families were covered by the ban.

In August 2014, Goldin was killed during fighting with Hamas and his body was taken into captivity in the Gaza Strip, and has been held there since. Goldin’s family has demanded the government aggressively target Hamas’ leadership to pressure them into returning the bodies for burial in Israel.

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