Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, and Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, filed a petition at the Israeli Supreme Court on 7 July, demanding the immediate opening of Rafah Crossing.
The petitioners emphasized that the continued closure of Rafah Crossing threatens the lives of tens of patients stranded at the Egyptian side of the crossing, particularly those needing special healthcare, including persons with disabilities and patients who have undergone heart and eye surgery as well as others suffering from kidney failure.
The continuation of the closure of the crossing is heightening the suffering of these patients, as no medical relief are available inside the crossing, where humanitarian conditions are poor.
In response to the petition, Israeli Justice Naghour, assigned for a court session to be held in one week for the petition to be considered; this was rejected by the petitioners due to the gravity and urgency of the situation inside the crossing.
The petitioners demanded Naghour to hold an immediate session to examine the case.
However, Naghour declined their request, and said that the case would be examined as soon as possible.
Al Mezan strongly condemns the Israeli judicial decision, which demonstrates a lack of concern for the lives of scores of patients, as well as over 4000 other Palestinians stranded on the Egyptian side of Rafah crossing.
Similarly, the Israeli judiciary previously refused to take up a petition submitted by a number of human rights organizations that demanded a stop to the frequent closure of Karni Crossing, which has consequently led to severe shortages of medical and food supplies in the Gaza Strip.
Al Mezan strongly reiterates its demands to the international community, notably the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to immediately intervene and put an end to Israeli violations in the OPT, provide protection to Palestinian civilians, lift the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip and open Rafah crossing.
Al Mezan also calls upon the European Union to take concrete steps towards Israeli crimes against Palestinian civilians, and revise their partnership agreements with Israel, taking into serious consideration Israel's violations of these agreements, and Israel's disrespect of its obligations under international humanitarian law.