On Thursday 30 December 2004, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights appealed to the Israeli High Court requesting that the Israeli Government find an adequate solution to the closure of Rafah Crossing and enables the Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip to move in and out of the Strip.
The Court ruled that Israel was obliged to find proper solutions to the problem within one week, and that the Court would look into the case during the next week.
The Center appealed to the Court on 27 December 2004, and requested Palestinian freedom of movement be ensured in accordance with international law.
The appeal came after Israel decided to close the Crossing, which is the only outlet for Gazans to the outside world through Egypt, on 13 December 2004 following an explosion inside the crossing.
The Center believes that the decision to close the crossing 'until further notice', which appears to indicate an extended period of time, is a form of collective punishment of the entire population under occupation, and a violation of Israel's obligations under International Humanitarian Law, especially as it impacts on the lives of hundreds of people who need to travel for health-related reasons.
Additionally, thousands of Palestinians have been trapped in Egypt and other countries unable to return to Gaza due to the closure; many of these people are enduring difficult conditions.
Moreover, the closure of the crossing is expected to prevent thousands of Palestinians from practicing their right to vote on the 9 January Presidential election.
It is Al Mezan's intention to continue to follow up this important case in court and attempt to ensure Palestinians’ right to move freely and to vote in accordance with internationally accepted human rights standards.