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High Court: Shot Gazan protestor can seek medical treatment in West Bank – Arab-Israeli Conflict

High Court: Shot Gazan protestor can seek medical treatment in West Bank

Israeli soldiers are seen next to the border fence on the Israeli side of the Israel-Gaza border, as Palestinians protest on the Gaza side of the border, Israel April 5, 2018..
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

The High Court of Justice overruled Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Monday, ordering the state to allow a Gazan shot by the IDF in his legs during the Gaza border clashes to travel to the West Bank for medical treatment.

Yusef Iad Karnaz was shot by the IDF in his legs on March 30 while participating in protests organized by Hamas on the Gaza border.

Medical facilities in Gaza lack the capabilities to save his legs from amputation and by the time of a hearing before the High Court on Sunday, one of his legs had already been amputated.

The petition to permit him to travel to Ramallah for medical treatment which could save his legs had been filed while he still had both legs, and his lawyers, provided by Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights, doubled down on the request after one leg was already amputated.

Both before and after the amputation, Liberman blocked his request to travel from the West Bank.

Liberman said that since Israel is at war with Gaza, it generally only allows humanitarian life-saving cases to leave Gaza. In addition, Israel specifically reserves the right to oppose any travel for any Gazans associated in any way with Hamas.

The High Court said that while Liberman and the state have large discretion about who can leave Gaza in light of security considerations, that they are still obligated to review the specific potential exceptional circumstances of each case.

In light of the fact that no one asserted that Karnaz posed any real future security threat, that he had already lost a leg and would imminently need his second leg to be amputated if he did not travel to the West Bank, the court said he must be allowed to go.

The court also criticized Liberman and the state for responding generally to the request without looking at the specific extreme circumstances.

The court said that the case was extreme and could not necessarily serve as a precedent for others in the future.

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