High Court overrules Gallant, orders him to let Palestinians attend joint Memorial Day event

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

The High Court of Justice has ordered Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to allow Palestinians invited to an annual joint Memorial Day event to enter the country for tomorrow evening’s event.

In a strongly worded decision, the court says it “regrets” the fact that Gallant’s decision earlier this month to bar Palestinian participants was made, despite two previous court rulings ordering the state to allow participants of previous years of the event, now in its 17th year, to enter Israel.

The court rules that although the defense minister is authorized to make decisions based on security concerns, the fact that the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories approved the request, and that many thousands of Palestinians are allowed into Israel every day for various reasons, means that it sees little reason for Gallant to deny the entry request.

The Combatants for Peace group that organizes the joint memorial event welcomes the decision, saying Gallant’s decision sought to harm those who seek Israeli-Palestinian peace.

“The government’s attempt, through Minister Gallant, to trample on the court and the attorney general was an attempt to stir up another fight between the branches of government in Israel at the expense of bereaved families,” says the organization.

“Gallant’s decision was intended to hurt those calling for peace and hope. The High Court’s decision was necessary and we welcome it.”

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