State requests 5-day extension to give High Court information on Gaza humanitarian crisis

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

The government requests a five-day extension for providing additional information to the High Court of Justice regarding the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and its efforts to alleviate a potential famine there.

The court requested the information following a hearing last week on petitions asking the court to order the government to provide unhindered access to Gaza for humanitarian supplies and accusing the government of obstructing relief efforts.

The state says in its request that not all the relevant officials and authorities have been able to produce the required information yet.

The government points out that it has already begun efforts to increase the supply of humanitarian aid since the High Court hearing, including approving a cabinet resolution to that end and empowering the prime minister, defense minister, and War Cabinet minister Benny Gantz to formulate security cabinet policy on the issue.

It also says that the supply of humanitarian aid has already increased since the hearing, and states that 1,174 trucks entered Gaza from April 7 to 9, 789 of them bearing food. The state’s response also noted that 106 trucks that entered the territory from the south went to northern Gaza where hunger and malnutrition are most acute, and another 21 trucks entered northern Gaza from Israel through Crossing 96, which has recently been partially opened.

Osnat Lipshitz-Cohen, representing the Gisha organization, which filed the petition, says it is “totally opposed” to the state’s request for an extension.

“In view of the fact that the catastrophic humanitarian crisis in the north of the Gaza Strip continues to do fatal harm to children and other vulnerable populations, the court must reject the request and order the submission of the response immediately,” Lipshitz-Cohen tells the court.

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