Daily Israel Report

High Court Allows Money through to Gaza

High Court rejected Legal Forum's appeal Friday and NIS 175 million were transferred to Gaza.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 2/6/2009, 12:33 PM

Supreme Court Judge Elyakim Rubinstein decided Friday to allow trucks carrying NIS 175 million to enter Gaza and rejected a request by the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel to issue a restraining order preventing the transfer.

The funds come from the Palestinian Authority's coffers and are supposedly intended to pay January salaries to about 70,000 PA employees in Gaza.

Judge Rubinstein delayed the passage of the trucks for a few hours Friday afternoon, until the court received assurances from Attorney General Menachem Mazuz that the procedure for transferring the funds had been okayed by him. 

The court gave the State three days to submit a detailed response regarding the procedure of transferring the funds. The judge noted that the transfer procedure's propriety needs to be looked into and expressed regret that the appeal only reached him when the money trucks were already at the border crossing.

The transfer was authorized by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, reportedly against the wishes of Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

The Legal Forum's representative, Atty. Dan Landau, petitioned the court against the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister, the Finance Minister, the Minister of Public Security and the  Bank of Israel Governor, demanding that all of them say whether the cash transfer was properly approved. The Forum asked what safeguards were in place to prevent the money from reaching terrorists' hands.