Israel's Supreme Court Tells State to Reveal Gaza 'Red Lines' Paper

The position paper drafted by the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories was first revealed by Haaretz.

Amira Hass
Amira Hass
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Amira Hass
Amira Hass

The Supreme Court on Wednesday instructed the state to release a document setting the minimum nutritional requirements for sustaining the residents of the Gaza Strip between 2007-2010.

The document, dubbed "Red Lines," is a position paper drafted by the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. Its existence was first discovered by Haaretz reporters Uri Blau and Yotam Feldman in June 2009.

The Supreme Court ruling is a coup for the advocacy group Gisha, which petitioned the Tel Aviv District Court in October 2009 to instruct the state to release documents detailing the restrictions on goods allowed into the Gaza Strip during the closure.

A year later the state released three documents that showed COGAT officials had used mathematic formulas to calculate the minimum calorie requirements of Gaza's residents. The officials determined the amounts of basic food products allowed into the Strip accordingly. But the state still refused to release the "Red Lines" document, which actually set the minimum calorie requirements.

The Defense Ministry and COGAT said the document was a draft intended for internal use only, and was not used as a basis for decision making.

In March 2011 the Tel Aviv District Court instructed the state to release the document and reveal the names of the officials involved in limiting the entry of goods into the Gaza Strip. But the state appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that publication of the report would harm national security.

The state claimed the officials involved were granted immunity so that they could freely express their positions on sensitive issues.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court denied the appeal and instructed the state to pay Gisha NIS 25,000 in court expenses, in addition to the NIS 12,000 the court had charged the government for dragging its foot in releasing the documents.

Kerem Shalom crossing to the Gaza Strip.Credit: Ilan Assayag

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