High Court of Justice Ruling on Lebanese Detainees
Jerusalem, 12 April 2000

High Court of Justice Ruling on Lebanese Detainees – File 7048/97
(Communicated by Courts Spokeswoman)

The High Court of Justice today (Wednesday) 12.4.2000, ruled 6-3 that the Emergency Regulations (Detainees) 5739-1979 (hereinafter – Detainees Law) does not authorize the Minister of Defense to hold individuals in administrative detention in instances where that individual does not pose a threat to the security of the State of Israel. The court further decided that the petitioners – eight Lebanese citizens held in administrative detention – pose no threat to the security of the State – leading to the conclusion that the state has no authority to continue holding them in administrative detention.

Consequently, the appeal is accepted, and it is declared that the State is not permitted to hold the petitioners in accordance with the Detainees Law. In the absence of any other cause for their detention, the petitioners will be released from detention and arrangements for their release from detention will be made immediately, after which they will be returned to Lebanon.

President of the High Court of Justice Aharon Barak, Vice President Shlomo Levin and Justices Matza, Zamir and Dorner supported the ruling; Justices Hashin, Kedmi and Terkel opposed.

PM Barak Briefed on Decision to Release Lebanese Detainees
(Communicated by Defense Ministry Media Advisor)

Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak today (Wednesday) 12.4.2000, was briefed on the High Court ruling to release detained Lebanese citizens, and stated that he respects the court’s decision. Although the Prime Minister believes that Israel should continue to hold the detainees for a certain period, Israel will act in accordance with the High Court ruling. He stated that Israel will continue to make every effort to clarify the fate of the POWs and MIAs, and no effort will be spared to bring them home.