Israeli court lifts ban on Palestinians' participation in Memorial Day service in Tel Aviv

Source: Xinhua| 2018-04-17 19:28:15|Editor: pengying
Video PlayerClose

JERUSALEM, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Israel's top court reversed Tuesday a decision by the defense minister by allowing some bereaved Palestinian families to enter Israel to attend an Israeli-Palestinian memorial service.

The service would be held on the eve of Israel's official Memorial Day for fallen soldiers. The joint ceremony, scheduled to take place for the 13 consecutive year in Tel Aviv, is organized by "Combatant for Peace," an Israeli peace group, and "The Parent Circle-Families Forum," an Israeli-Palestinian group of bereaved families.

At the ceremony, relatives of Palestinians who were killed by Israeli security forces and families of Israeli who were killed in wars and attacks will gather together to remember their loved ones and call for peace.

But earlier this week, Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered his ministry not to issue entry permits to 200 Palestinians from the West Bank for attending the ceremony in Tel Aviv.

Following a petition by the ceremony's organizers, the Supreme Court ruled that 90 Palestinians could enter Israel to participate in the event.

The court said in its decision that Lieberman's ban was "unreasonable" and "imbalanced".

It "completely ignores the harm to the bereaved families and the public who wish to carry it out in the manner in which it took place in previous years," the court said.

"The defense minister's decision fails to take into account the reality created over the years and the legitimate expectations of the participants in the ceremony," it ruled.

In a statement, Lieberman rejected the ruling, arguing that it creates an equivalency between Palestinian "terrorists" and Israeli bereaved families.

From Tuesday night to Wednesday, Israel will mark its "Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel's Wars and Victims of Terrorism."