ACRI’s Petition against Discriminatory Screening Procedures at Israeli Airports

Ben-Gurion-AirportPhoto by Tal Dahan

The petition concerned the security procedures for screening Israeli citizens at Israeli airports. The Petitioner’s primary claim was that Israel’s Arab citizens are generally subjected to stricter security checks than Israel’s Jewish citizens. The Petitioner argued that employing ethnicity as a criterion for the rigorousness of airport security screening of Israeli citizens is fundamentally unacceptable. The petition was submitted in 2007, but the decision was delayed in light of changes that the Respondents implemented in the security procedures, primarily comprising the introduction of new technology for the inspection of checked baggage, which was the subject of main concern of the passengers, as well as additional steps adopted to reduce distinctions among passengers in the security procedures. In light of those developments, the Respondents argued that the petition should be dismissed. In their view, the claims in regard to the security procedures in place at the time the petition was submitted were no longer relevant.


The High Court of Justice dismissed the petition for the following reasons: The Respondents had made considerable progress towards increasing equality in the security procedures. Under the circumstances, the Court ruled that the petition had exhausted itself. The authorities should be permitted to complete their work and collect data in regard to the effect of the changes that had been made before subjecting the fundamental question to judicial review. In this regard, the Court emphasized that achieving the correct balance between the need for air transport security and the reasonable functioning of the airports, and the protection of individual rights is an especially difficult task, particularly in Israel’s current security situation.

To read the full case,  click here

Translation thanks to Versa: The Website of the Israeli Supreme Court Project at Cardozo

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Categories: Arab Citizens of Israel, Arab Minority Rights, Democracy and Civil Liberties

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