Court Clears Way for Dispatch of Volunteer Police Force to Haiti

After temporarily blocking the move, Israel’s High Court of Justice this week unanimously approved sending a 30-member police contingent to assume peacekeeping duties in Haiti.

The court’s decision, combined with the Cabinet’s approval of the mission last week, cleared the way for the departure of the 28 men and women who volunteered to help restore stability in Haiti.

The volunteer force was expected to leave Israel by the end of the week.

In reaching its decision, the court rejected an appeal by former Kach activist Noam Federman, who had questioned the legality of sending Israeli police on an overseas mission.

While the court said it would issue the reasons for its ruling at a later date, the expanded five-judge panel apparently accepted the arguments put forward by State Attorney Dorit Beinish, who argued that sending the police volunteers to serve as part of an international force did not contravene the country’s laws.

In a statement, Police Minister Moshe Shahal applauded the court’s ruling as an “important one.”

Rabin authorized the contingent on Sept. 11, after President Clinton telephoned for Israeli assistance in the multinational effort to bring democratic rule to Haiti.

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