For 13 years, a foreign national lived in a tent on the beach due to debts, unable to work and unable to leave Israel. Thus, in a rather Kafkaesque way, Louis Amorim spent more than a decade on the beach in Palmachim, living a life of poverty and poverty.
Amorim, a Portuguese citizen, now 49, was orphaned by his mother when he was 5 years old and remains in his father's custody with his two brothers. When he was 7 years old, his father married an Israeli citizen, and the entire family moved to Israel. At some point, the brothers decided to leave home and tried to survive on their own, without a family backing. When he reached the age of 19, Lewis enlisted in the army, and served for about 12 months, until his discharge from the IDF due to unsuitability.
Imprisoned in Israel because of a stay of exit order. Border Control at Ben Gurion Airport (Archive), Photo: Ilan Gatteño
He then left the country for Portugal and continued to the United States, where he started a family and had a daughter. During this period, execution cases were opened against him for sacks from the 90s that were deposited to retail chains (and a stay of exit order was issued against him), which he heard about only upon his return to Israel after about 14 years, when he came to visit his father, who had fallen ill.
You can enter but not exit
When he tried to leave for Portugal, he was detained at Ben Gurion Airport and it turned out that he had a stay of exit order against him and execution files, which were opened over the years and came from a NIS 30,300 fund for debt on the accrued interest, totaling NIS <>,<>. As a result of this situation, in which he could not work and earn or even leave the country, Lewis was forced to live under stress and without social and other rights, and lived for over a decade in a tent on the beach.
Now, following a unique request submitted by the Legal Aid Department at the Ministry of Justice for execution on Amorim's behalf, Registrar Chen Levy has ordered the closure of the execution files against him and canceled the order that will allow him to leave the country and begin to return to a proper life path, and even reunite with his home for the first time in 13 years.
Imprisoned in Israel
In an application submitted on his behalf to the Execution Office, with the help of Legal Aid at the Ministry of Justice, by attorneys Dikla Sarfati Deljo, Liat Meisels and Nofar Hadar-Sheinfeld from the Central District of Legal Aid, it was written that "the applicant who has been imprisoned for 13 years in the Land of Israel without any status, without a work permit and without the ability to earn a living. He lives in a tent at the beach and in winter relies on people's kindness in finding a place to stay. For years, he has been "imprisoned" in Israel due to orders delaying exit from the country, which are renewed from time to time in the execution files of the Mega winner, when the orders were issued without giving the applicant an opportunity to respond, and without considering that the applicant is a citizen of a foreign country.
"During these years, when on the one hand the applicant is subject to a stay of exit order to return to his country, and on the other hand does not have status in Israel, the applicant was deprived of all liberty and sentenced to a life of poverty and depression... Due to his lack of status in Israel, the applicant is not entitled to income support, public housing, food cards or any other assistance that is due in the same situation to any other person with status in Israel, so that he can live with a minimum of dignity. Not only that, the applicant applied to Legal Aid for assistance in filing for insolvency in order to get rid of his debts and start a new page in his life, but he could not apply for repayment plots because he does not have an Israeli identity card and in any case could not exhaust his earning capacity without a permit to work in Israel."
"Street dwellers don't know who to turn to and make do with what little they have." Food distribution to the needy at the Pitchon Lev Association in Rishon LeZion, July 2022, photo: Liron Moldovan
The Registrar of Execution in Tel Aviv, Chen Levy, summoned the parties to a discussion in order to reach an agreed solution, at the end of which she announced that she accepted the request, and ordered the closure of all the individual open files against him and the cancellation of all proceedings and restrictions imposed on him. "The debtor of weakened status, without assistance, is in fact 'imprisoned' in Israel, lives in a tent at sea and in winter in a cave at sea, uses his friends and the kindness of people for food and food, and collects bottles at sea in order to receive the deposit for minimal subsistence," the registrar wrote in her decision.
Registration: "Alarming Case"
The Registrar further noted that the files opened in this case raise substantial questions regarding violations of human rights, the right to dignity, liberty, the right to due process, including questions regarding the warning that enabled collection actions in the cases, the inaction in the cases, and the reduction of interest rates. At the end of the decision, the Registrar emphasized that "on the margins but not on the margins of their importance, it should be noted that this case is a worrisome case, which shows the importance of legal assistance for debtors who cannot afford it.
"The debtor in this case is a debtor who managed to survive for years in unbearable conditions, in a tent on the beach, and during rain in a cave. The pictures presented to the undersigned and his interrogation revealed a worrying situation regarding the situation of many street dwellers who, apart from the difficulty of surviving and subsistence on even a minimal regular basis, do not know how to stand up for their rights, do not know what their rights are, do not know who to turn to, and make do with the little they have. The debtor did not meet his daughter for about 13 years, because he did not know that he could submit a request, even in his own handwriting in the file, to allow him to leave the country. This decision will not cure the injustice caused to the debtor over the years, but it is possible that the debtor's future in his country of origin will enable him to return to the workforce, meet with his family and home, and heal in the coming years."
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