Friday, 9 April 2010

Rights group fears sweeping deportations from West Bank

New military orders due to come into effect on 13 April could open the door to imprisonment and deportation of any person living in the Occupied West Bank.

Friday, 9 April, 2010 - 22:04
London, UK
HaMoked - Centre for the Defense of the Individual

New amendments to the current Israel Defence Force (IDF) Order regarding Prevention of Infiltration and the Order regarding Security Provisions, seek to expand the definition of the term ‘infiltrator.’

The term would then include any person currently present in the occupied West Bank, who does not hold a permit issued by the Israeli authorities.

Under the new orders any person in the West Bank – whether born in the West Bank or not; whether Palestinian or not – will be required to hold a permit in order to be there.

People without a permit will be rendered criminals by the orders and will face penalties of three to seven years’ imprisonment, or swift deportation/expulsion from the West Bank 72 hours after serving a deportation order.

The sweeping order applies to Palestinians who were born in the West Bank or who moved there lawfully, to foreigners and even to Israeli settlers and soldiers.

According to Israeli rights group HaMoked, if the orders are fully enforced, the West Bank could potentially be emptied of all its inhabitants in a fast track three-day procedure, with little possibility of judicial review.

The group, a legal centre based in Jerusalem, is leading urgent action for suspension of the orders.

According to the group, the orders will first of all legalise the expulsion of all Gaza-registered Palestinians living in the West Bank, who could be deported to the Gaza Strip.

Residents of Gaza have been increasingly restricted from living in the West Bank in recent years, and are now effectively prohibited from moving there.

However, according to HaMoked, the greatest danger lies in the potentially limitless enforcement of the law against anyone in the West Bank at any future time.

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Further reading:
Hamoked’s letter to IDF Central Command
Order regarding Prevention of Infiltration (Amendment 2)
Order regarding Security Provisions (Amendment 112)
Order regarding Prevention of Infiltration (1969)