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The Only Democracy? » Discrimination, Featured » Expanded Military Powers of Deportation in West Bank; Palestinian Leaders Charge “Ethnic Cleansing”

Expanded Military Powers of Deportation in West Bank; Palestinian Leaders Charge “Ethnic Cleansing”

A military order to take effect April 13th so drastically expands the IDF’s power to deport people from the West Bank that it threatens mass arrests and exile, according to Hamoked Center for the Defense of the Individual in Israel.

In a request to the military commander, Hamoked asks that implementation of the order be delayed until there is input from the non-military sector of Israel, including human rights organizations like Hamoked.

In order to clarify the extremity of the orders, we shall state at this early point that according to their wording, every living person in the West Bank would become a criminal who faces a penalty of three to seven years imprisonment. Additionally, according to the orders, the West Bank could be emptied of all its inhabitants in a fast track three-day procedure, which, prima facie, does not require any judicial review. In view of the conduct of military officials and the positions they have presented to the court, there is grave concern that this scenario will become a reality, despite lacking any legal basis.

The order amends an  existing Order to Prevent Infiltration, changing the definition of infiltrator from referring to one who enters the Area  from an unfriendly country, to ” a person who is present in the Area and who does not hold a permit as required by Law.”  The permit must be “issued by the commander of IDF forces in the Judea and Samaria area or someone acting on his behalf”.

Ha’aretz reports on the Orders and their ramifications, including the likelihood that the people most likely to be immediately targeted are people born in Gaza and their West Bank- born children, those whose residency status has not been renewed, often because of deliberate Israeli inaction, and foreign-born spouses of Palestinians.

In an International Middle East Media Center Report, Fateh Central Committee Member Nabil Shaath described the Orders as “yet another episode of ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinian people”.  Chief Palestinian Negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat, sent letters of protest to the U.S. Administration and the European Union, the United Nations and Russia.

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Carol Sanders was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. She is a retired legal services attorney and author of legal texts. She lived in Israel from 1963 to 1966, where she worked on a kibbutz, did graduate studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and served as an assistant to the then-mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek. Carol is a long-time activist with Jewish Voice for Peace, and is the JVP representative to the Middle East Advisory Committee and a member of Bay Area Women in Black.

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