Sunday, April 11, 2010

Alarming new military orders will make it possible to expell anyone from the West Bank

Translation of the order. Source: wensite HaMoked.

Hardly did we learn about Anat Kamm and the fact that th Isareli judicial authorities ar going to prosecute her in her role as whistleblower instead of the generals who ignored High Court rulings and would rather kill than arrest, even if that menat killing inocent bystanders, or we hear yet even more disturbing news  Blogging becomes a full time job in this way.

The new news is about new military orders (see illustration) by which people can be expulsed from the West Bank or imprisoned if they are found to be ´illegally´ in the area. The human rights organisation HaMoked has this to say about it:
On Tuesday, April 13 2010, the Order regarding Prevention of Infiltration (Amendment No. 2) and the Order regarding Security Provisions (Amendment No. 112) are to enter into effect. The orders, signed by the previous GOC Central Command, Gadi Shamni but not revealed, are worded so broadly such as theoretically allowing the military to empty the West Bank of almost all its Palestinian inhabitants. Despite the severe ramifications of the orders, the authorities did not publicize their existence among the Palestinian population as required, which raises grave concerns that they intended to pass them secretly without public debate or judicial review.
The orders substantively change the definition of “infiltrator” and in effect apply it to anyone who is present in the West Bank without an Israeli permit. The orders do not define what Israel considers a valid permit. The vast majority of people now living in the West Bank have never been required to hold any sort of permit to be present therein.
The military will be able to prosecute and deport any Palestinian defined as infiltrator in stark contradiction to the Geneva Convention. There is a possibility that some of the deportees will not be given an opportunity for a hearing before being removed from the West Bank as, according to the orders, the deportation may be executed within 72 hours whereas it is possible to delay bringing a person before the appeals committee for up to eight days from issuance of a deportation order.
HaMoked states that based on Israel’s current policy, the orders are expected to be initially used against Palestinian residents of the West Bank whom Israel wishes to transfer to the Gaza Strip, despite the fact that many of them were born in the West Bank or lawfully relocated thereto. Israel is further expected to use the orders to deport foreign passport holding spouses of West Bankers abroad. This category includes tens of thousands of individuals. However, the definition of “infiltrator” which exposes a person to a prison term of three to seven years could, in principle, be applied to any person the military commander wishes ill, including Israeli and international citizens who are present in the West Bank.

Noam Sheziaf of the blog Promised Land and Amira Hass of Haaretz explain that the order changes the definition of infiltrator as it used to be in a law of 1969: a person who had come from an ´enemy country´ like Syria, Lebanon or Jordan. And this is done in the following way
´a person is presumed to be an infiltrator if he is present in the area without a document or permit which attest to his lawful presence in the area without reasonable justification.” Such documentation, it says, must be “issued by the commander of IDF forces in the Judea and Samaria area or someone acting on his behalf´.
 The vague formulation and the total absence of any indication which paper will be considered  the demanded
doceumenatin that somebody is legally present in the area where he or she is, make virtually any inhabitant eligibale to be deported or put in prison as HaMokd stated. But as Noam Sheizag argues, t is unlikely that the new order will be used as a means for mass expulsion in the foreseeable future, as Israel would get in trouble with the rest of the world if it would expell Palestinians by the thousands in broad daylight. Rather it is expected to be used as an instrument to get rid of  nasty demonstrations againts The Wall in placeslike Bil´in and Ni´lin or of popular resistance in general and people who - with increasing succes - advocate BDS (Boycot, Divestment and Sanctions) campaigns against Israel, its settlement policy and the inequalty of the Palestinians.
Also it must be argued that  these new amendments take away the very last illusions anyone might still have about the viability of the Oslo agreements and what came thereafter. Not only is Israel at will taking land it has occupied for its continued settlements policy, now it is also going to decide whether the inhabitanst of these lands are there lawfully or not. Israel already made incursions in areas like Ramallah and Nablus, areas which are nominally under the jurisdiction of the Palestine Authority, to arrest any people it wanted. Now it even takes the liberty to determine whether the people of the land, the subjects of the PA, are there legally or have to be deported. Nothing is sacred for this Israeli government. That´s very, very disturbing, indeed.

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