Monday, April 12, 2010

Israeli groups fight orders allowing army to jail West Bank residents.

Israeli human rights groups are up in arms about a new order which will make any resident of the occupied West Bank who does not have an Israeli-issued permit liable for deportation or jail.

The new Order Regarding Prevention of Infiltration and Order Regarding Security Provisions, which comes into force on Tuesday have "severe ramifications," the rights groups say. Palestinians, and any foreigners living in the West Bank, could be labelled infiltrators and deported within 72 hours or jailed for seven years if they are found without the correct permit. It does not define what Israel considers a valid permit.

"The orders … are worded so broadly such as theoretically allowing the military to empty the West Bank of almost all its Palestinian inhabitants," said the 10 rights groups, which include Ha-Moked, B'Tselem, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and Rabbis for Human Rights. Until now the vast majority of Palestinians in the West Bank have not been required to hold a permit just to be present in their homes, the groups say.

"The military will be able to prosecute and deport any Palestinian defined as an infiltrator in stark contradiction to the Geneva conventions," they said. The law broadens the definition of an "infiltrator" and could allow Israel to transfer some Palestinians from the West Bank to Gaza, or to deport foreign passport holders married to West Bank Palestinians, or to deport Israelis or foreigners living in the West Bank. The groups said tens of thousands of Palestinians were in those categories.

This is the kind of nonsense that I expected once Avigdor Lieberman was allowed into Netanyahu's government with his announced intention to make Arab-Israeli's take a loyalty test to Israel. Israel is moving dangerously far to the right. And one of the most glaring aspects of this new order is the way in which it moves the jurisdiction over deportations from civil to military courts.

It's impossible to look at an Israel which is introducing such orders and believe that they are a possible "partner in peace" for the Palestinians.

Indeed, at a time when Obama is pressing Israel to come back to the negotiating table, one can only imagine that the implementation of this kind of order could possibly spark a third intifada.

Implementing this new military order is not only likely to spark a new conflagration in the territories, it is liable to give the world clear-cut proof that Israel's aim is a mass deportation of Palestinians from the West Bank. While all Jews can settle wherever they wish, in Israel or in the territories, Israel is trying to deprive the Palestinians of even the minimal right to choose where to live in the West Bank or Gaza. The prime minister and defense minister should immediately shelve this military order before the IDF feels free to begin carrying out expulsions.
Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator:
"These military orders belong in an apartheid state," he said. "They are an assault on ordinary Palestinians and an affront to the most fundamental principles of human rights. Israel's endgame is not peace. It is the colonisation of the West Bank."
There have only ever been a few ways in which this could be resolved. A two state solution giving the Palestinians a state, a one state solution in which either the Palestinians are given a vote and Israel ceases to exists, or they are not given a vote and live under a regime resembling Apartheid. Or the last solution, in which Israel seeks to ethnically cleanse the land of Palestinians.

The Israeli army have just given themselves permission, if they so choose, to do the latter.

They have not yet done anything other than claim the right to deport or jail "infiltrators", but the world needs to watch carefully. The Israeli army have not given itself this "right" for nothing.

You can read the new orders here (PDF) and here (PDF). The Centre for the Defence of the Individuals response to the orders can be read here.
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.
This is terrifying stuff.

Click here for full article.


Steel Phoenix said...

Scary. If they choose to use this in the ways you suggest, then things are beginning to come full circle. It won't be long until they are saluting a man with a tiny mustache.

Kel said...

It is scary.

And I wouldn't go as far as endorsing your Hitler analogy, but I do think that generals rarely take such power for themselves without the intention to use it.

The world needs to keep it's eye on this.