Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Letter From the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the US Presbyterian Church

The Right Reverend Suheil Dawani
The Right Reverend Dr. Munib Younan
The Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb 
The Rev. Dr. Canon Naim Ateek 

Dear Partners in Christ:

Acting out of the commandments of love for God and neighbor and our commitments to honor human rights, I have contacted the Israeli government to urge them to revoke the Order regarding Prevention of Infiltration (Amendment No. 2) and the Order regarding Security Provisions (Amendment No. 112), which were signed on October 13, 2009, and took effect in the West Bank on April 13, 2010. I further wrote to officials of the U.S. government urging them to pressure Israel to this effect. A copy of the letter is attached.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Israel Deports Palestinian From West Bank - Kuwait News Agency

The Israeli Army expelled on Tuesday from the West Bank town of Hebron to Gaza a 19-year-old Palestinian in line with a previous decision to deport what Tel Aviv viewed as "illegal residents" of the region. 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Amira Hass: Israel Expels West Bank Palestinian to Gaza Upon Release From Prison

Ahmad Sabah completed his prison term, only to find out he wouldn't be allowed to reunite with his family.

Palestinian prisoner from the West Bank was forcibly deported to the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, immediately after his release from prison in Israel.

Ahmad Sabah, 39, who was released from Ketziot prison after serving his sentence, was put on a bus to Gaza while his wife, son and other relatives waited for him since the morning hours at the Tarqumiya checkpoint in the West Bank.

Sabah was told only before boarding the bus at about noon that he was being taken to Gaza. His family and relatives only found out in the evening that he would not be coming home.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Palestinians Deported to Gaza - Al Jazeera

Two Palestinians have been deported to the Gaza Strip from Israel, raising fears that more expulsions could follow under a controversial new Israeli military order. 

After nine years in Israeli jail, Ahmad Sabah, a 40-year-old Palestinian, was sent to Gaza, instead of being released to the West Bank where his family was waiting for him.

Israelis sent him to Gaza because he had a Palestinian ID issued there.

His family said that Sabah, who was arrested in 2001 for "security offences" against Israel, has no connection to Gaza and he has refused to leave the border crossing in protest at his treatment.

"It is my right to return to my wife and family," he said. 

Amira Hass: Otherwise Occupied / Access Denied

Defining a Palestinian with a Gaza Strip address as a punishable infiltrator if he is found in the West Bank - as implied by a military order that has now gone into effect - is one more link in a chain of steps that Israel has taken, whose cumulative effect is to sever the Strip from Palestinian society as a whole. 

Space limitations prevent listing more than a sampling of these measures here. But even looking at them in abridged form can serve as a reminder that one needs to analyze every regulation of the military occupation in the context of its predecessors and their implementation on the ground. Indeed, this is what the legal experts at the organization Hamoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual did when they warned against the ramifications of the new Order No. 1650 regarding Prevention of Infiltration (Amendment No. 2). 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

World Council of Churches general secretary expresses dismay over recent Israeli military order

Expressing dismay at a recent Israeli military order redefining the notion of "infiltrator" in the occupied Palestinian territories, thegeneral secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, said he is "worried the new measures will be a severe obstacle toward the process for a just peace."

Since 1969 the Israeli military defined an "infiltrator" as a person who unlawfully entered the occupied area. But in a recent amendment, the definition of "infiltrator" is "a person who entered the area unlawfully following the effective date, or a person who is present in the area and does not lawfully hold a permit".

"This amendment will affect tens of thousands of Palestinians and potentially confine them to their villages and towns creating an atmosphere of fear in the occupied territories," observed Tveit. "This worsens the situation. Nobody, including the Palestinians, should be denied their basic human rights, that is, to be able to move and have a normal life."

It is a question of principle, Tveit said. "The Israeli government should immediately rescind this order because it is in contravention of the fourth Geneva Convention and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. As a signatory to these international instruments Israel has a legal and moral responsibility to work within their frameworks."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Amended Military Orders may lead to Undefined and Limitless Illegal Deportations and the Detention of Protect Persons from the West Bank including East Jerusalem - Civic Coalition to Defend Palestininans' Rights in Jerusalem

Legal Memorandum

On 13 April 2010, Israeli Military authorities implemented “the Order regarding Prevention of Infiltration (Amendment No.2)” and “the Order regarding Security Provisions (Amendment No.112)”. The military orders (Order Numbers 1649 and 1650) were signed approximately six months prior by Major General Gadi Shamni who, at the time, served as the Military’s General Commander in the West Bank. In addition to facilitating the potential deportation of tens of thousands of Palestinians the amended orders will criminalize the presence of the affected Palestinians and carry a maximum prison sentence of seven years.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Daoud Kuttab: Has Israel Reneged on the Unity of West Bank and Gaza?

As part of the Oslo Accords, the Israelis officially accepted the concept that the West Bank and Gaza Strip represent one unit. Article IV of the agreement signed in the White House Lawn in 1993 declared "The two sides view the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a single territorial unit, whose integrity will be preserved." The Quartet (made up of US, UN, EU and Russia) has continuously supported the concept of the unity of these geographically separated entities. But the latest military order number 1650 clearly reflects an Israeli decision to rescind that portion of the Oslo Accords. To consider Gaza Palestinians infiltrators if caught in the West Bank past their permit deadline reflects the Netanyah government's rejection of the unity of Palestinian territories. The Israeli order also reflects an Israeli attempt to reassert itself as the sole and overriding legislative power in the Palestinian territories.

"Israeli Military Orders 'In Breach of International Human Rights Law,' Warns UN Special Rapporteur" - UN Information System on the Question of Palestine

GENEVA – The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk, warned Monday that two Israeli Defense Forces Military Orders* may be in breach of the fourth Geneva Convention and violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Mr. Falk noted that “a wide range of violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law could be linked to actions carried out by the Government of Israel under these Orders, with particular gravity in the event that young persons become victims of their application.”

Sunday, April 18, 2010

New Military Order “infiltrates” Palestinian Rights - Kairos

Kairos Palestine expresses its outrage and dismay about a new Israeli military order that will categorize tens of thousands of Palestinians living in the West Bank as “infiltrators” – ostensibly because they lack the proper permits – and give military officers sweeping control over their deportation. We condemn this action and call upon churches worldwide to publically demand the revocation of the order regarding “Prevention of Infiltration” (Amendment No. 2) issued by the Israeli military authorities.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Contrary to Israel's Statements, Infiltration Orders Allow, as of Yesterday, the Imprisonment or Deportation of Palestinian West Bankers Without Judicial Review - Hamoked

Yesterday two military orders came into effect which define, for the first time since the occupation of the oPt in 1967, Palestinian residents of the Occupied Territories as “infiltrators” or “illegal aliens” in their land and in their homes.

Jordan Condemns Israel Over West Bank Deportation Order - Haaretz

Israel refutes eviction reports, assures PA that there will be no deportation of Palestinians to Gaza.

Jordan condemned Israel on Wednesday over an Israel Defense Forces order facilitating the deportation of tens of thousands of Palestinian from the West Bank.

The order, though in existence since 1969, was recently discussed in a Haaretz article.

According to the report, a military order aimed at preventing infiltration was to come into force, enabling the deportation of tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank, or their indictment on charges carrying prison terms of up to seven years. Under the order, tens of thousands of Palestinians will automatically become criminal offenders liable to be severely punished.

Amira Hass: "The Right To Deport"

When Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni, who was commander of the IDF's units in Judea and Samaria, signed a military order six months ago in which 10 different variations of the Hebrew root for the word "deport" appeared, it seemed neither he or the faceless army jurists who formulated the edict verified which week the order would come into effect. As it turned out, the amended "order to prevent infiltration (into the West Bank)" coincided with the saddest of April's days. 

New IDF Orders For Expelling Illegals - Jerusalem Post

In response to international criticism of two military orders that went into effect Tuesday dealing with so-called infiltrators living in the West Bank, the government launched an information campaign to convince critics that they had been introduced out of concern for Palestinian human rights.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Statement from the PLO Executive Committee

Today, April 13, 2010, two Israeli military orders are to enter into effect with severe legal, political, moral, and human ramifications that threaten not only the prospects of peace but also the stability of the whole region.

Israeli Military Order No. 1649, Regarding Security Provisions (Amendment No. 112) as applied to M.O. No. 378 of 1970, and Order No. 1650, Regarding Prevention of Infiltration (Amendment No. 2) as applied to M.O. No. 329 of 1969, both issued and signed Major General Gadi Shamni, then “Commander of IDF Forces in the Judea and Samaria Area” on 13 October, 2009 present concrete expressions of a dangerous Israeli racist policy of aggression and provocation that must be immediately countered and halted before it inflicts irreparable damage.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fayyad: New IDF orders threaten to empty West Bank of Palestinians - Haaretz

The Palestinian leadership on Monday protested against Israeli military orders that could see tens of thousands of Palestinians deported from the West Bank.

On Sunday Haaretz revealed that a new military order aimed at preventing infiltration will come into force this week, enabling the deportation of tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank, or their indictment on charges carrying prison terms of up to seven years.

IDF Bid to Expel West Bank Palestinians is a Step Too Far - Haaretz

A new military order will take effect this week, enabling the army to deport tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank and prosecute them on infiltration charges, which carry long prison terms. The order, uncovered by Amira Hass in Haaretz yesterday, bears the signature of Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni in his previous capacity as commander of the Israel Defense Forces in Judea and Samaria.

The order's vague language will allow army officers to exploit it arbitrarily to carry out mass expulsions, in accordance with military orders which were issued under unclear circumstances. The first candidates for expulsion will be people whose ID cards bear addresses in the Gaza Strip, including children born in the West Bank and Palestinians living in the West Bank who have lost their residency status for various reasons.

Israel’s New Military Order is an Act of Racism - Palestine Monitor

PRESS CONFERENCE with Deputy Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi and lawyer Raja Shehadeh

Mustafa Barghouthi: Israel’s new military order on the presence of Palestinians in the West Bank is extremely serious and devoted to racism. 


Barghouthi said "it is devoted to apartheid and paves the way for an ethnic cleansing operation against thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem. Furthermore, it is devoted to the separation of Jerusalem from the rest of the occupied territories and the separation of the West Bank from Gaza, as well as lifting imprisonment to up to seven years against thousands of people under the pretext of sneaking into the West Bank". 


Sunday, April 11, 2010

State's Response to HaMoked's Letters on Orders 1649 1650

Dear Madam,

Re: The Order on the Prevention of Infiltration (Amendment No. 2) and the Order on Security Provisions (Amendment No. 112) – Response

April 11, 2010


1. In your above-referenced letters, which were addressed to the Commander of the Central Command and to the Minister of Defense, you sought to present your comments to the above legislative amendments, and to delay their taking effect. With the consent of the Commander of the Central Command, below is our response to all of your claims, in order.

Letter By Human Rights Organizations to the Israeli Defense Minister

To: Mr. Ehud Bark
Minister of Defense

Via Fax

Re: Order regarding Prevention of Infiltration (Amendment No. 2) and Order regarding Security Provisions (Amendment No. 112)

Dear Sir,

1. I hereby appeal to you on behalf of HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Bimkom, B’Tselem, Gisha, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, Yesh Din, Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights and Rabbis for Human Rights regarding the orders cited in the heading which were signed on October 13, 2009 and are due to come into effect in the West Bank in two days, April 13, 2010. We request that you take action to have the orders revoked, or at least have their entry into effect delayed as they are unlawful and allow extreme and arbitrary injury to a vast number of people.

Human Rights Groups Warn of New Powers for Israel - New York Times

JERUSALEM — A recently amended military order that allows Israel to remove people from the West Bank if it does not recognize their legal status could lead to the expulsion of thousands of Palestinians, Israeli human rights groups warned Sunday.

The amendment — to a 1969 order on dealings with those judged to be infiltrators of the West Bank — was signed by military officials last October and is due to take effect on Tuesday.

Israeli groups fight orders allowing army to jail West Bank residents - The Guardian

Israeli human rights campaigners claim Palestinians or foreigners could be labelled infiltrators

Israeli human rights groups say that Palestinians and any foreigners living in the West Bank could be deemed 'infiltrators' and deported within 72 hours or jailed for seven years if they are found without the correct permit under the new orders.

Israel's leading human rights groups are trying to stop two new Israeli military orders which will make any resident of the occupied West Bank who does not have an Israeli-issued permit liable for deportation or jail.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Barriers at Ben Gurion - Haaretz

It seems immigration officials have had a busy Passover holiday, having expelled over 6 tourists without even letting them leave the airport.

Three Jewish Israelis were deported from New York's JFK Airport last weekend after telling border control agents they were considering visiting a friend seeking political asylum in the United States. Despite the Israelis' protestations and the attempts by attorneys to post bail for their release, the three travelers were unceremoniously boarded on the first plane back to Tel Aviv.