By Al Mezan – 14 April 2010
Al Mezan: Israeli Military Order enables IOF to expel Palestinians from the West Bank; International community must condemn racist order
The Israeli authorities are to implement military order No. 1650, which allows the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) to arrest and deport any persons; including Palestinian who holds a Gazan ID cards and live in the West Bank. Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights views this order as racist and calls on the international community to condemn the Israeli decision and call for its revocation.
‘The Israeli order will destroy our lives. We will live as if we live in a huge prison even if we are not deported to Gaza. No one would dare to leave the city or to go from town to town afraid of the Israeli checkpoints. Who would keep his/her job in this unstable situation,’ one Palestinian who was born in Gaza and lives in the West Bank man told Al Mezan by telephone.
The order violates the right of Palestinians to free movement, travel and residence in their own country. It violates the right to protection and assistance accorded to the family and, in particular, children; the right to marry and start a family; and the right not to be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his family. The order is directed at what appear to be specific groups, which include Palestinians from Gaza and their offspring as well as foreign citizens who support the rights of the Palestinian people and stay in the West Bank. Israeli settlers who live in Jewish-only colonies in the West Bank, in violation of international law, are not subject to the order.
Al Mezan has monitored with grave concern the Israeli press statements and the international reaction regarding the Israeli implementation of this order which authorizes the IOF to deport any Palestinian who a holds Gazan identity card; expatriates and other people visiting the West Bank. Al Mezan is disappointed by the absence of an international meaningful reaction to this order, despite the grievances it is expected to cause.
This order will affect Palestinian wives who are married to Palestinian men in the West Bank and live there: ‘We planned to get married. When we went to the judge to complete the marriage procedures, he drew our attention to the Israeli order. So, we stopped. We are waiting to see what will happen in the coming few days. My fiancée and I are in full agreement about everything, but we don’t want to be unsuccessful in our marriage. The judge caution drew my attention to think more deeply as anything could happen after this development. All young guys in all over the world search for their mates of the same concerns and interests. But the Israeli occupation forced Palestinians to find wives or husbands holding the same ID cards to ensure along-lasting family life. I’ve never imagined before that the type and color of ID card is more important than the person him/herself,’ said a Palestinian woman holding Gazan ID card and lives in the West Bank.
‘I had a fairly stable life before I heard about the Israeli order. Now I’m terrified and I feel insecure and don’t live a stable life. I now ask myself: Could I hold my children between my arms and see them in the future? Would it be possible to stay with my husband? Is my relationship with my husband subject to the forcible segregation? Would it be possible for me to stay at my work? I became terrified of leaving the area in which I live afraid of being kidnapped at the Israeli checkpoints… I love Gaza and longing to visit my family there… but they (Israelis) have turned all our hopes into hell. Seeing your parents and family but being deprived of seeing your husband and children means hell, is not it? This is what will happen to me if I am deported from the West Bank” said Hikmat, a Palestinian woman from Gaza married to a man holding a West Bank ID card.
‘I have a child and I started to plan to have another child. The new Israeli order made feel as if there is an earthquake. Quiet and safety are replaced by fear. I will not give birth to another child. ..I will not bear a child who will lose his family… a child who could be forced to live with one his parents’, said a Palestinian woman from Gaza and married to a man hold a West Bank ID card.
With this order, Israel is violating legal obligations it owes under international law, specifically the International Covenant on the Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. As an occupying power in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Israel must not alter the status of the population the way this order allows it to.
Al Mezan calls on the international community to condemn this order and put pressure on the Israeli authorities to revoke it. Al Mezan asserts that the implementation of this order could be viewed as entrenching of a racist regime in oPt; one that oppresses the Palestinians because of their ethnicity, but favors persons from other ethnicities over them.
Al Mezan questions the silence of the international community towards the wide-scale oppression of the Palestinian people by the State of Israel by means of severe restrictions on movement, blockades. This silence has only encouraged the IOF to commit more violations of international human rights law in oPt.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights is a Palestinian non-governmental, non-partisan organization based in the refugee camp of Jabalia in the Gaza Strip – www.mezan.org/en/