Kairos-Palestine (www.kairospalestine.ps/), a Palestinian Christian organization with whom CPT-Palestine partners, calls on Christians around the world to contact Israeli authorities regarding a new military order that could separate families.
The new order will categorize tens of thousands of Palestinians living in the West Bank as “infiltrators” – ostensibly because they lack proper permits – and give military officers sweeping control over their deportation.
The new order amends an order issued in 1969 after Israel officially occupied the West Bank and Jerusalem. The amendment redefines an “infiltrator” as “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” (Amendment #2 to section 1.1.B), making him/her: a) subject to almost immediate deportation, b) potentially subject to a jail term of up to seven years, and c) responsible for funding his/her own detention and deportation.
Furthermore, the military may delay an individual’s appearance before an appeals committee for up to eight days, despite the fact that it may command his/her expulsion within 72 hours, which means, in effect, that people may be deported without any kind of legal hearing (cf. Amendment to section 3 C.D).
While the order seems to apply mostly to Gazans living in the West Bank and Palestinians who relocated to the West Bank under family reunification provisions, many other sectors may be targeted as well.
Regardless of the extent of its implementation, the order represents:
• A flagrant display of military power;
• A destructive and cynical command that reduces thousands of people to “illegal aliens” in their own homes;
• A threat that will confine Palestinians in their villages and further sever them from vital economic, health, education, and social centers
• “Another improper step toward creating demographic changes in the West Bank and entrenching a regime which discriminates between people on the basis of religion and nationality” (letter from 9 NGOs to Ehud Barak).
In addition to defying basic human rights, the military order also arrogantly violates various terms of international law, including Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibiting the forcible transfer/deportation of protected civilians in an occupied territory.
Please contact Israeli authorities to express grave concern that the order will not only wrongly criminalize thousands of people, but also that it will further damage efforts towards peace with justice in Palestine/Israel. Urge them to revoke it.
Please copy e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org
• Ehud Barak – Minister of Defence; Fax: +972-3-691-6940; e-mail: email@example.com
• Avigdor Lieberman – Minister of Foreign Affairs; Tel: +972-2-530-3111; Fax: +972-2-530-3367
• The Israeli Ambassador in your own country. Find contact information at:www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Sherut/IsraeliAbroad/Continents
• Your own national embassy in Israel. Find contact information at:www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Sherut/ForeignInIsrael/Continents