the Efe in Jerusalem
A new military order to enable Israel to capture or deport every Palestinian resident in the occupied West Bank, that does not have a permit issued by the Israeli authorities, was denounced by local NGOs Sunday.
The new order will come into force next Tuesday and its wording is so general that it would theoretically allow the Israeli army to deport all the Palestinian inhabitants of the West Bank said the Israeli NGO "Hamoked," from the Center for the Defense of the Individual.
Hamoked denounced along with nine other NGOs that the military provision was not announced among the Palestinian population as would be desirable, which raises the suspicion that, despite the serious implications that brings, the authorities are going to try to make it go in secret to avoid public debate or any judicial review.
In one document, the NGOs urged the Ministry of Defense to delay the entry of the order into force, which will transform all the inhabitants of the West Bank into potential criminals who can be imprisoned up to seven years or deported from that territory.
Designed to prevent infiltration of the occupied territory, the order defines all Palestinian residents of that territory as "infiltrators."
"The orders change the definition of infiltrators, and, in fact, apply to all who are in the West Bank and do not have an Israeli permit, but does not define what Israel regards as valid permission," it states.
The NGO adds that the vast majority of the inhabitants of the West Bank, home to 2.5 million inhabitants, will never seek any kind of permission to live there.
The organizations charge that the current policy will be used initially with the Palestinians who are in the West Bank and Israel wants to transfer them to the Gaza Strip, despite the fact that many of them were born in the West Bank or settled there legally.
They also try to expel foreigners who are married to Palestinians from the West Bank who are abroad, which affects tens of thousands people.
"In any case, the definition of infiltrator exposes the individual to penalties of between three and seven years in prison and could in principle be applied to anyone that the Army considers, including Israelis and internationals who are present in the West Bank," states the communiqué .
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