What to make of the new IDF order, which will allow mass deportation of Palestinians

Posted: April 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, The Settlements | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments »


Amira Haas reports in Haaretz:

A new military order (in picture) 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.

When the order comes into effect, tens of thousands of Palestinians will automatically become criminal offenders liable to be severely punished.


According to the provisions, “a person is presumed to be an infiltrator if he is present in the area without a document or permit which attest to his lawful presence in the area without reasonable justification.” Such documentation, it says, must be “issued by the commander of IDF forces in the Judea and Samaria area or someone acting on his behalf.”

The instructions, however, are unclear over whether the permits referred to are those currently in force, or also refer to new permits that military commanders might issue in the future… Currently, Palestinians need special permits to enter areas near the separation fence, even if their homes are there, and Palestinians have long been barred from the Jordan Valley without special authorization. Until 2009, East Jerusalemites needed permission to enter Area A, territory under full PA control.

There are a few things to notice here:

1.    The total lack of respect by Israel to the Oslo agreement and the Palestinian Authority. Israel often claims that the situation in the West Bank does not resemble Apartheid since most Palestinians actually live in the Autonomy rather than under Israeli rule. But as we have seen, the PA can’t even decide who enters or stays in its territory, and the IDF does not hesitate to carry out arrests there – even when they have nothing to do with national security. The true authority in the West Bank, whose actions almost can’t be challenged, is the IDF.

2.    The attempt by Israel to change the situation in the West Bank. Israel continues to expand its settlements on what is supposed to be the territory of the future Palestinian state. Now it has introduced a measure that will enable it to control Palestinian population as well.

3.    I don’t believe we will see buses expelling thousand of Palestinians in the near future. Israel knows this won’t look good in the world. What this measure gives is another tool for IDF to use against individuals and to break non-violent resistance. For example, if a person demonstrates against the wall near his village, and there is nothing else to charge him with, the IDF can try to deport him under the new order. This goes well with the ambiguous and secretive tone of the order, which leaves lots of room for interpretation by the officers in the field.

4.    All this is happening when the West bank is quiet. The Palestinians are actually doing what Israel asked them for years. Resistance to the occupation is limited to demonstrations and occasional stone-throwing. At the same time, Israel is introducing new measures against the Palestinians. This new move might be part of a larger response Israel is preparing for a case in which the PA unilaterally declares its independence.

5. As IDF spokesman informed Haaretz, the order will not apply to Jews.

5 Comments on “What to make of the new IDF order, which will allow mass deportation of Palestinians”

  1. 1 Dimi said at 2:10 am on April 11th, 2010:

    point 5 in particular make Israel SO not an apartheid system ;) incidentally, doesn’t the order also apply to all foreign NGO workers and international activists?

  2. 2 noam said at 4:44 am on April 11th, 2010:

    that’s the thing with those IDF orders – until they start implementing them we don’t know who they apply to. could be anyone.

  3. 3 rick said at 5:06 am on April 11th, 2010:

    looks like the far right doesn´t know how to deal with a more or less quiet wb. the great danger is that this could break the neck of Fayyad and his peacefull demands to create a pal state in the coming years and a step back to violant resistance or fights. than its about security again.

    no comment to no 5: 5. As IDF spokesman informed Haaretz, the order will not apply to Jews.

  4. 4 Yisrael Medad said at 5:47 am on April 12th, 2010:

    Your point #1: didn’t we just establish via Anat Kamm that national security makes no difference, so how can you employ it here to make the IDF order seem worse than it is?

  5. 5 noam said at 6:04 am on April 12th, 2010:

    yisrael – i would have Israel respect PA on all issues, but there is an understanding in the public for violating the agreement in order to arrest suspects of terrorism. the point i was trying to make, and that i think is still valid, is that israel does all it want in the WB regardless of the issue at hand.