The Israeli occupation army has introduced a set of draconian measures in the West Bank aimed at uprooting more Palestinians from their ancestral homeland as well as suppressing prospective Palestinian protests against the enduring Israeli military occupation and apartheid.
The new measures are meant to enable the Israeli military occupation authorities to deport, or expel, thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank, or indict them on serious but concocted charges carrying prison terms of up to seven years.
The measures are also seen as part of an Israeli policy aimed at forcing the PA to succumb to Israeli bullying and coercion tactics and return to futile peace talks mediated by the Americans.
Palestinian officials in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip label the new measures “manifestly criminal” and “constituting a war crime.”
“These harsh measures show that Israel is determined to keep up its Nazi-approach toward the Palestinian people. Deporting people from their homes and places of residence is a war crime under international law. Hence, the international community ought to treat Israel as a criminal state, a pariah state,” said Anwar Safi a prominent Hamas activist in the southern West Bank.
“It is really ironic that while Jews are marking the so-called “holocaust day,” Jews are threatening to carry out massive deportation of the Palestinian people.”
The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz on Sunday, 11 April, quoted army sources as saying that “tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank will automatically become criminal offenders liable to severely punished.”
These include people who have joined their spouses or returned to the West Bank as part of the “family unification program.” Israel views these Palestinians as “infiltrators.”
The paper said the Palestinians most likely to be immediately targeted under the new laws are those whose identity cards bear home addresses in the Gaza Strip-including people born in the Gaza Strip along with their West Bank-born children-or those born in the West Bank or abroad who for various reasons lost their residency rights.
Also likely to be targeted are foreign-born spouses of Palestinians.
According to the report, the new order defines anyone who enters the West Bank, without Israeli consent, as “infiltrator.”
Ultimately, the new orders are intended to close loopholes allowed under the Oslo Accords which enabled thousands of Palestinians to return to the West Bank where they own property and have first-degree relatives.
More to the point, the order, which the Israeli apartheid regime says is intended to suppress Palestinian protests, effectively treats all the West Bank as territories under Israeli sovereignty as it ignores nearly completely the very existence of the Palestinian Authority.
An Israeli army spokesperson admitted that the latest draconian measures were intended to restrict Palestinian demographic growth as well as clamp down on Palestinian protests against Israeli occupation and apartheid policies.
However, the spokesperson refused to say how and where the Palestinians would be deported.
Observers in occupied Palestine have suggested that Israel might be inclined to create more provocations that could push Palestinians toward pro-active resistance to organized Jewish terror, e.g. violence perpetrated by Nazi-like Jewish settlers in cooperation and coordination with the Israeli occupation army.
PA official Sa’eb Erikat described the Israeli decision as part of an ongoing process of ethnic cleansing.
“These decisions are tantamount to blowing up all outstanding agreements with Israel as well as all possibilities for renewed talks.
Erikat said the Israeli measure would allow any Israeli officer to effectively deport Palestinian citizens at will.
“It seems the Israelis are behaving according to their whims. They are arresting people, deporting them, imposing hefty monetary fines on Palestinians amounting to $2000.”
He added that the PA was already contacting the United States and European Union in this regard.
Another PA official Nabil Shaath, a citizen of the Gaza Strip, called the new Israeli measures “flagrant, racist and utterly illegal and illegitimate.”
“These measures simply violate simple human decency. Israel has no right to bar Palestinians from living on their ancestral homeland.”
Shaath called on the international community, including Arab and Muslim states, to condemn the Israeli measures and force the apartheid state to reverse its decisions.
The Fatah-run PA has been saying that it will support popular but non-violent resistance against the Israeli occupation.
The apartheid regime fears that massive Palestinian protests might succeed in creating a momentum toward a worldwide recognition of Palestinian statehood.
Last week, PA premier said in an interview with the H’aaretz newspaper that a declaration of Palestinian statehood was likely to be made in 2011.
Officials of the Israeli apartheid regime said the Zionist state would thwart by force any unilateral Palestinian plans to declare statehood.
Israel views the West Bank as “disputed” rather than “occupied territories.”
Israel would want to seize as much as possible of Palestinian geography but with as little as possible Palestinian population.
Palestinians are likely to appeal to the international community to pressure Israel to rescind the new measures which are brazenly in violation of international law.