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Bill to expel families of accused Palestinian attackers passes first Knesset reading

Israel/Palestine
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The Israeli Knesset passed on Wednesday the first reading of a bill to forcibly transfer families of Palestinians involved in attacks against Israelis, despite heavy opposition from intelligence and army officials.

The bill, presented by the ultra right-wing Jewish Home party, was approved by 69 votes in favor, and 38 votes against.

If passed into law, it would see that within a week of an attack or attempted attack, the Israeli army’s central command would be permitted to expel the relatives of the Palestinian assailants from their hometowns to other areas of the West Bank.

It would also allow for Israeli forces to demarcate an area in which the family is not allowed to enter.

The vote comes just days after Israel’s Security Cabinet and Ministerial Legislation Committee approved the bill.

During the session, three Palestinian MKs, Jamal Zahalka, Ahmad Tibi and Masud Ganaim were removed from the plenum.

According to the Andolu Agency, Israeli MK Moti Yogev of the Jewish Home party described his Arab colleagues as “terrorists”, while Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi shouting at him: “You can kill the Palestinians, but you cannot oppress an entire people.”

The proponents of the bill have argued that the measure would serve as a “deterrent” for those thinking to target Israelis in shooting or stabbing attacks.

“The expulsion of terrorists’ families,” the bill states, “is a proven ‎deterrent that has the power to decrease ‎terrorist attacks and save lives.”

Earlier this week, Haaretz reported that the director of the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal intelligence agency, opposed the bill saying that it would be nearly impossible to implement, and that it would “bring about a result that is the opposite of deterrence since its implementation would create tensions.”

Haaretz quoted a senior security official as saying that the bill was being pushed as a result of public pressure in the wake of a spate of attacks targeting Israeli settlers, not out of an actual security or operational need.

“How exactly are we supposed to do this? Take families and throw them in the Hebron Hills? And then what? Watch them so that they don’t move? Chase them each time they go back to their village and then throw them out again?,” the unnamed official said.

For years the Israeli government has enacted a series of  these so-called “deterrence” measures including demolishing the family homes of accused attackers, shutting down entire villages where a suspected attacker is from, conducting massive arrest operations targeting family and friends of the accused, and revoking the Israeli work permits of close and distant relatives of an attacker.

Rights groups have criticized the government’s policies as collective punishment, and Israeli military officials have previously made recommendations to the government that practices like home demolitions did not deter attacks.

Israeli rights group B’Tselem has condemned the practice of punitive home demolitions as “court-sanctioned revenge” carried out on family members who have not committed crimes, amounting to collective punishment.

The new bill which aims to expel the families of attackers from their homes could amount to forcible transfer — a war crime under international law.

B’Tselem has said this of the practice: “Forcible transfer – by direct physical force or by creating a coercive environment that makes residents leave their homes – is a war crime. All people responsible for it – including the Israeli prime minister and the minister of defense – bear personal liability.”

yumnapatel
About Yumna Patel

Yumna Patel is a multimedia journalist based in Bethlehem, Palestine. Follow her on Twitter at @yumna_patel

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10 Responses

  1. eljay
    eljay
    December 20, 2018, 9:46 am

    Every day, in every way, Israel’s getting worse and worse.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      December 21, 2018, 10:24 am

      @eljay, etal

      “Every day, in every way, Israel’s getting worse and worse.”

      Indeed!! Also, the entity known as “Israel” is becoming increasingly panic stricken as its worldwide image continues to plummet ever faster.

      Here’s a couple of recent examples of why:

      1.
      http://daysofpalestine.com/post/11452/senior-israeli-lawmaker-calls-for-killing-all-palestinians

      Days of Palestine, Dec. 10 2018

      “Senior Israeli Lawmaker Calls For Killing All Palestinians”

      “Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said that ‘the number [of peaceful Palestinian protesters] killed does not mean anything because they are just Nazis anyhow.’”

      “Chair of the Defence Committee at the Israeli Parliament Avi Dichter has called for killing all the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

      “As he was commenting on the peaceful protests of the Great March of Return taking place along the eastern fence of the Gaza Strip, he said: ‘The Israeli army has enough bullets for every Palestinian.’

      “Dichter is a senior member of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, which is a right wing one.

      “Former director of Shin Bet internal security service and Minister of Internal Security Dichter said that the Israeli army is prepared to use all means, including lethal force to deter the Palestinians protesters.

      “Since March 31, thousands of peaceful Palestinian protesters have been staging protests along the eastern fence of the Gaza Strip, calling for lifting the 12-year-old Israeli siege and reinforcing the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

      “Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan repeatedly referred to the protesters killed in Gaza as ‘Nazis,’ saying that there were no demonstrations, just ‘Nazi anger.’

      “He later added: ‘The number [of peaceful Palestinian protesters] killed does not mean anything because they are just Nazis anyhow.'”

      2.
      http://daysofpalestine.com/post/11483/israeli-mk-%E2%80%98our-life-more-precious-than-palestinians%E2%80%99-life%E2%80%99

      “Israeli MK: ‘Our Life More Precious Than Palestinians’ Life’” Days of Palestine, Dec. 20/18

      “Commenting on burning Palestinian family in West Bank a few years ago, he said: ‘Burning a Palestinian family is not an act of terror.'”

      “Extremist right wing Israeli Member of Knesset Bezalel Smotrich has called for illegal Jewish settlers to attack Palestinians, claiming that ‘life of Jews is more valuable than Palestinians’ life.’

      “On his twitter account, Smotrich wrote: ‘I call on my heroic [settler] friends and pioneers to come out tonight and close Route 60 along its entire length to the movement of Arab vehicles.’

      “’If there are [Palestinian resistance] attacks [against illegal Jewish settlers], there will be no Arabs on the roads. Our lives precede their quality of life.’

      “Consequently, the Israeli human rights organisation Yesh Din demanded that an investigation be opened into the Jewish Home politician as he tweeted a call for settler violence against Palestinians.

      “The organisation submitted this an official request to the Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, asking that he open a criminal probe into Smotrich’s call for violence against the Palestinians.

      “Illegal Israeli Jewish settlers responded to Smotrich’s tweet, gathered in the meant streets and attacked Palestinians.

      “Yesh Din says that, in the 24 hours after Smotrich’s tweet, it documented 25 attacks carried out by settlers against Palestinians.

      “The attacks included the shooting of live bullets at Palestinian homes in the nearby villages of Ein Yabrud and Beitin and the throwing of stones at Palestinian cars at Huwara and Kfar Qaddum junctions, all near Ofra on Route 60 of the occupied West Bank.”

  2. amigo
    amigo
    December 20, 2018, 12:06 pm

    Israel openly passes laws that “legalise ” War Crimes.

    Nothing new here as Israel commits War crimes on a hourly basis.

    Presumably this criminal law would include children and if so that would fall under article 2 on the Geneva Convention on the crime on Genocide.

    “e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. “.

    https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Article.xsp?action=openDocument&documentId=2F091964230EADECC12563F700550817

    What other democracy (Flawed or otherwise)) in the world commits so many war crimes and gets to call itself Democratic and a light unto the nations.

    Only in Israel.What a cluster?$&£ , Israel is.

    Tick , Tick, Tick.

    • eljay
      eljay
      December 20, 2018, 12:41 pm

      || amigo: Israel openly passes laws that “legalise ” War Crimes. … ||

      But they will undoubtedly be the “most moral” war crimes, “most morally” executed.

      || … What other democracy (Flawed or otherwise)) in the world commits so many war crimes and gets to call itself Democratic and a light unto the nations. … ||

      The kind of “light unto the nations” democracy that defends it actions by pointing out that it isn’t quite as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali, African “hellholes”, 19-century America, China, etc.

      • amigo
        amigo
        December 20, 2018, 1:15 pm

        “by pointing out that it isn’t quite as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali, African “hellholes”, 19-century America, China, etc.” Eljay

        That would make an appropriate Zionist National Anthem.

        Which reminds me of the Terrorist Lehi Gang Anthem.

        “Anonymous soldiers, we are here without uniforms
        And fright and fear of death surround us
        We have all joined for life
        Only death will release us from our duty”.

        https://donabravanel.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/anonymous-soldiers-the-anthem-of-the-lehi/

        How often do we hear zioapologists complaining about Hamas or others not wearing uniform.

        Zionist exceptionalism and hypocracy.

    • amigo
      amigo
      December 20, 2018, 1:26 pm

      Before RoHa gets here and points out my spelling error .

      “Nothing new here as Israel commits War crimes on a hourly basis.”

      Should read !!

      “Nothing new here as Israel commits War crimes on an hourly basis.”

  3. edwardm
    edwardm
    December 20, 2018, 12:08 pm

    No legal or civil rights.

  4. Lillian Rosengarten
    Lillian Rosengarten
    December 21, 2018, 10:36 am

    Horrendous, Fascist country.

  5. captADKer
    captADKer
    December 21, 2018, 2:46 pm

    families/clans/villages/cities stacked up some nowhere for absorption by jordan and game over. a democratic TOTALLY jewish nation is then realized from river to sea.

    • eljay
      eljay
      December 21, 2018, 4:54 pm

      || captADKer: families/clans/villages/cities stacked up some nowhere for absorption by jordan and game over. a democratic TOTALLY jewish nation is then realized from river to sea. ||

      Whatever it takes to realize the unjust and immoral Zionist “dream” of Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine.

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