On Wednesday, 19 December 2018, the Israeli Knesset approved the first preliminary reading of a bill to expel families of Palestinians involved in attacks to other areas in the West Bank. Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) denounces in the strongest terms the approval of this bill, which violates the international law and human rights.
Under the abovementioned bill, in favor of which 69 Knesset members voted while 38 objected and the Arab Members of the Keenest were expelled for their objection, it allows “expelling families and relatives of Palestinians who carry out or are involved in attacks against Israelis from their hometowns to other areas of the West Bank within a week of the alleged attack.”
On Sunday, 16 December 2018, the Knesset’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the bill, which was submitted by the “Jewish Home” right wing party headed by Minister of Education in the Israeli government, Naftali Bennett.
The bill was approved despite the opposition and objection by the Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit and the Israeli security services, out of their belief that it is illegal and would increase violence and tension in the area.
The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, welcomed this bill and considered it as an “effective tool” and “the benefit of this bill is greater than its damage.” In preparation for this, on 13/12/2018, Netanyahu issued a decision to expedite the demolition of houses belonging to Palestinians involved in attacks. Therefore, on 17 December 2018, the Israeli bulldozers demolished a house in al-Showika suburb, north of Tulkarm belonging to Ashraf Na’alwah, who was extra-judicially killed by the Israeli forces on 13 December 2018.
It should be noted that MK Ahmed al-Tibi described the bill as “a bill by war criminals, who shall eventually be internationally prosecuted”. He stressed that the bill passed a preliminary reading and it is expected in light of the racism and fascism atmosphere that the bill will pass the readings and will be approved in first, second and third readings. It is also expected that many racist bills would be enacted and settlement activities would increase as the Israeli elections will be soon held in mid-2019.
In light of the above mentioned, PCHR:
- Condemns this bill, which is part of the collective punishment policy practiced by Israeli forces against innocent Palestinians, which constitutes a blatant violation of international law and human rights law.
- Calls upon the UN, particularly the UNSC and General Assembly, to take practical measures to face Israel’s blatant violation of the international law rules and to put an end to treating Israel as a State above the law.
- Calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their legal obligations through taking measures to guarantee Israel’s respect for the convention.