HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual in a complaint to the state attorney's office: the military operates contrary to its declarations to the HCJ in regard to its policy of forcible transfer of Palestinians to Gaza, based on their registered address המוקד להגנת הפרט
25.07.2010
HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual in a complaint to the state attorney's office: the military operates contrary to its declarations to the HCJ in regard to its policy of forcible transfer of Palestinians to Gaza, based on their registered address
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In recent years, the military has been operating under a policy aimed at removing Palestinians who live in the West Bank to Gaza, solely based on their registration with a Gaza address in the population registry. This policy puts Palestinians who, through the years, relocated from Gaza to the West Bank at risk of sudden expulsion from their homes. The threat of deportation  impedes the normal life of the population, and restrics their actions, since any routine inspection at a checkpoint, or just going out on daily tasks, may end in being taken to a military vehicle and swiftly deported to Gaza, sometimes within hours.  

In response to a petition against the forced removal of a Palestinian from Hebron to Gaza, filed by HaMoked in 2009 on behalf of Palestinian who relocated from Gaza in 2006, the state asserted that under current policy, it does not deport to Gaza any person who relocated to the West Bank prior to 2000, barring security notices against him. The state further clarified that if a person was deported to Gaza contrary to the policy, or if he had otherwise reached Gaza and is stranded there, he would be allowed to return home (HCJ 6685/09 Kahouji v. Military Commander of the West Bank).

But the announcements and the actions are at odds – although this policy was professed to the court, it seems that military officials are doing their utmost to act otherwise. It is becoming evident that until recently the military implemented the "procedure for the removal of residents of the Gaza Strip from Judea and Samaria", stipulating that any Palestinian registered with a Gaza address is to be deported to Gaza, irrespective of his date of entry to the West Bank or whether  security materials exist in his regard. 

Furthermore, contrary to the statements to the court, the military disallows Palestinians who were deported to Gaza despite the policy, or had otherwise arrived there, to return to the West Bank. The rejection of HaMoked's pleas on behalf of Palestinians deported to Gaza, or "stranded" there, even though they meet the criteria detailed in the "implementation policy", shows that the military manifestly disregards its own declarations to the High Court of Justice (HCJ).
 
In view of the disparity between the state's professed policy before the HCJ and the situation on the ground, HaMoked demands to secure the adherence of the military to the declaration, i.e., minimally, to halt all deportations contrary to the policy, and to allow Palestinians who were deported to or stranded in Gaza and who meet the criteria relayed to the court, to return home to the West Bank.

HaMoked considers that in of itself deportation based on a person's registered address is utterly unacceptable and legally found-less. Such deportations constitute the forcible transfer of protected persons, which is a severe violation of international humanitarian law. In the current situation, the state should at least keep its own declarations to the court.
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