In an unprecedented move, the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation was set to approve a bill Sunday giving the Israeli Interior Minister authority to deport family members of Palestinian assailants from 1948 areas.
Palestinians living on their land, who were not uprooted during the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, hold Israeli citizenship.
They do not, however, enjoy equal rights, and complain that they are treated as second-class citizens.
The bill also gives the Minister of Public Security the authority to order the Palestinian Civil Administration in charge of the Occupied West Bank on behalf of the Israeli government to relocate those family members to areas under Palestinian National Authority (PNA) control.
Commenting on the bill, Yisrael Katz, the Israeli Minister of Transportation and Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy told Israel’s Channel 7 that family members of the attackers or even those with prior knowledge to the attack will be deported to the West Bank, Gaza and Syria. It was unclear, however, what jurisdiction Israel had to deport Palestinians to Syria or Gaza.
Israel does not have relations with Gaza, ruled by Hamas, nor Syria.
He said the bill would serve as a deterrent to end attacks on Israelis “once and for all”.
Since October 2015, accelerating violence has rocked both Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Palestinians, upset over continuous illegal Jewish raids on Al Haram Al Sharif in occupied East Jerusalem, say they are frustrated over Israel’s disrespect for Palestinian rights, especially in regards to Muslim holy sites.
About 290 Palestinians, 42 Israelis and three other foreign nationals have died in the escalating conflict.
Israel’s regime has implemented a declared policy of collective punishment against Palestinian attackers’ family members including the revoking of their permanent resident status and social benefits, demolishing the family houses of the attackers along with many other flagrant forms of punishment inflicted on the family members.
The practice has been widely decried by international rights groups and even the Israeli Higher Court of Justice previously declared revoking residency to extended family members illegal.
“Revoking the residency rights of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and expelling Palestinian attackers’ families violate the international law and could play into the hands of those seeking to have Israel tried for war crimes in the International Criminal Court,” warned Israel’s Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit.
Israel’s Interior Ministry has stripped more than 20,000 Palestinians in Occupied Jerusalem of their residency since Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1967.
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