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Israel ministers back expulsion of Palestinian resistance’s families

IDF demolishes the home of Abu Hamid, a Palestinian accused of killing an Israeli soldier, Ramallah, December 15, 2018 (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
IDF demolishes the home of Abu Hamid, a Palestinian accused of killing an Israeli soldier, Ramallah, December 15, 2018 (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

Israeli ministers yesterday voted to advance draft legislation that would see the relatives of alleged Palestinian assailants expelled from their homes and forcibly relocated to other parts of the occupied West Bank, reported the Times of Israel.

The decision by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation means that the bill will now move to the Knesset plenum, though there is no date set yet for the first vote.

According to the law, proposed by Jewish Home MK Moti Yogev, “within a week” of an alleged attack – or even an attempted attack – Israeli occupation forces “will be permitted to expel the relatives of the Palestinian assailants from their hometowns to other parts of the West Bank”.

Opposition to the law has been expressed by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and the Shin Bet.

READ: Israeli court sends mother of Palestinian martyr to prison 

Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman reportedly told the security cabinet that the legislation “cannot be implemented”, explaining that “we are unable to go into Hebron and Nablus every day and see who lives where and whether the family has returned to their residence”.

The Shin Bet is also reportedly concerned that the law would “harm his organisation’s ability to use administrative detention as a tool used in investigations since courts will rule that administrative detention is unnecessary if expelling the family is an option”.

Meanwhile, Prof. Yuval Shany, chair of the UN Human Rights Committee, has told Israel’s Army Radio that the law could bring charges against officials at the International Criminal Court.

“International law cannot accept in any way the expulsion of families of terrorists, also not to Ramallah or Jenin,” Shany said. “You cannot punish a person for something someone else did. It will not pass the Supreme Court but will reach the Hague.”

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