21st, April 2010
We are writing to you on a matter of great urgency
The Israeli military has issued an amendment to an order, effective as of 13 April 2010, that will categorize tens of thousands of Palestinians living in the West Bank as "infiltrators". Their target is those who lack proper residence permits.
The order is a flagrant display of military arrogance and will reduce thousands of people to "illegal aliens" in their own homes. It will also confine Palestinians to their villages and further sever them from vital economic, health, education, and social centers. Palestinians found in contravention of the order could be subject to almost immediate deportation or jail terms of up to seven years.
Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, warned this Monday, 19 April 2010 that "two Israeli Defense Forces Military Orders may be in breach of the fourth Geneva Convention and violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights". He noted that "a wide range of violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law could be linked to actions carried out by the Government of Israel under these Orders, with particular gravity in the event that young persons become victims of their application." Israel is party to the fourth Geneva Convention that prohibits "individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country .... regardless of their motive."
The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) joins Kairos Palestine in condemning this action and strongly supports their call to "churches worldwide to publically demand the revocation of the order".
In support of the Kairos Palestine initiative, PIEF asks churches and the wider international to:
Please read the statement from Kairos Palestine on the new military order which describes its provisions as well as the actions they suggest you may take. We urge you to act rapidly and demonstrate to Israeli authorities that the international community is alert to their arbitrary and inhumane actions.