Addameer: Illegal Forcible Transfer Aims to Empty Jerusalem of its Palestinian Residents

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29 December 2015

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association confirms that international law prohibits arbitrary forcible transfer orders, such as those issued by the occupation forces against Palestinians, particularly in the occupied city of Jerusalem. These orders aim to empty the city of its Palestinian residents and take control over the political, social and educational lives of Palestinians.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibited individual and collective arbitrary transfers of protected persons and transferring them out of the occupied territories to the territories that fall under the control of the occupying power or to any other country, regardless the motives. 

According to the international law definition, arbitrary deportation refers the transfer of a person against his will inside or outside the national borders. Deportation of protected persons in an occupied territory is considered an illegal practice and a grave violation of Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and it amounts to a war crime and a crime against humanity according to Article 7 and 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “no one shall be arrested, detained or exiled arbitrarily” which confirms that deportation is a prohibited illegal practice according to the international law. The practice of deportation or arbitrary transfer is considered a war crime and a crime against humanity regardless the circumstances and motives.

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association objected the deportation order that was issued against the Jerusalemite journalist Samer Abu Aisha (28 years old). The objection stated that Abu Aisha has the right to defend himself and present his claims before the court. In addition, this deportation order was based on a secret file that neither Samer nor his lawyer were able to review which contradict the basic requirements of fair trial. 

This year, the occupation authorities issued seven orders of deportation out of Jerusalem. These were issued against: Anan Najeeb, Akram Shurafa, Obada Najeeb, Raed Salah, Mohammad Razem, Hijazi Abu Sbeih and Samer Abu Aisha. Abu Sbeih and Abu Aisha decided to reject their orders and protest them in the offices of the Red Cross in Jerusalem since 23/12/2015, considering deportation a policy to empty Jerusalem of its Palestinian residents who protect its Palestinian identity. These practices aim to facilitate the occupation in taking control of the city, its lands and holy sites. This is part of the collective punishment and ethnic cleansing that continue to be practiced against Palestinians that reside in Jerusalem.

In 2015, the occupation authorities issued many deportation orders against Jerusalemites, especially activists and public figures. The occupation authorities are increasingly resorting to deportation as a less difficult alternative, especially in cases where it is difficult to present a list of charges against Palestinian individuals.   Furthermore, the chairperson of Addameer’s board of directors Mr. Abdullatif Ghaith has been banned from entering the West Bank for four years. In addition, a ban from entering the West Bank issued against the field researcher at Addameer, Salah Hamouri, was renewed for five additional months.

While the occupation forces continue to practice the deportation policy against Palestinians, the Occupation’s District Court overturned the decision of the Magistrate Court’s judge to deport settler “Yehuda Atsion” out of Al Aqsa Mosque for 15 days after attempting to practice religious rites in the courtyards of the mosque. The settler has planned to blow up Al Aqsa Mosque 30 years ago and his presence in the Temple Mount poses a real threat to the public security.

Addameer demands the United Nations and its Secretary General Ban Ki-moon take a clear position that confirms the universality of human rights and demonstrate the effectiveness of the UN. In addition, Addameer calls for an immediate intervention to pressure the occupation authorities to cancel the deportation policy and arbitrary transfers against Palestinian civilians. Addameer also demands the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to provide protection to Palestinian civilians, and to guarantee the occupation’s implementation and respect of the international humanitarian law.