Van Bommel urges condemnation of Israeli deportation policy

15 April 2010

Van Bommel urges condemnation of Israeli deportation policy

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel is seriously concerned about a military decree which will allow the Israeli armed forces to remove people from the West Bank of the Jordan. Van Bommel, the Socialist Party's foreign affairs spokesman, today asked Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen for his comments on the content and implications of this decree, a demand which won the backing of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs. “This move by Israel is in conflict with international law and for that reason the Dutch government should be giving its opinion on it," says Van Bommel. "I'm calling on the Foreign Minister to condemn this measure."

Harry van Bommel The Israeli military occupation authority is seeking to use the decree to expel large groups of people from the West Bank by declaring them to be 'infiltrators'. This concept has been around for years and is of broad significance. The Israeli authorities have announced that the decree is now in force on the West Bank.

The first group likely to be affected are the 5,000 Palestinians born in Gaza, many of whom have lived in the West Bank for decades. The decree is not valid for Jewish settlers, who are residing in the West Bank in contravention of international law. Israeli human rights organisations such as Hamoked have noted their concerns over the policy in a letter of protest sent to the country's defence minister Ehud Barak.

"The kernel of the issue is straightforward," says Van Bommel. "Under the Geneva Convention deportation of residents is not permitted. Israel is obliged to abide by this. If it turns out that Maxime Verhagen isn't willing to point this out to the Israelis, then I will call on Parliament to hold an emergency debate.”

You are here