Israel is so confident of its ability to expel Palestinian communities that it no longer even bothers to create the illusion of legal proceeding


Press Release - for immediate publication 

November 22, 2017


Israel is so confident of its ability to expel Palestinian communities that it no longer even bothers to create the illusion of legal proceeding

Over the past month, the state has informed three Palestinian communities that it intends to expel them from their homes and land. The notification was made by leaving orders on the roadside.

  • In the northern Jordan Valley, on 9 November 2017 the state notified two communities – Umm a-Jamal and Ein al-Hilweh – that they must leave their homes within eight days. These communities total 20 families, five of whom live in the area on a seasonal basis. The total number of residents is 130, including 66 youths and children under the age of 18.
  • In the Ma’ale Adumim area, on 16 November 2017 the state informed the residents of Jabal al-Baba that they must leave their homes within eight days. This community numbers about 60 families, and has a total of 284 residents, including 151 youths and children under the age of 18.


Israel has acted for years to expel communities around the West Bank. In the past, its efforts were based mainly on military orders concerning planning and building. However, the proceedings concerning such orders are protracted and require the precise mapping of the land and buildings, as well as the issuing of separate demolition orders for each building.


Now the state has found a new mechanism it hopes will enable it to circumvent such proceedings and accelerate the expulsion of residents: the Order concerning Unauthorized Buildings (Temporary Provision) (Judea and Samaria) (No. 1539), 5744-2003.” This order was originally intended for the expulsion of settlers from “outposts” established around the West Bank, although the state very rarely used it for this purpose. The order allows the Military Commander to declare an area in the West Bank a “confined area,” and to order the eviction of all property in that area. On this basis of this order, GOC Central Command Major-General Roni Numa signed the new orders concerning the Palestinian communities.


It seems that Israel is so confident in its ability to expel entire villages without incurring judicial or international criticism that it is no longer bothering to create even the illusion of legal proceedings. However, the difference between the proceedings is purely technical. The planning and building proceedings never stopped the state; even if they managed to postpone expulsion, they never removed the threat of expulsion from thousands of people. Over many years, thousands of Palestinians in dozens of communities have lived under a constant and real threat. The state has refused to regulate their status, allow them to connect to the water and electricity infrastructure, establish educational institutions for their children, pave roads to their living areas, and maintain a reasonable living routine.


The state has recently declared its intention to expel two additional communities over the coming months – Susiya in the southern Hebron Hills and Khan al-Ahmar close to Ma’ale Adumim. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced that in the absence of opposition from the American Administration, these communities will be expelled by April 2018. The expulsion proceedings against these communities have continued for years before the Supreme Court, which has refrained from prohibiting their expulsion.


Whatever the proceedings used by the state in its attempt to expel Palestinian residents from their homes, the crime is the same: the forcible transfer of a protected population, which amounts to a war crime. This is the case whether the violence used is direct or indirect, physical or administrative. Whether the expulsion is undertaken by force or by creating an intolerable reality that forces the residents to leave their homes and land – the essence is the same. All those involved in committing this crime – including the Prime Minister, Defense Minister, the justices who approve the expulsion, and the GOC who signs the orders – bear personal liability.

For additional information: Amit Gilutz, +972-54-6841126This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Our mailing address is

B'Tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories
P.O. Box 53132, Jerusalem 9153002 

On my sixth visit, I’ve never seen Gaza so devastated



I’ve visited the Gaza Strip for each of the past six years, including in 2014 a few months after Israel’s devastating military assault. And yet, I’ve never seen Gaza like I did when I had the privilege of visiting this summer.


I call it a privilege because, due to the blockade of Gaza imposed by Israel (with the support of Egypt), which is part of Israel’s now 50-year-old military rule over Palestinians in the occupied territories, internationals allowed in and out of Gaza are few, and Palestinians even fewer. This illegal land, air, and sea blockade, which has just entered its tenth year and amounts to collective punishment, as has been noted by the UN and human rights groups, has decimated the economy of Gaza and allowed for the near complete destruction of critical infrastructure. Experts use the term “de-development” to describe this once-bustling Mediterranean coastal enclave of two million Palestinians.


Nearly half the population are now unemployed and 80% rely on humanitarian assistance from organizations like UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Nearly one million refugees require UNRWA food assistance now, up from 80,000 people in 2000, before the blockade was in place. At its heart, UNRWA is a human development agency, running the largest and one of the best performing public school system in the entire Middle East, 10 times the size of DC Public Schools. But due to decades of Israel’s dispossession, occupation, and systematic oppression of Palestinians, UNRWA is forced to prioritize emergency interventions like food assistance and emergency protection. It’s an affront to humanity.

Read more: On my sixth visit, I’ve never seen Gaza so devastated

Khalil Bendib: The Pen is Funnier than the Sword

See Khalil Bendib's website at:

Netanyahu Vows to Never Remove Israeli Settlements From West Bank: 'We're Here to Stay, Forever

'We will deepen our roots, build, strengthen and settle,' Netanyahu tells settlers at event marking 50 years to Israel's occupation of the West Bank

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Monday that he will not evacuate Israeli settlements in the West Bank

"We are here to stay, forever," the prime minister said at an event in the settlement of Barkan, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Israel's occupation of the West Bank.

"There will be no more uprooting of settlements in the land of Israel. It has been proven that it does not help peace," he said. "We've uprooted settlements. What did we get? We received missiles. It will not happen anymore.

read more on Haaretz


Of Pig’s Blood and Presidents: Charlottesville, Zionism and Real Resistance to Racism



In the wake of Charlottesville, Americans have been forced to confront racism. Sadly, the debate has quickly shifted focus from the killing of a young peace activist—Heather Heyer, to the rather symbolic issue of the many confederate statues around the nation. The white supremacist demonstration that led to her death was focused on the planned removal of one of these monuments to, and symbols of, America’s racist past.

Symbols are powerful things. I applaud the effort to remove these symbols of racism. It is a real tragedy, however, that this focus has taken precedence over opposition to the real thing—the real institutionalized structures that maintain racism in this country—and elsewhere.  It seems to me that our law enforcement agencies are not focused on rolling up the racist criminal elements that committed the terrorist act that left Heather dead.

Make no mistake about this: the white supremacist organizers of the original rally in Charlottesville are preaching a kind of “Jihad” just as much as Islamist terrorist groups like ISIS are. Their stated objective is to start a race war to “cleanse” America of “foreign” elements. Previous terrorist acts like those in Orlando and San Bernardino were “lone wolf” attacks. There was no crowd of supporters preaching an Islamist jihad anywhere nearby. But if there had been, there would surely have been an effort to roll them up, arrest them, and try them as accomplices. Instead of taking similar actions against white supremacists in Charlottesville, there has been an immediate deflection to the issue of statues. Trump’s pardon of the racist Sherriff Joe Arpaio emphasizes the depth of the problem. All this is deeply disturbing. 

President Trump’s actions have rightly shaken the nation. In one of the many incredibly racist tweets that composed his overall reaction, he noted the ‘importance of learning from history.’ Ironically, he then tweeted a false narrative about General Pershing’s behavior during the Moro War in the Philippines at the turn of the last century. This story has been thoroughly debunked (as is so often the case with Trump’s ideas about history).

In Trump’s lurid fiction, bullets were dipped in pig’s blood and then used to execute 49 out of 50 Muslim Moro people engaged in resisting US occupation. The lone survivor was allegedly sent home to take the message of the massacre back to his people. The result, according to Trump, was 25 (or in a later retelling 35) years of “peace.”

The story has been thoroughly debunked—though it must be noted that the behavior of the US troops in the Moro War was appalling in the extreme. But it is highly indicative of the present problem. It is relevant because it reveals Trump’s mindset—a mindset where horrific brutality leads to a cessation of resistance.

Read more: Of Pig’s Blood and Presidents: Charlottesville, Zionism and Real Resistance to Racism



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