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Home Article 74 The ICJ Ruling on the Wall (Autumn 2004) When All Families are Potential Terrorists: Israel Extends Law Banning Family Reunification

When All Families are Potential Terrorists: Israel Extends Law Banning Family Reunification

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 All Palestinians support the resistance against Israel’s illegal military occupation. All Palestinians are therefore potential terrorists says the state of Israel. Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip who marry Palestinians inside Israel are therefore banned from living together in Israel. 

  On 18 July 2004, the Israeli government voted in favor of a six-month extension to the “Nationality and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) – 2003.” In accordance with Article 5 of the law, the Israeli Knesset must approve an extension of the law. The Knesset did so on 21 July by a majority vote of 60 to 29.

 The law prohibits the granting of any residency or citizenship status to Palestinians from the occupied territories who are married to Israeli citizens, thereby banning family reunification. The law was enacted by the Knesset, as a temporary order for one year on 31 July 2003, and affects thousands of families, comprised of tens of thousands of individuals.
Seven petitions have been submitted and are currently pending before Israel’s Supreme Count against the law. The Court has joined these petitions for hearings and decision. The Court rejected the petitioner’s request for an injunction to freeze the implementation of the law while the case is pending. The Court, however, has issued an order nisi and injunctions preventing the deportation of three of the petitioners pending a final ruling on the petition.
The UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination has called (Decision 1[63]) on Israel to revoke the law. The Committee reiterated this request (Decision 2[65]) at its 65th Session in August 2004. The Committee also reminded Israel that it had failed to submit a report on compliance with the Convention for the 65th Session, despite the fact that the 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th periodic reports from 1998 to 2004 were overdue. The Committee requested Israel to file a report no later than 31 December 2004.
Based on reports by Adalah – the Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. For ongoing information visit the Adal
 UN Special Rapporteur Calls for Legal Actions Against Destruction of Palestinian Property, Disengagement from Gaza will Not End Israel’s Occupation
Excerpts from the Report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights, John Dugard, on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, submitted in accordance with Commission resolution 1993/2 A,12 August 2004
According to UNRWA's records, from the beginning of the second intifada to 30 June 2004, a total of 2,272 shelters accommodating 4,072 families (21,453 persons) had been completely demolished or damaged beyond repair in the Gaza Strip during Israeli military activities. Of them, 1886 shelters accommodated 3338 refugee families (17,831 persons). Out of this group, 2,771 families (15,198 persons) were identified as being eligible for assistance under the Agency’s re-housing scheme. Of those already identified as eligible, 2,094 families (11,231 persons) are refugees residing in Rafah.
Following a recent visit to the 1967 occupied Palestinian territories, UN Special Rapporteur John Dugard called for legal action against persons responsible for the massive demolition of Palestinian homes.
“The Special Rapporteur visited Block "O", the Brazil Quarter and the Tel Es Sultan neighbourhood of Rafah in the wake of Operation Rainbow carried out by the IDF in May 2004 and met with families that had been rendered homeless in the exercise. In Operation Rainbow, 43 persons were killed, including 8 who were killed in a peaceful demonstration on 19 May. From 18 to 24 May, a total of 167 buildings were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable. These buildings housed 379 families (2,066 individuals). These demolitions occurred during one of the worst months in Rafah's recent history. During May, 298 buildings, housing 710 families (3,800 individuals), were demolished in Rafah. Since the start of the intifada in September 2000, 1,497 buildings have been demolished in Rafah, affecting over 15,000 people. The Special Rapporteur was appalled at the evidence of wanton destruction inflicted upon Rafah. The Special Rapporteur is mindful of article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which provides that any destruction by the occupying Power of personal property is prohibited except when such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations and that failure to comply with this prohibition constitutes a grave breach in terms of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention requiring prosecution of the offenders. The time has come for the international community to identify those responsible for this savage destruction of property and to take the necessary legal action against them.” [Emphasis added]
Dugard also commented on Israel’s claim that disengagement from the Gaza Strip will end Israel’s 37 year occupation.
“Israel sees the political advantages in withdrawing from Gaza. In particular, it claims that it would no longer be categorized as an occupying Power in the territory subject to the Fourth Geneva Convention. In reality, however, Israel does not plan to relinquish its grasp on the Gaza Strip. It plans to maintain its authority by controlling Gaza's borders, territorial sea and airspace. That Israel intends to retain ultimate control over Gaza is clear from the Israeli disengagement plan of April 2004. This disengagement plan states in respect of Gaza, inter alia, that "The State of Israel will supervise and maintain the external land envelope, have exclusive control of the air space of Gaza and continue to carry out military activity in the Gaza Strip's maritime space. ... The State of Israel will continue to maintain a military presence along the border line between the Gaza Strip and Egypt (the Philadelphi route). This presence is a vital security need. In certain places a physical broadening of the area in which this military activity is carried out may be required." Another means of control that is being contemplated is the installation of high-tech listening devices in major buildings in the Gaza Strip in order to enable the Israeli authorities to monitor communications. This means that Israel will remain an occupying Power under international law. The test for application of the legal regime of occupation is not whether the occupying Power fails to exercise effective control over the territory, but whether it has the ability to exercise such power, a principle confirmed by the United States Military Tribunal in In re List and others (The Hostages Case) of 1948. It is essential that the international community take cognizance of the nature of Israel's proposed withdrawal and of its continuing obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention.”
Report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, UN Doc. A/59/256, 12 August 2004.
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