A new military order aimed at preventing infiltration will come into force this week, enabling the deportation of tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank, or their indictment on charges carrying prison terms of up to seven years.The Palestinian Arabic press has been having a field day with this report, quoting various officials that it is a "new naqba."
When the order comes into effect, tens of thousands of Palestinians will automatically become criminal offenders liable to be severely punished.
One article today quoted a press release from the Mezan Center for Human Rights as saying that this order is proof that Zionism is racist and calling on the UN to resurrect its resolution to that effect.
Of course, the IDF's response is nearly impossible to find among all the hysterics, but here is it (received via email from the IDF paraphrasing a senior official):
1. The new military order was signed 6 months ago.In other words, here is yet another case where reporters and Israeli leftists irresponsibly publicize stories without getting their facts straight (as Ha'aretz did with the supposed Vilna Gaon prophecy that Israel was going to build the Third Temple last month, causing days of violent riots). The Arabic press and Arab leaders seize on these stories and uses them as levers to incite violence and hate.
2. There are no changes to the repatriation system or the authority/means to repatriate illegal residents in Judea and Samaria. The only difference is that now the process includes a judiciary review.
3. The decision to establish a judiciary committee to review the administrative process of repatriation was taken in response to the Israeli High Court of Justice (בג"ץ) decision that there should be judicial oversight.
4. Any illegal resident who stands to be repatriated will be brought before the judicial committee within 8 days of receiving the order, they will have the right to legal council, and will be able to appeal the judicial decision to the high court.
5. When making decisions about whether or not to repatriate an individual, the administrative and the judicial committees consider family ties.
6. Currently there are very few illegal Palestinian residents in Judea and Samaria - over the past several years, as a goodwill gesture to the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli government has approved an amnesty for nearly all of the 32,000 illegal residents whose names were submitted to the population registry by the Palestinian authorities.
7. Since the beginning of 2010, there have only been 5 Gazans who have been repatriated to Gaza.
8. The current system allows Israeli authorities to arrest, detain and deport illegal residents (specifically those who came in on a tourist visa and decided to stay) - these are the same powers that every sovereign nation in the world possess. The establishment of the Judicial Committee to oversee the process is the only change.
One cannot understate how much this story has already permeated the Arab world. For example, a group in Tunisia just demanded that no one with Israeli citizenship be allowed to come to Djerba on Lag B'Omer to visit the site of a 1900-year old synagogue and a 1500-year old Torah. The reason is to "protest at Israel's decision to deport thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank," which the article helpfully tells us began yesterday.
No one was deported yesterday and no Temple was built last month. The lies that are started by overzealous reporters or malicious "human rights" workers have real consequences that they never anticipate.
This also brings to mind the time when Israel's deputy defense minister Matan Vilnai was misquoted by Reuters as theatening a new "holocaust" on Gaza in 2008. That one wrong "scoop" was fodder for incitement throughout the Arab world and used as an excuse for terror attacks for months afterwards.
Real people's lives are put into jeopardy with such reckless reporting.