The Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights (JSCER) issued a press release slamming the Israeli decision to expel thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank, and stated that this decision is part of Israel’s demographic violations against the Palestinians, and is not less dangerous that the Nakba of 1948 when Israel expelled thousands of Palestinians who became refugees. The center added that the ramifications of this decision will not only affect Gaza Strip residents who are living in the West Bank, but will also affect the Palestinians of Jerusalem, the Arabs in Israel and the Palestinians who carry international citizenships, mainly American and European.
It stated that this is part of the Israeli violations against Jerusalem and as, according to UN figures, at least 165.000 Palestinians became outside the boundaries of Jerusalem. This will lead them to lose their residency rights in Jerusalem while 30.000 already lost their residency rights due to illegal Israeli measures targeting the Arabs and Palestinians.
The JSCER reported that nearly 20.000 Palestinians from the West Bank have spouses from Jerusalem, some of them were deported to the West Bank and others were deported to Jerusalem as they were only granted temporary residency permits.
It said that this new “law” allows ordinary soldiers stationed at roadblocks and crossing points to have the power to regard those residents as “infiltrators” and thus have the power to imprison and prosecute them.
Thousands of families from Jerusalem are now living in the suburbs of the city, such as Abu Dis, Al Ezariyya (Bethany), Al Ram, Dahiat Al Barid, Bir Nibala and Um Al Sharayit, and could easily be deported.
Furthermore, hundreds of Palestinians families living in the West Bank, and even in East Jerusalem, carry American or European citizenships and this new law will have a direct impact on them and will lead to their deportation.
Last year, Israel arrested and deported several Palestinians who carry American or European passports and deported them. The army also arrested and deported internationals living in Ramallah and other Palestinian areas.
The center said that this military order is directly connected to Israel’s illegal attempts to grab the Palestinian “controlled area” and deport thousands of Palestinians as the occupation considers the Arabs and Palestinians, and their international spouses, as demographic threats.
This is happening while Israel is constructing and expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. The issue will lead to a sharp increase in the numbers of Jewish settlers, as the number will reach half a million settlers, 200.000 of them living on Palestinian lands in Jerusalem.
The JCSER further stated that Israel recently issued several orders to annex Palestinian lands to construct the illegal Annexation Wall on them and to construct settlements while fundamentalist Jewish groups are calling for expelling the Palestinians out of the country.
Rabbi Ovadia Yusef, spiritual leader of the extremist Shas movement, stated during the Jewish Pessah that “Jerusalem should only inhibited by the people of Israel”, and that the “Wall ensures the sanctity of the city, only Jews should be living there, while the Messiah will come and burn the rest altogether”.
Furthermore, fundamentalist Jewish groups issued statements calling on all “non-Jews to leave the land of Israel”, and added that “it is written in the Torah that the small land of Israel is the land of the Jewish people, and others cannot and should not be living there permanently”.