In what appears to be the first enforcement of a recent Israeli military order on Palestinian residency rights, 2 Palestinian residents of Israel have been deported to Gaza in separate incidents, in what Palestinians across Israel and the West Bank see as a precursor of what is to come.Over 70,000 Palestinians and internationals may be deported under the new order, which took effect last week. Israeli officials say they will go ahead with the implementation of the new regulation, despite its illegality under international law.
Political prisoner Ahmad Sabah, 40. was the first to receive a deportation order. Despite the fact that he was abducted nine years ago from his home in the West Bank, and the fact that his family lives in the West Bank, Israeli forces made a decision to send Sabah to the Gaza Strip.
Israeli officials say they made the decision based on an old ID card issued to Sabah in the Gaza Strip. Israel issues all ID cards to Palestinians, requiring that Palestinians carry these IDs with them at all times, and severely restricting the Palestinians’ freedom of movement based on these IDs.
Prior to the Oslo Peace Accords in 1993, all Palestinian ID cards were issued in the Gaza Strip, for all Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. It’s unknown whether Sabah actually resided in Gaza at any time, or the ID was just issued from Gaza. Sabah has taken a stand at the Israeli border with Gaza, refusing to enter the Strip and saying he would rather return to Israeli prison.
The second Palestinian to be affected by the new regulation is Saber Albayari, who was deported to the Gaza Strip after 15 years of residency in Israel. He was arrested when he went to the hospital to seek treatment for an illness, in another violation of international law by Israeli authorities.