Israel: Netanyahu proposes deporting Palestians to Gaza

Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is again pushing a proposal to deport Palestinians from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, despite broad opposition to what would be a violation of international law.

In a March 2 letter, Netanyahu asked Israel's attorney-general to conduct a legal review of the proposal, which would allow families of convicted “terrorists” to be deported. Ynet reported that the prime minister said during a cabinet meeting that he does not agree with “how it [war crimes] is defined in the Geneva Conventions”.

The Geneva Conventions forbid collectively punishing families for the acts of one member. But Netanyahu insists he understands the spirit of the conventions, if not the letter of the law.

“I am certain this was not the intent of those who legislated the conventions,” he said.

Israel's attorney-general has already expressed objections, but Netanyahu has allies in his cabinet. Intelligence affairs minister Yisrael Katz said he would introduce proposals to the Knesset (Israel's parliament): “As I've said before: we will change Israeli law and deal with international pressure.”

Netanyahu also wants to destroy the homes of those he wishes to deport. “The most important thing is demolition of houses," he said. “We are demolishing houses, and we are discovering that this has a decent effect.”

“The second thing,” he added, “is that we are going into the villages and neighbourhoods that we once would not enter. We are working actively. We are closing towns and placing restrictions on movement, as well as revoking work permits.”

[Reprinted from .]

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