BERN, June 21, 2014 – (WAFA) – European human rights organizations warned Saturday against Israel’s decision to deport Palestinian citizens from the West Bank to Gaza Strip.
Friends of Humanity International, International Center for Justice and Human Rights and the Sweden-based Justice Center issued a joint statement stating that Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court stipulates that “the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory is a war crime.”
“Irrespective of its reasons, deportation or forcible transfer is internationally prohibited as it constitutes an flagrant violation of several articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention, including article 49 stipulating that ‘Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive’” said the organization in the statement.
The organization linked between the current step mulled by Israel and the deportation of 416 Palestinians by the Israeli occupation forces to southern Lebanon in 1992, recalling the statement that was issued by the UN Security Council stating that it “condemns the measure taken by Israel, the Occupying Power, to deport hundreds of Palestinian civilians and expresses consistent objection to any such deportation.
“The UN Security Council affirmed that deportation of civilians is a violation of Israel’s obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention, calling for allowing them to return.”
After accusing Hamas of ‘kidnapping’ the three settlers who went missing bwteen Bethlehem and Hebron, Israel has threatened to deport a number of Hamas figures from the West Bank into the Gaza Strip as a reprisal.