IALIIS hosted Dr. Cordula Droege, a legal adviser in the legal division of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); Mr. Shawan Jabarin from Al-Haq's General Director; and Dr. Yaser Ammouri from the Faculty of Law and Public Administration at Birzeit University, for a roundtable discussion on Israel’s policy of deporting Palestinian nationals and particularly the recent deportation orders against members of Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) from East Jerusalem.
The roundtable discussion was chaired by Dr. Asem Khalil, the IAIIS director. Dr. Droege stressed that the phenomena of deportation and forcible transfers is not a new policy while clarifying the legal distinction and definition between both concepts: the deportees are present in third countries like Lebanon and Jordan and forcibly transferred people are moved from one area to another, for example, from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip.
Moreover, she made it clear-cut that Israel’s deportation policy runs contrary to international humanitarian law citing among others Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and affirming that restrictions on movement cannot be made on arbitrary basis as is the case with Israel while affirming that the ICRC does not accept not allowing people to choose where they live.
In addition to emphasizing the customary international law of not compelling Palestinian inhabitants of the occupied territory to swear allegiance to the hostile power as codified in the Hague Regulations of 1907.
Mr. Shawan Jabarin asserted that Israel’s policy is systematic and consistent that has been practiced since the establishment of Israel and an explicit policy declared by Ariel Sharon and many Israeli military commanders. He pondered that forcible transfers may be undertaken directly or indirectly and both individually and collectively.
He also criticized the international community inaction and particularly the European Union in desisting Israeli policies and orders on deportations especially the recent deportation orders against the three members of the PLC and the former Palestinian Minster for Jerusalem Affairs.
Dr. Yaser Ammouri emphasized the need to refer to the Security Council to combat Israel’s deportation orders despite the fact that any prospective resolution on this particular subject-matter would be vetoed. This however will reinforce referring to the General Assembly as was the case with the UN General Assembly 'Uniting for Peace’ resolution.
The roundtable discussion was followed by vivid interventions, comments and questions made by the majority of the participants