Israel: Using colonial British emergency regulation to expel Palestinians

Israel is invoking an arcane military law to try to temporarily expel a Palestinian protest leader from his native east Jerusalem and if successful, Palestinians warn the measure could further hobble efforts to salvage moribund peace process.

Adnan Gheith, a 35-year-old local leader of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ moderate Fatah movement, says he has been in and out of Israeli jails over the past two decades for demonstrating against the occupation of Palestinian territory. He claims Israel is trying to punish him for those protests.

Israel’s Defense Ministry says Gheith is a menace to public order and last month ordered him out of the city for four months.

The order appears to be part of a wider Israeli crackdown on opponents of its policies toward the Palestinians. But what makes this case exceptional is that the military is invoking an obscure emergency regulation to expel a Jerusalemite from the city. The law goes back to British rule before Israel’s establishment in 1948 and hasn’t been used for decades.

DALIA NAMMARI

The Associated Press
December 23, 2010

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