Assessing Israel's punitive policy

Military's new powers aimed at checking influx into West Bank, Israeli columnist says.

    Israeli authorities have given the country's military unprecedented new powers to jail or deport Palestinians who it deems are in the West Bank illegally.

    The new policy could result in the eviction of tens of thousands of Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, or criminal charges, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported.

    Under the Israeli occupation, Palestinians are already required to carry identification cards showing where they live, restricting their movement at the basic level.

    But amendments to the existing 1969 order on preventing infiltration could apply to Palestinians living in the West Bank without official ID cards issued by Israel.

    Gil Hoffman, a political correspondent and columnist for The Jerusalem Post in Israel, said the policy is an attempt by the Israeli military to maintain order in the West Bank.

    "[They] are trying to have regulations at a time when thousands of people from around the world would love to move into the West Bank," he told Al Jazeera.

    "They want to be part of the economic prosperity that there is in the West Bank.

    "There are people that are moving there from the United States, which doesn't have the economic growth that there is in the West Bank in part because it has been the policy of the Israeli government to have mass investment in the West Bank.

    "The situation in the West Bank is getting better and better and better."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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