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Israel expels Hebron man to Jordan

May 9, 2010 8:49 A.M. (Updated: May 10, 2010 8:48 P.M.)
Hebron – Ma'an – Israeli forces detained a Palestinian man from Hebron and deported him to Jordan from the West Bank on Saturday, Palestinian Authority police said.

A police statement said Murad Muhammad Zahda, 27, was told by Israeli officials that he had entered the occupied West Bank over 10 years earlier on a tourist visa and remained illegally after his permit expired.

As a result, he was deemed by Israeli officials to be illegally residing in the West Bank and expelled, PA police wrote.

The expulsion is the fifth since 13 April, when two new Israeli military orders went into effect, expanding the definition of an "infiltrator" to include any person residing in areas under Israeli control without Israeli permission. Rights organizations and governments from around the world have condemned the move.

One Tulkarem native was released from prison on in late April and dropped off at the Erez crossing; he was not permitted into Gaza and remains stranded at the crossing He said he would remain there, in a protest tent set up by the de facto government, pending intervention by rights groups.

A second Palestinian man, born in Gaza but residing with his wife and children in the Palestinian community of Yaffa, in Tel Aviv, was detained from a hospital and transported to Gaza. The decision, however, was later reversed for unknown reasons, and he was permitted to travel back to his family.

A Hebron man was deported to Gaza two weeks ago, and a Beersheba resident visiting a Jerusalem eye clinic was also detained and sent into Gaza.

The new orders, by substantively changing the definition of an “infiltrator,” HaMoked said in a statement "effectively apply [the term] to anyone who is present in the West Bank without an Israeli permit," noting "the orders do not define what Israel considers a valid permit," and that "the vast majority of people now living in the West Bank have never been required to hold any sort of permit to be present therein."

The amendments apply to a 1969 order issued following the start of the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem. The order was first amended in 1980, when an infiltrator was defined as "a person who entered the Area knowingly and unlawfully having been present in the east bank of the Jordan, Syria, Egypt or Lebanon following the effective date."

In the latest order, an "infiltrator" is defined as: "A person who entered the Area unlawfully following the effective date, or a person who is present in the Area and does not lawfully hold a permit."

The presumption that the orders will be used to clamp-down on Palestinians participating in popular protests against land confiscation and the construction of the separation wall follows a series of failed measures by the Israeli army to stifle the increasingly broadly supported actions.
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