EJJP press release on harassment of Palestinian residents in the “seam zone”

October 31, 2003

We condemn absolutely the Israeli Defense Force military order of October 9, 2003 (“Israel Defense Forces, Security Directives Order (Judea and Samaria) (No. 378) 1970.”, as reported in Ha’aretz, 20 October 203).

This order applies to Palestinian residents of the West Bank who find themselves living between the separation wall and the green line, in what is known as the “seam area”.

They are required to apply for a monthly permit as “long term residents” and their movements to and from their home villages (such as Jabara and many others) will in future be controlled by Israeli military permit and subject to IDF whim. Palestinians without a permit will not be allowed to enter the zone at all.

This will make life for the Palestinians in the “seam area” increasingly precarious, subject to daily harassment, and more and more unsustainable. It will lead to many being forced to evacuate their homes and move east of the separation wall. It looks suspiciously like preparation for a de facto Israeli annexation of the territories to the west of the wall. It gives the lie to claims that the separation wall is temporary and can be demolished at any time…

This interpretation is reinforced by the fact that under this military order any Israeli is free to settle in the so-called “seam area”; and the term Israeli includes ‘anyone entitled to immigrate to Israel according to the “Law of Return”’.

We wish the Israeli government to know that we consider this military order illegitimate and call on them  to rescind it. We want the affected Palestinian population to know that they have our full and unequivocal support for their right to live and work in their home villages without hindrance; and for their struggle against the separation wall. We call on the Quartet to protest in the strongest terms and to demand that this military order be rescinded.

European Jews for a Just Peace

European Jews for a Just Peace is a federation of Jewish organisations in 8 different European countries. It was founded in Amsterdam September 2002.
For further information contact the Secretariat: ejjp <ejjp@ejjp.org>