The new Israeli military legislation formalized the policy of expulsion of Palestinians from the West Bank to Gaza that Israel had carried out sporadically since 2003. The reason given for these expulsions has not been that the individual deportee poses a specific security risk, but rather is based on his or her outdated Gazan registered address and arguendo unlawful presence in the West Bank. The requirement to hold a stay permit, and the risk of expulsion in its absence, applies also to individuals who moved to the West Bank before 2007, when these permits were first introduced. Despite years of living in the West Bank, their registered address remains as the Gaza Strip, mostly due to the Israeli refusal to register the change, and in some cases, even children subsequently born in the West Bank have been registered with the same address as their parents. It is estimated that the recent Military Order exposes tens of thousands of Palestinians to expulsions from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip. This paper examines the legality of this practice, as illustrated in the Azzam case and formalized in the recent military legislation, from the perspective of International Humanitarian Law. Clearly, the Israeli Policy also has important implications for the human rights of the affected Palestinians and it is necessary to examine its lawfulness under International Human Rights Law as well.
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