On Monday, 10 November 2003, Israeli occupying forces transferred Kamal Mohammed Hussein Edris, a resident of Hebron, to the Gaza Strip, implementing an Israeli High Court ruling of 4 November 2003 which approved his “assigned residence” to the Gaza Strip for a period of two years.
According to information available to PCHR, Israeli occupying forces dumped Edris close to al-Shuhada’ Junction to the east of “Netzarim” settlement, south of Gaza City. He was then forced to walk north towards Gaza City.
The Israeli High Court issued decisions on 24 and 29 October 2003 ordering a temporary halt to the transfer of 13 of 18 Palestinian detainees against whom Israeli occupying forces had issued orders “assigning residence” to the Gaza Strip for periods ranging from 1 to 2 years. The two decisions came in response to appeals submitted against the “assigned residence” orders to the Israeli High Court by PCHR, in conjunction with the Addameer Association for Human Rights.
In the first decision, the Israeli High Court ordered a temporary injunction halting the transfer of one group of five of the Palestinians, including Edris, pending a final decision in the case. On 4 November 2003, the Israeli High Court approved the transfer of Edris.
Following this decision, PCHR is concerned that the 17 other Palestinian detainees from the West Bank against whom similar “assigned residence” orders have been issued will also be transferred within the coming days. All 17 are currently being held in detention in Erez pending a decision on their appeal to the High Court. All of the detainees were arrested for alleged involvement in attacks against Israeli targets. However, no evidence to support these allegations has been disclosed during these proceedings.
PCHR condemns the unlawful transfer of Edris and reiterates its position that the unlawful transfer of a protected person constitutes a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and a war crime, as further clarified in Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions. PCHR further condemns this latest ruling of the Israeli High Court.
The continuing failure to hold the Israeli military and government accountable in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian law serves to undermine the independence of the Israeli judiciary. PCHR demands that the orders against Edris and the remaining 17 detainees be rescinded immediately.
PCHR further repeats its calls to the international community, specifically the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to intervene to ensure the complete cessation of all unlawful transfers and other violations of the Convention.