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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Ban on 'Palestinians' in cars with Israeli license plates weakened

A few weeks ago, a ban was imposed on 'Palestinians' riding in cars with Israeli license plates (Israeli license plates are yellow with black writing; 'Palestinian' license plates are white with green writing, so the two are easily distinguishable). The ban was issued by GOC Central Command Yair Naveh, and was meant primarily to prevent illegal Palestinian entrants from being smuggled into Israel in Israeli cars, whose occupants are usually checked less carefully.
The order was issued, he said, to foil a trick that Israelis who smuggle Palestinians into Israel have discovered in order to evade the prohibition on doing so: Because many checkpoints are not built exactly on the Green Line (which separates Israel from the West Bank), these Israelis could take their Palestinian passengers through the checkpoints and then let them off a few hundred meters later - still in Palestinian territory, but with easy access to Israel - without breaking any laws.
For those who are wondering, the 'Israelis' in question are often Arabs but often also Jews who are paid to smuggle in 'Palestinians.' A couple of Israelis have been tried and convicted of aiding and abetting suicide bombers whom they brought across the line. But now, a politically correct 'senior officer' in the IDF tells Haaretz, the ban is going to be less strictly enforced: According to the officer, the ban will mainly be enforced near the border with Israel, and not throughout Judea and Samaria.
The officer said that he himself gives rides to Palestinians, and that he personally would not bother enforcing the rule as long as it is clear that the ride was "ordinary" and that the destination was not inside Israel.
I wonder if the officer carries a crystal ball with him to determine whether a ride is 'ordinary' and whether the destination is inside Israel. But wait - even that's not enough for some even more politically correct Israelis:
However, the Yesh Din organization has asked Defense Minister Amir Peretz to overturn the rule, arguing that it, like several other orders approved by Naveh, creates a legal mechanism of separation on the basis of national origin in the West Bank. As a result, they said, it is clearly illegal, and "constitutes an international crime, the crime of apartheid."
Uh, oh. There's that word again....

The IDF spokesman's office defends the travel ban:
A statement abut the new policy issued by the IDF Spokesman's Office last week said it was intended to fight terror rather than merely reduce the number of illegal entrants.
But the crystal ball-carrying 'senior officer' sees it differently:
The senior officer explained that the order was clearly aimed at this as well, but that the number of illegal entrants seeking work is much greater than the number of terrorists.
If I'm Yair Naveh and I find out who the 'senior officer' is, he's gone. Not on my command.


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