Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Forced Population Transfer: The Case of Palestine - Working Paper No. 19 - Suppression of Resistance
United Nations school bombed in Gaza during 2014.
REPORT from BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights Published on 28 Dec 2016 —


Suppression of resistance is not commonly mentioned when analyzing Israeli policies of forced population transfer, yet it is a policy that affects all aspects of Palestinians’ lives and directly contributes to the creation of a coercive environment that results in the displacement of Palestinians.

For a comprehensive study of this policy, we have adopted a broad interpretation of resistance including all acts perceived by Israel as a threat to its dominance and control of Mandate Palestine.

This is why we have incorporated Palestinian steadfastness or resilience, known as ‘sumud’ in Arabic, to our examination of suppression of resistance. The concept of sumud broadly refers to the Palestinian national awareness or determination to remain in their homes and homeland despite the coercive environment imposed on them by Israel. In the face of ongoing Israeli attempts to erase Palestinian history and culture, especially in Israel and East Jerusalem, we have also included Palestinian efforts to retain and strengthen their education, identity, and culture as a form of resistance.

The Israeli policy of suppression of resistance works in two ways. Some of the individual policies of suppression involve the direct forcible displacement of Palestinians from their homes; actions that can amount to the crime of forcible transfer and/or deportation when applied to Palestinians living in the oPt, and forced displacement vis-à-vis Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Sending Palestinian prisoners to the Gaza Strip or abroad upon release, or the forcible relocation of Bedouins to townships in the Naqab are instances of this kind of policy. In other cases, the Israeli policies of suppression displace Palestinians indirectly, by creating an atmosphere of coerciveness, duress, and psychological oppression that leaves those subjected to these policies with no option but to leave their homes.

Furthermore, by suppressing Palestinian resistance, the implementation of other policies of forced population transfer becomes more straightforward.

Without struggle or defiance, Israel can continue implementing its policies of colonization, apartheid, and forced displacement unhindered. Hence, while suppression of Palestinian resistance is a standalone method of forced population transfer, it also facilitates the enforcement of other policies, which emphasizes the need to document all instances of suppression and highlight the use of this policy as means to further displace Palestinians.

Following the legal analysis which is established through the frameworks of international humanitarian, human rights, and customary law in relation to the suppression of resistance, this working paper is divided into three chapters that cover the predominant forms of Israeli suppression: punitive retaliation, imprisonment, and the suppression of Palestinian civil society.

While addressing a number of laws, practices, and methods implemented by the Israeli regime against Palestinian people, both individually and collectively, this paper should not be considered comprehensive. It highlights many of the forms of suppression in order to provide a broad understanding of these practices as mechanisms of forcible transfer and/or displacement such as; collective punishment, deportation of prisoners, the denial of identity and culture, and others. The methods and practices detailed in the paper are by no means exhaustive.

This paper concludes by addressing the consequences of Israeli suppression as triggers to direct and indirect forced population transfer of Palestinian people. These triggers represent human rights violations, with certain cases constituting war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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