Converting Palestinians into ‘Infiltrators’ in Their Own Home Country: A New Military Order and Same Old Policy

22 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2010

Date Written: April 22, 2010


A new Israeli Military Order No. 1650 regarding Prevention of Infiltration took effect on April 2010. Alarmed voices were raised from human rights organizations on the large powers Israeli military forces will have in dealing with cases of Palestinians who do not hold ‘lawful documents’ of stay in the occupied Palestinian territory.

The objective of this paper is to investigate how this new order fits within the same old Israeli occupation policy: maximizing the control of (Palestinian) land and minimizing the number of (Palestinian) people. The fact that this policy is targeting a specific national group rather than others, and the fact that it is accompanied by persistent settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territories renders these policies, not only discriminatory, but also racist and colonial.

This paper criticizes the role of law as a tool of social control. Such a critique is possible only if one admits that legality, as a political ideal, is intrinsically related to freedom and equality. Otherwise, legality is converted to legalism. The rule by and through law – like enactments whenever disconnected from the two values of legality convert law to a monster, often distrusted, feared and resisted by those who endure its burden.

Three case studies will be analyzed: first, the way residency status is regulated which determines who legal and illegal residents are; second, the regulation of crossing borders and movement of Palestinians within the occupied Palestinian territory and to the outside world; third, family unification of Palestinians in the occupied territory. I will first analyze the new military order and the difference it makes.

Keywords: Israeli Occupation, Palestinians, Illegal Residents, Migration, Family Unification, Irregular Migration

JEL Classification: K01, K1, K39, F22

Suggested Citation

Khalil, Asem, Converting Palestinians into ‘Infiltrators’ in Their Own Home Country: A New Military Order and Same Old Policy (April 22, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Asem Khalil (Contact Author)

Birzeit University ( email )

Birzeit, PA


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