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Two orders by the Israeli military relating to movement in the occupied Palestinian territory may breach the fourth Geneva Convention and violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a U.N. human rights expert said on April 19. “The orders appear to enable Israel to detain, prosecute, imprison and/or deport any and all persons present in the West Bank,” said Richard Falk, U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory. Falk said his concern was based on Israel’s new definition of the term infiltrator. The term is defined as “a person who entered the Area unlawfully following the effective date, or a person who is present in the Area and does not lawfully hold a permit.” “Even if this open-ended definition is not used to imprison or deport vast numbers of people, it causes unacceptable distress,” Falk said, charging that “a wide range of violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law could be linked to actions carried out by the Government of Israel under these orders.”

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