Prevention of Infiltration Law

Prevention of Infiltration Law

The Prevention of Infiltration Law is an Israeli law enacted in 1954. After the 1948 Palestinian exodus many Palestinian refugees living in neighbouring Arab countries tried to cross the border with Israel for different reasons. The Israeli Government enacted the Prevention of Infiltration Law in order to forbid and impede what under the law receives the name of "infiltration" into their country.


:"For more information on historical context, see 1948 Palestinian exodus, 1948 Arab-Israeli war, Palestinian immigration (Israel) and Israeli-Palestinian conflict".
Following the emergence of the Palestinian refugee problem after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, UN resolutions supported by the majority of countries in the world, called on Israel to recognize the right of these refugees to return to their homes. Israel rejected all these resolutions. Nevertheless, many Palestinians tried, in one way or another, to return to their homes. The Israeli authorities arrested those who returned and sent them back to the countries they had come from, or sometimes imprisoned them and then expelled them when their term of imprisonment ended. From time to time, too, the Israeli authorities arrested groups of Arabs who had stayed in the country without being granted Israeli nationality (a problem discussed further below) and pushed them over the frontier. These Arabs would often return and, through their relatives, obtain decisions from the Israeli courts allowing them to stay in Israel [Jiryis, Sabri (1981): "Domination by the Law". Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 11, No. 1, 10th Anniversary Issue: Palestinians under Occupation. (Autumn, 1981), pp. 67-92.] .

For some time these practices continued to embarrass the Israeli authorities until finally they passed a law forbidding Palestinians to return to Israel, those who did so being regarded as "infiltrators." [Jiryis, Sabri (1981): "Domination by the Law". Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 11, No. 1, 10th Anniversary Issue: Palestinians under Occupation. (Autumn, 1981), pp. 67-92.] . Most of the people in question were refugees attempting to return to their homes inside the new Israeli state. Between 30,000 and 90,000 Palestinian refugees returned to Israel as a result. They wanted to return to what were their homes prior to the Arab-Israeli War, looking for their lost loved ones, harvesting crops from fields that were confiscated, and to reclaim property other than land. There were also Bedouin to whom the concept of newly established borders were foreignFact|date=July 2007.

Arabs declare the infiltration into Israel's territory to have been a direct consequence to the displacement and dispossession of the Palestinian refugees during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. To Israel, the infiltration was a large problem. Israel's answer to this was to establish new settlements along the border and raze the abandoned Arab villages. A "free fire" policy towards infiltrators was adopted — a policy of shooting those crossing the international armistice line illegally. Eventually, the Israeli leadership came to the conclusion that only retaliatory strikes would be able to create the necessary factor of deterrence, that would convince the Arab armies to prevent infiltration. Although the strikes were sometimes confined to military targets (particularly, at the later stages of the infiltration), numerous civilians were killed, prompting the question whether the strikes were a form of collective punishmentFact|date=July 2007.

The 'Prevention of Infiltration Law' []

The "Prevention of Infiltration (Offences and Jurisdiction) Law, 5714-1954" defined as an "infiltrator" anyone who (Article 1 (a)):

...has entered Israel knowingly and unlawfully and who at any time between the 16th Kislev, 3708 (29th November, 1947) and his entry was -:(1) a national or citizen of the Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Saudi-Arabia, Trans-Jordan, Iraq or the Yemen ; or:(2) a resident or visitor in one of those countries or in any part of Palestine outside Israel ; or:(3) a Palestinian citizen or a Palestinian resident without nationality or citizenship or whose nationality or citizenship was doubtful and who, during the said period, left his ordinary place of residence in an area which has become a part of Israel for a place outside Israel.

According to COHRE and BADIL (p. 38) ["Ruling Palestine, A History of the Legally Sanctioned Jewish-Israeli Seizure of Land and Housing in Palestine". Publishers: COHRE & BADIL, May 2005, p. 37.] , under the "Prevention of Infiltration (Offences and Jurisdiction) Law, 5714-1954", the definition of ‘infiltrators’ corresponded closely with that of ‘absentees’. The law established strict penalties for such ‘infiltration’. Under this law, ‘internal refugees’ (Palestinians who were declared absent from their own villages but inside Palestine at the time Israel was created) were also barred from returning to their villages. When caught, they were expelled from the country. Over the ensuing years, several thousand Palestinians were expelled in this manner, paving the way for Jewish immigration and colonisation of their lands.

According to Kirsbaum [Kirshbaum, David A. "Israeli Emergency Regulations and The Defense (Emergency) Regulations of 1945". Israel Law Resource Center, February, 2007.] over the years, the Israeli Government has continued to cancel and modify some of the Defense (Emergency) Regulations of 1945, but mostly it has added more as it has continued to extend its declared state of emergency. For example, even though the Prevention of Infiltration Law of 1954 is not labelled as an official "Emergency Regulation", it extends the applicability of the "Defence (Emergency) Regulation 112" of 1945 giving the Minister of Defence extraordinary powers of deportation for accused infiltrators even before they are convicted (Articles 30 & 32), and makes itself subject to cancellation when the Knesset ends the State of Emergency upon which all of the Emergency Regulations are dependent.

According to a Tel-Aviv University document ["Israel - A Safe Haven? Problems in the Treatment Offered by the State of Israelto Refugees and Asylum Seekers". [] ] the Law does not consider the motives of the person for crossing the border and entering Israel. It also enables the establishment of Tribunals for the Prevention of Infiltration, in which judges will preside who are military officers (but who do not necessarily possess legal knowledge) and enables the tribunal to deviate from the rules of evidence. The penalties for infiltration are severe - and may reach imprisonment for five years. The author states that in practice, no uniform practice is employed in relation to persons who cross the border and apply for asylum. Some have been held for periods of two or three years in prison, others have been released from prison on various conditions, while others have not been allowed to enter Israel at all and were returned to the place from which they came (in possible breach of the principle of non-refoulement).

ee also

*1948 Palestinian exodus
*Qibya massacre
*Palestinian immigration (Israel)
*Law of Israel
*Basic Laws of Israel


Isreal locations

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Law of Israel — combines common law and civil law.ources of Israeli lawIsraeli law draws on the following sources: *The Mecelle (מג לה) Ottoman casuistic Muslim law (matrimonial and Real Estate Registration) *British common law *Israeli codification (torts and… …   Wikipedia

  • Law, Crime, and Law Enforcement — ▪ 2006 Introduction Trials of former heads of state, U.S. Supreme Court rulings on eminent domain and the death penalty, and high profile cases against former executives of large corporations were leading legal and criminal issues in 2005.… …   Universalium

  • Israeli law — is a mixed legal system reflecting the diverse history of the territory of the State of Israel throughout the last hundred years (which was at various times prior to independence under Ottoman, then British sovereignty), as well as the legal… …   Wikipedia

  • Gun law — A gun law is a law that pertains to firearms. Gun laws are highly dependent on date and location, as they have changed along with developments in weapons and societies. The issue of gun law has become a political and/or controversial issue in… …   Wikipedia

  • 1948 Palestinian exodus — Palestinian refugees in 1948 The 1948 Palestinian exodus (Arabic: الهجرة الفلسطينية‎, al Hijra al Filasṭīnīya), also known as the Nakba (Arabic: النكبة‎, an Nakbah, lit. disaster , catastrophe , or cataclysm ),[1] …   Wikipedia

  • Palestinian immigration (Israel) — Palestinian immigration refers to the movement of Palestinians into the territory of Israel. Since 1948, most Palestinians crossing into Israel have come to live, reside and/or work, many of them continuing the lives they lived prior to their… …   Wikipedia

  • Defence (Emergency) Regulations — The Defence (Emergency) Regulations are an expansive set of regulations that were first enacted by the Mandatory authorities in British Mandate Palestine on 27 September 1945. Incorporated into Israel s domestic legislation after the state s… …   Wikipedia

  • HISTORICAL SURVEY: THE STATE AND ITS ANTECEDENTS (1880–2006) — Introduction It took the new Jewish nation about 70 years to emerge as the State of Israel. The immediate stimulus that initiated the modern return to Zion was the disappointment, in the last quarter of the 19th century, of the expectation that… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • India — /in dee euh/, n. 1. Hindi, Bharat. a republic in S Asia: a union comprising 25 states and 7 union territories; formerly a British colony; gained independence Aug. 15, 1947; became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations Jan. 26, 1950.… …   Universalium

  • LEGAL AND JUDICIAL SYSTEM — UNDER THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE (1876–1917) Judiciary Throughout the period from the promulgation of the Ottoman Constitution of 1876 until the present time there have been both secular and religious courts exercising jurisdiction in the territory of… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism