The Movement of Terrorists’ Family Members from the West Bank to Gaza

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson)
Jerusalem, 21 July 2002

The Legal Advisor of the Israel Foreign Ministry has made known his legal opinion regarding the suggestion of security officials to move the family members of West Bank suicide terrorists to Gaza.

In his opinion, the movement of families of suicide terrorists does not conform with the rules of humanitarian international law. However, all the requisite means available by law, including movement to Gaza, may be employed against individual family members who were involved or active, in one manner or another, in the commission of the suicide terrorism, including aiding and abetting the attack. In such a case, it is clear that no collective punishment is being employed, neither are innocent individuals being punished.

This legal position was presented before the Attorney-General by the Foreign Ministry Legal Advisor during a meeting held on Friday, 19 July, in which it was decided to take steps only against those family members who were indeed involved in the actions of the suicide terrorist. This meeting was also attended by the State Prosecutor and IDF jurists, as well as security and justice officials.

In light of the continued suicide terrorism, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Ministry Shimon Peres expressed his support for any action approved by the legal authorities which may bring about an end to these attacks.