CAPE TOWN (JTA) -- The South African government has compared new Israeli military restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the West Bank to apartheid pass laws.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation issued a statement condemning the restrictions as "a gross violation of an individual's human rights," saying that Israeli Military Order 1650 "further exacerbates the already fragile situation in Palestine," according to a report in the daily Cape Times.
Thursday night's statement said the provisions about the status of bearers of West Bank residency cards were "unclear" and "would seem to disregard the existence of the Palestinian Authority and the agreements Israel signed with it and the PLO."
"South Africa, because of its history, is particularly sensitive to the infringement of human rights that the carrying of a permit implies and … the unilateral punishments that can be brought to bear on an individual by the state," the statement said.
Israel has said the newly updated order is designed to protect the rights of accused infiltrators. The order, which has been in effect for many years and is designed to prevent Arab terrorist infiltrators into the West Bank, was recently updated to require an immediate hearing before a judge for the accused illegals.
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