The Israeli army decided on Wednesday to postpone the implementation of the order prohibiting Israelis and foreign nationals from transporting Palestinians in the West Bank in their vehicles without special permission.
On November 19th, the Israeli Commanding General for the Central Region, Yair Naveh, issued an unprecedented decree forbidding Israelis and foreign nationals from driving Palestinians in the West Bank in Israeli-plated cars. The order was due to come into effect on Friday, 19 January.
The planned order provoked strong opposition from various quarters. Eight Israeli human rights organizations petitioned the Israeli High Court of Justice to abolish the order, which they described as “a basis for a legal process of systematic, institutional discrimination. It is published from a context of deepening control of one nationality over the other and meets the criteria of the definition of apartheid.”
According to the Israeli daily ‘Haaretz’, the Israeli officer responsible for the order, Yair Naveh, said that the decision to freeze its application reflected “both operational and unsettled legal issues”.
The Israeli army said that the implementation of the order “will be postponed until further evaluation… by the official authorities.”
Haaretz also claimed that the reason behind the ban was that the Israeli (Shin Bet) security service and military investigations into suicide bombings in Israel have shown that, “in a not-insignificant number of the bombings, terrorists received transport help from Israeli Arabs who had the right license plates to pass through West Bank checkpoints without thorough inspection.”