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West Bank removal challenged

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    West Bank removal challenged

    By Tim Franks
    BBC News, Jerusalem

    The Israeli Supreme Court is due to hear the case of a 21-year-old Palestinian woman whom the army removed from the West Bank to Gaza Strip.Bethlehem University student Berlanty Azzam was deported two weeks ago.

    The Israeli army said that she had only been given a permit, back in 2005, to spend a few days in Jerusalem.

    Her case has been taken up by an Israeli human rights group which argues that tens of thousands of other Palestinians face deportation to Gaza.

    At the end of October, Ms Azzam was stopped at a checkpoint in the West Bank by Israeli soldiers.

    When they saw that her home address was in the Gaza Strip, she was detained, and later blindfolded and handcuffed, before being deported to Gaza.

    Illegal resident claim

    She was just two months away from completing her degree in business management at Bethlehem University.

    The army said that since 2005 she had been living illegally in the West Bank.

    The Israeli human rights group, Gisha, is disputing that claim at the Israeli Supreme Court.

    Gisha argues that at the time Ms Azzam left Gaza, there was no such thing as a special permit for Palestinians to enter the West Bank.

    What's more, Israel does not allow people to change their addresses from Gaza to the West Bank.

    The human rights group says that as many as 25,000 people in the West Bank are in a similar position to Ms Azzam, and risk being removed from their homes, their jobs and their families.
    I said in search of my botni, not in search of my bhootni. Please stop sending me PMs.