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U.S. Deplores Israel’s Deportation of Five Palestinians from West Bank

The United States has deplored Israel’s deportation Sunday of five West Bank Palestinians, contending that the measures “corrode” the atmosphere for peace negotiations.

“As we have said on numerous occasions, we are opposed to deportations,” Richard Boucher, the State Department deputy spokesman, said Tuesday. “They are contrary to the Fourth Geneva Convention,” which provides human rights guarantees to civilians living under military occupation.

Israel maintains that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to its administration of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Boucher said that the deportations “make it more difficult for Israelis and Palestinians to engage in constructive dialogue.”

Israel’s High Court of Justice last Thursday cleared the way for the Palestinians’ deportation, rejecting their final appeals of expulsion orders issued as long as a year ago.