Deportees are those who have been deported from, or have been obliged to leave their country of nationality or former habitual residence, such as persons who are compelled to undertake forced labour or who are deported for racial, religious or political reasons. Under international law it is illegal for a country to expel its own nationals.
In 1993 much media attention was devoted to the deportation of 400 Palestinians by Israel to a no-man's-zone in Southern Lebanon for a period of eight months. The group of 400 was the largest group of Palestinians to be deported from Israel at one time. Israel claimed that the ban of deportation under article 49 of the Geneva Convention did not apply to its circumstances in the 1993 case. An estimated 1,200 Palestinians were deported from Israel between 1967 and 1987.
The deportation procedure has no place in a civilized society. It is a brutal, inherently violent response which inflicts as much damage on the deportee's close relatives as on the deportee. In many cases the person suffering this treatment has committed no offence other than in relation to immigration laws of questionable humanitarian value. Foreigners do not deserve to be so treated in civilized countries unless deportation is necessary for the person to stand trial for offences committed in another country. Under all other circumstances deportation is inherently discriminatory.