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Israel Expresses Disappointment with U.S. Criticism of Israel’s Expulsion of Three West Bank Officia

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The Israel Embassy reported that it had expressed “deep disappointment” over the State Department’s criticism of Israel Tuesday for deporting two West Bank mayors and the Moslem religious judge of Hebron following the terrorist ambush killing of six Israelis in Hebron last Friday.

An Embassy spokesman said that Ambassador Ephraim Evron conveyed his views to Assistant Secretary of State for Near East and South Asian Affairs Harold Sounders shortly after the State Department observed at its press briefing that the three West Bank officials were denied “appeal procedures normally available under prevailing law” and that the deportation of individuals was “in any case prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention regardless of motives.”

The Embassy reported that Evron told Sounders that Israel regretted that the State Department did not mention the reason for the expulsions. It was pointed out to Sounders that “these three personalities have a long record of incitement against Israel and have often expressed their support of terrorism and have called for the dismantling of the Jewish State,” the Embassy spokesman said.

Evron was further reported as having told Sounders that the activities of Mayor Fahed Kawasme of Hebron, Mayor Mohammed Milhim of Halhoul and Kodi (judge) Rajeb Buyud Tamimi “helped create the atmosphere which made murders in Hebron possible.” The spokesman added that the expulsions were ordered “to prevent further disruptures of life in Judaea and Samaria which would make negotiations on autonomy more difficult” for those areas and Gaza.

Evron asked Sounders for U.S. action to block any attempt at the United Nations Security Council by the Arab states and their supporters to have Israel condemned for reacting to the murder of innocent Israeli citizens. He told Sounders that any such resolution by the Security Council would heighten tension on the West Bank and lead to further violence.

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