Four Israeli Arab Leaders Placed Under Restrictions for Part in Anti-government Rally
Menu JTA Search

Four Israeli Arab Leaders Placed Under Restrictions for Part in Anti-government Rally

Gen. Avigdor Ben-Gal, commander of the northern district issued orders yesterday placing four prominent Israeli Arabs under nightly curfew and restricting their movement outside their home villages because of their participation in on anti-government rally in Nazareth last week.

The restrictions were imposed on Saliba Khamis, on editor and key figure in the Rakah Communist Party; Mohammed Miari, a leading Haifa lawyer and member of the Arab Committee for the Protection of Arab land; Ramzi Khouri, a veteran Arab politician and member of the Communist Party in Acre; and Saleh Baransi, just released from prison to which he had been sentenced to 10 years for alleged security offenses.

Baransi, who lives in Taibe village near Kfar Saba, said he would defy the order and was ready to go to jail again. The others said they would appeal to the Military Appeals Committee. Ben-Gal issued his orders under emergency regulations dating from the British Mandate period in Palestine. They have been invoked only rarely in Israel proper until recently. Last year, restrictions were imposed on six Arab students who identified with the Palestinian Council in Damascus.

PLATFORM FOR EXTREMISTS

The Nazareth rally in which the mayors and council members of most Israeli Arab towns and villager participated, was called as a gesture of solidarity with Mayor Bassam Shako of Nablus and Mayor Karim Khollof of Ramalloh who were severely maimed in bomb attacks on June 2. Although the perpetrators have not been apprehended, the outrage is believed to have been the work of Jewish extremists.

The rally served or a platform for Communist Mayor Tawfik Zoyyod of Nazareth who sharply criticized Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank and justified military action “to liberate the territories.” Zoyyod’s remarks drew an angry reaction from Binyamin Gur Arye, the Premier’s advisor on Arab affairs, who declared on a television interview over the weekend that they represented a new, extreme trend among Israeli Arabs. His sharp reaction appeared to have been calculated to prepare public opinion for the restriction orders imposed on the four Israeli Arab leaders.

The orders require the four men to stay within the limits of their places of residence. They are forbidden to leave their households after dark and must report to the local police daily. The harsh move is apparently intended as a warning to Israeli Arabs not to follow the radical, anti-Israel trend which has developed on the West Bank in recent months.