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Court Clears Way for Extradition of a Palestinian to Israel

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The U.S. Supreme Court opened the way yesterday for the extradition to Israel of Zaid Abu Eain, a 21-year-old Palestinian, to stand trial for planting a bomb that killed two persons and injured 36 in Tiberias in May, 1979. Eain has been held in a Chicago jail since August of that year, in which time a federal appeals court affirmed a lower court’s decision that there was sufficient evidence for extradition.

The Supreme Court, by declining to review the appeals court ruling, removed the last legal barrier to return Eain to Israel to stand trial. He may still appeal against extradition to Secretary of State Alexander Haig. The accused youth contends that there was insufficient evidence to link him to the bombing and that the offense was a political one, exempt from the existing extradition treaty between the U.S. and Israel.

These arguments were rejected by the lower courts and, in effect, by the Supreme Court when it refused the request for review. The case brought protests from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee which charged that Eain’s incarceration for two years without bail was an example of “racism in this country against people of Arab descent.”

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