Supreme Court Grants Fatah Leader Stay of Deportation

The Supreme Court today granted an interim injunction against the deportation of Khalil Abu-Ziad, described by Israeli authorities as a key Fatah leader in the administered territories. The court ordered the Defense Ministry to show cause within three days why the deportation order should not be cancelled.

Abu-Ziad was handed a deportation order last week signed by Gen. Amnon Shahak, head of the Central Command. An Army spokesman asserted that Abu-Ziad is involved in terrorist and subversive activities and that he maintains contact with people active in Fatah, both inside and outside of the territories.

If the deportation order is implemented, Abu-Ziad’s deportation would become the first such action under the new policy in the territories approved recently by the Cabinet. Twelve other alleged terrorists are now appealing against deportation orders.

Abu-Ziad, who had served 10 years in jail on security offenses, was restricted to his home in recent years by order of the military authorities for making the bookstore he operated in East Jerusalem a meeting place for Palestine Liberation Organization activists.

In his appeal to the Supreme Court, Abu-Ziad argued that the deportation order he received last Thursday was not required in order to assure the security of the public, nor to maintain public order. He charged that the order was issued merely as an expression of the new policy as a deterrence measure.

The considerations behind the order were of an arbitrary nature, and not as a matter of fact, he charged. He said that since he has been under house arrest since 1982, the security forces had full supervision of him and even if he had wanted to, he was thus barred from any terrorist activity.

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