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Ministry Review Board Urges Reconsideration of Deportation of Reputed Fatah Leader

Gen. Amnon Shahak, head of the Central Command, is weighing a recommendation by a military review board that he reconsider his decision to order the expulsion of Khalil Abu-Ziad, a reputed Fatah leader in the West Bank. Abu-Ziad was served with a deportation order last week.

The review board has till now been considered a rubber stamp for the approval of such decisions by the area commander, and its recommendation to reverse Shahak’s decision took defense officials by surprise.

The Ramallah military tribunal, under the chairmanship of Col. Avi Gorfinkel, found that “in spite of the legal and justified reason for issuing the expulsion order, and although the evidence we have heard links the petitioner with the Fatah organization, there is nothing to link him directly with terrorist attacks.

“Therefore, we recommend that the military commander reconsider whether, under the circumstances and considering the role of the petitioner in Fatah, deportation is necessary in view of its extremely drastic and serious nature.”

DEFENSE MINISTRY ORDERED TO SHOW CAUSE

The High Court of Justice in Jerusalem yesterday ordered the defense ministry to show cause within three days why Abu-Ziad should be deported. The Court barred any deportation action until the outcome of the hearing.

If the order is implemented, the deportation would become the first such action implemented under the Cabinet’s new strong-arm policies in the occupied territories. Abu-Ziad, who owns an East Jerusalem book store said to be a meeting place for Palestine Liberation Organization activists, has been under house arrest since 1982.

He charged in his appeal to the Supreme Court that the deportation order was not required 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 and that considerations behind the order were of an arbitrary nature.

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