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High Court Postpones Decision on Appeal by an East Jerusalem Editor Against Deportation

The Supreme Court postponed for two weeks its decision on the appeal by East Jerusalem editor Akram Haniya against an expulsion order by the West Bank civil authorities for alleged hostile activities.

The justices spent three hours in closed session Tuesday examining more than 300 documents submitted by the prosecution alleging that Haniya was a PLO activist involved in anti-Israel demonstrations. The evidence was not made available to defense counsel on grounds of national security. The justices decided they need more time to determine whether the documents are indeed too secret to be given to the defense.

Defense attorneys Avigdor Feldman and Felicia Langer told the court that none of the evidence they were allowed to see warranted the expulsion order. They said they needed the documents that have been withheld in order to prepare a proper defense. Feldman asked the court to ignore material not made available to the defense.

Haniya, editor of the East Jerusalem Arabic daily AI Fajr, was arrested 45 days ago. The expulsion order drew protests from many Israeli journalists and jurists as well as prominent Palestinians. It was upheld by a military tribunal two weeks ago but implementation was delayed pending the outcome of the appeal.

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