Rabin Pledges Toughest of Measures in Territories Short of Execution

Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin said Monday that Israel would continue to apply the toughest measures allowed by law to crack down on terrorists in the administered territories. But he rejected demands by rightwing elements to impose the death penalty.

In a statement to the Knesset, Rabin noted that deportations and administrative detention for offenders and suspects are all “in the framework of the law.” But he cautioned that there is no “miracle solution” to terrorism and doubted that the death penalty would be effective.

About 30,000 Gush Emunim members and other West Bank settlers held a rally in Tel Aviv Sunday to denounce what they claim is the government’s softness in dealing with terrorist acts. The demonstration was called as a memorial gathering for eight-year-old Rami Hana, kidnapped and murdered near his home in Elon Moreh on May 21, and Danny Katz, a teenager killed by terrorists several years ago.

The crowd stood in silence as the fathers of the two victims lit memorial candles. They cheered when someone cried out, “Rabin and Peres are murderers, spilling Jewish blood.”

Rabin spoke a day after security forces struck hard at some of the main trouble spots in the territories. A raid on the Balata refugee camp near Nablus resulted in the detention of dozens of suspects and a deportation order against Jihad Mseimeh, the local leader of the El Fatah youth organization, Shabiba, It is being held up pending appeal. But another Shabiba leader, Ahmed Nasser, a resident of the Khan Yunis refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, was expelled to Jordan Sunday.

The raid on Balata yielded a number of makeshift pistols and knives and a quantity of Palestinian nationalist literature.

Rabin praised the General Security Services (GSS), also known as Shin Bet, as the “most effective tool” to uncover terrorists. “One should exercise great respect for the GSS people and their achievements,” Rabin said. The GSS will be the subject of a judicial inquiry for its alleged fabrication of evidence and use of illegal methods to obtain the conviction of former Israel Defense Force officer Izat Nafsu in 1981. The Supreme Court overturned the conviction a week ago and affirmed Nafsu’s charges against the GSS.

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