JERUSALEM (Jan. 3)
The military authorities issued deportation orders Sunday against nine Palestinians they said were long involved in “incitement and subversive activities.” Five are from the West Bank and four are from the Gaza Strip.
Israel announced at the same time that it has released 186 suspects arrested during the disturbances as a gesture of good will. But some 1,600 others are still under detention, about half of them arrested recently.
The announcement of the deportations Sunday morning ended a week of speculation over whether, in face of strong criticism from abroad, Israel would in fact act to expel Palestinians arrested during the recent disturbances in the administered territories. The United States, in particular, had cautioned Israel against such measures.
The announcement brought a swift protest from the Egyptian ambassador in Tel Aviv, Mohammad Bassiouny. He said his government objected to the deportations, and added that in his own view, they might further escalate the unrest.
A military spokesman said most of the men ordered deported have long prison records of security offenses. Some had been under administrative detention or had their movements restricted but nevertheless continued “hostile activities.” All may appeal to a military review board and, ultimately, to Israel’s Supreme Court.
It was not immediately clear where the deportees would be sent if and when the expulsion orders are carried out. Both Egypt and Jordan indicated last month they would not accept Palestinians ousted by Israel.
ARAB WOMAN SHOT DEAD
The deportation orders were announced as a weekend of relative calm in the territories was marred by the fatal shooting of a young Arab woman by a border police patrol in Al-Ram, a northern suburb of Jerusalem.
The patrol, attacked by rock-throwing youths, gave chase and one policeman fired his rifle, wounding a woman, who later died in a hospital. The woman, in her 20s, was not immediately identified.
Gen. Amram Mitzna, commander of the army’s central sector, went to the scene of the shooting. He announced a short time later that the patrolman and his company commander have been suspended, pending an investigation of what appears to have been the use of fire arms contrary to regulations.
It remains to be seen whether the latest incident, on the heels of the deportation orders, will have repercussions. Rashad A-Shawa, the former mayor of Gaza, warned Sunday that Israel cannot solve the Palestinian problem by expulsions.
Abdel Wahab Darousha, an Arab Laborite member of the Knesset, called on the authorities not to carry out the deportation orders. He said they violate international conventions on human rights and will only increase tension in the territories and tarnish Israel’s image in world opinion.
But another Labor M.K., former chief of staff Mordechai Gur, said he saw the deportation orders as necessary. Gur, a political dove, argued that under the circumstances, a wide variety of measures is needed to restore order in the territories and the expulsion of agitators is one.
A military spokesman, meanwhile, gave details about two of the Palestinians facing deportation, Jibril Rajab and Jamal Jabara.
RELEASED IN 1985 EXCHANGE
Both were serving prison sentences for security offenses when they were released in 1985, along with more than 1,000 other Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners, in exchange for three Israel Defense Force soldiers held captive by Ahmed Jabril’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.
Jabara was described as a senior member of Al Fatah, the main terrorist branch of the Palestine Liberation Organization. He allegedly participated in organized strikes and riots in the West Bank town of Kalkilya.
Rajab also was described as an Al Fatah activist in the West Bank. He was serving a life sentence imposed in 1970 for a variety of terrorist acts when released in 1985. He was subsequently rearrested for new offenses.
The military authorities described him as a close associate of Feisal Husseini, the principal PLO activist in the Jerusalem area. Husseini is presently in administrative detention.
Israel has deported 19 Palestinians from the administered territories during the past two years.