JERUSALEM (Jan. 13)
Israel deported four Palestinian activists from the West Bank Wednesday. A statement issued by the military command described them as “among the leaders of the instigators and organizers” of the recent disturbances in the territory.
The four men were “taken to Lebanon” according to the statement by Gen. Amram Mitzna, commander of the central sector. The statement did not elaborate.
The four deportees were the first of nine Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip whose expulsion was ordered on Jan. 3. They were ousted within hours after a military review board in the West Bank rejected their appeals against deportation late Tuesday.
Lawyers for the four said they had decided to waive their right to appeal to the Supreme Court, because they were convinced justice would not be done. The high court has rarely overruled deportation orders by the military.
The four are Hussam Uthman Mohammed Hadar, 26, from the Balata refugee camp near Nablus; Bashir Ahmed Khayri, 45, from Ramallah; Jamal Mohammed Shakir Jabara, 28, from Kalkilya; and Jibril Mahmoud Rajub, 34, from Dura village.
Israel expelled the Palestinians in the face of strong expressions of concern from Western European nations and the United States and in defiance of a Jan. 5 resolution of the United Nations Security Council urging it to rescind the deportation orders.
On Tuesday, the ambassadors of Denmark, West Germany and Italy and representatives of the European Economic Community met with Yossi Beilin, political director general of the Foreign Ministry, to urge again that Israel refrain from deporting the Palestinians. The envoys expressed their firm support for the Security Council resolution.
Israeli officials apparently felt that expulsion of the activists was vital to restoring order in the administered territories and therefore out-weighed criticism from Israel’s friends abroad.
Deportation orders are yet to be implemented against one Palestinian in the West Bank and four in the Gaza Strip. The military review boards have not yet ruled in their cases. Nor have the five indicated whether they would carry their appeals to the Supreme Court if necessary.