JERUSALEM (Jan. 26)
A large detachment of the Israel Defense Force is prepared for a prolonged stay in the administered territories in order to quell violence despite the relative calm that has prevailed this week.
Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin acknowledged Tuesday that the massive presence of security forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has affected the IDF’s normal training program. That situation, he argued, was preferable to being caught short of troops should large-scale disturbances erupt anew.
But all was not quiet Tuesday. Two Molotov cocktails were thrown at an IDF patrol in the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza. A violent demonstration broke out at the Jalazoon refugee camp near Ramallah in the West Bank during which two women reportedly were injured, one by rubber bullets and the other by beatings. Curfews were re-imposed at both camps.
An Arab journalist in Gaza wrote Tuesday “The IDF has put all its weight on the lid, but underneath the pot is boiling,” He summed up what seemed to be the concern of military officers at the scene.
Two factors were seen to have touched off the latest violence: the widespread accounts of beatings of Palestinian civilians by IDF soldiers; and the imminent deportation of four Palestinian activists in the Gaza Strip who were reported Monday to have waived their right of appeal to the Supreme Court.
The four Palestinians are among nine ordered expelled by the military on Jan. 3 as alleged agitators with long records of security offenses.
Four from the West Bank were deported Jan. 13 after they waived their right of appeal and a fifth from that territory also faces deportation. The four from Gaza originally intended to fight deportation in the courts.
Their attorney, Felicia Langer, said Monday that they withdrew their appeals because they “did not want to legitimize the court’s authority to decide their fate after secret evidence was submitted which they know they will not be allowed to see.”
The authorities seem determined to carry out the deportation orders despite heavy international pressure.
The defense establishment argues that this is still the most effective measure against Palestinian nationalist elements and the best deterrent against renewed violence.