JERUSALEM (Apr. 19)
Israel deported eight more West Bank Palestinians to southern Lebanon Tuesday, charging they were involved in “planning and implementation of violent disturbances in Judea and Samaria in the past few months.”
The deportees had all waived their right to appeal, which they considered hopeless in light of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that deportations were legal. Israel deported eight other Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip on April 11.
Those ousted Tuesday included six from Beita village, near Nablus in the West Bank, the scene of a clash on April 6 between teen-age Jewish hikers and local villagers. Two Palestinians and a 15-year-old Israeli girl, Tirza Porat, were killed in that incident.
The Palestinians were shot by an adult Jewish settler escorting the hikers. Romam Aldubi. An autopsy and subsequent investigation by the Israel Defense Force determined that Porat also was killed, accidentally, by Aldubi’s M-16 rifle. Nevertheless, the IDF demolished 14 homes in Beita in reprisal, until ordered to halt by the Supreme Court on April 10.
In Geneva, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross reported Tuesday that the eight latest Palestinians expelled are camping outside the ICRC offices in the Lebanese town of Ksara. He said the ICRC has increased its delegation to the Israeli-administered territories to 36. The organization will expand its budget to pay for new ambulances and other humanitarian needs, the spokesman said.
BEATING AND KICKING
A military court in Jaffa, meanwhile, gave suspended prison sentences Tuesday to two IDF soldiers found guilty of beating and kicking handcuffed Palestinian youths at a prison camp near Nablus last month. The incident came to light because it was filmed by a CBS camera crew.
Cpl. Yehuda Anjel received a three-month suspended sentence and his commanding officer, Capt. Yossi Haddad, was sentenced to two months, also suspended. A senior IDF officer who testified on their behalf claimed beatings were necessary because soldiers were constrained from using more lethal force to quell rioting.
The West Bank and Gaza Strip were quiet Tuesday after the bloodiest weekend since the Palestinian uprising began more than four months ago. Details were sketchy because of a media ban in effect in much of the territories.
But as many as 15 Palestinians were reported killed and scores wounded last weekend in widespread protests against the assassination Saturday of Khalil al-Wazir, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s No. 2 man, at his home in Tunis.
The Palestinians are convinced the killing was the work of Israel’s secret service, Mossad, and many Israelis openly share that view. Gen. Amram Mitzna, commander of the central region, which includes the West Bank, told senior officers Tuesday that the uprising has its ebbs and flows.
The trend now is escalation, he said, adding, “I have no doubt that the name of the game is alertness and patience.”
Nablus, the largest Arab city in the West Bank, remains under a curfew imposed Saturday. Its Israeli-appointed mayor, Hafez Toukan, announced Monday he plans to resign. Curfews are also in effect at 15 refugee camps in the West Bank, at six in the Gaza Strip, as well as in the Gaza Strip town of Abasan.
The Palestinians are on a general strike in both territories. But while shops, schools and businesses remained closed Tuesday, most Arab day laborers employed in Israel reported for work.