Israel Deports Eight Palestinians, Touching off Rioting and a Strike

Israeli security forces deported eight Palestinian activists to Lebanon on Monday, one day after placing several key Palestinian personalities in detention.

Israeli sources said they were determined to proceed with such measures to strike at the alleged leadership of the Palestinian uprising, despite protests by the U.S. government.

The deportations, the first carried out by Israel since April, bring to nearly 30 the number of Palestinians deported since the uprising began eight months ago.

News of the deportations set off rioting in the town of Gaza, where two of the deportees resided. Demonstrators blocked off streets with garbage carts, rocks and burning tires. Security forces dispersed the demonstrators with tear gas. No one was hurt.

A two-day strike to protest the deportation policy began Monday. Shops were closed and public transportation was halted in the West Bank.

The eight deported were described by military sources as “senior activists in the terrorist organizations, who were involved in subversive and incitement activities.” Some were directly involved in organizing riots, sources said.

The deportees are considered “familiar faces” to the Israeli security services. They allegedly represent a number of terrorist organizations, including Al Fatah, the military wing of the Palestine Liberation Organization; Shabiba, Fatah’s youth movement; Nayef Hawatmeh’s Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine; and Islamic Jihad.

One of the deportees was described as a communist. Two are in their 20s and the others are over 30.

WITHDREW THEIR APPEALS

The eight, who were among those ordered deported July 8, appealed to Israel’s High Court of Justice to prevent their deportations, but then took back the appeals, arguing that they could not trust the Israeli legal system.

Security sources countered that the deportees did not proceed with their appeals, because they were well aware they had no chance of reversal.

On Sunday, authorities placed two well-known Palestinian activists in administrative detention and detained eight others for questioning.

The two arrested were Faisal al-Husseini, an academician described as a key Fatah activist in the Jerusalem area, and Mustafa Abu-Zahara, a convicted terrorist.

In a separate development, a Jewish resident of Kiryat Arba was indicted in Jerusalem district court Sunday on charges of throwing rocks at a car belonging to an Arab.

According to the indictment, Dina Ben-Har was traveling on a Jerusalem-bound Egged bus when it was hit by rocks. Ben-Har is charged with exiting the bus with some of the other passengers and throwing a large rock at a car with license plates from Hebron.

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