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Israeli Deportations Will Continue Despite Criticism from Washington

Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, in an interview on Israel Radio Thursday, said there is no tension between Washington and Jerusalem, but that the deportation of Palestinian and “intifada” leaders will continue despite the strong protest from the United States.

“We are responsible for security in the area, not the Americans,” he said.

The premier, who noted that differences of opinion between friends are natural, denied that the deportation of Palestinians was a “policy,” saying it was necessary to maintain Israel’s security and order in the territories.

Shamir and Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin both told U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering Wednesday that the deportations orders already issued against 25 Palestinian leaders will be carried out, after the men have had an opportunity to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Sources said that Pickering expressed surprise that Israeli officials leaked to the press news of the protest, described as “a paper of talking points” that was delivered by Deputy Secretary of State John Whitehead to Oded Eran, acting Israeli ambassador to the U.S.

Foreign Ministry officials met in Jerusalem Thursday to discuss further responses to the United States, both through private diplomatic channels and in public statements.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry said the deportations were carried out with full regard for Israeli law and also in accordance with international law.

Legal experts explained that the restrictions on deportations are enshrined in the Hague regulations of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

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