Israeli Court Upholds Deportation of Arabs Considered Security Risks

Israel’s High Court of Justice issued a ruling Thursday firmly endorsing the deportation of Palestinian activists considered security risks by the military.

The court upheld Maj. Gen. Yitzhak Mordechai’s decision to expel four Palestinians described as leaders of the Palestinian uprising in the West Bank. Mordechai commands the central front, which includes the West Bank.

The Defense Ministry was expected to carry out the deportation order within hours after receiving the court’s decision.

Those ordered deported were Mahmoud el-Matour, commander of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Al Fatah organization in Jerusalem and Ramallah; Oda Ma’ali and Majid Labadi, members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine; and Dr. Taysir Aruri, a member of the Palestinian Communist Party and a physics professor at Bir Zeit University, which has been shut down for most of the intifada.

Since their arrest about a year ago, the four had been fighting deportation through judicial and administrative remedies. But Israel’s military courts have never overruled a deportation order.

The judges in this case gave their full support to the policy of deportation, which they maintained is more effective in coping with the leadership and local committees of the Palestinian uprising than simply trying them in court.

They also backed the commanding general, saying that his approach was “serious and responsible,” that he was “highly selective” in deciding who was to be expelled and that he resorted to deportation only after concluding that it “was necessary to the security of the state.”

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