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Israel Issues New Travel Bans to Prevent Contacts with PLO

The government has imposed another ban on Faisal Husseini, a prominent Palestinian activist and intellectual who advocates civil disobedience against Israel in the administered territories.

The Interior Ministry on Friday issued an administrative order preventing Husseini from traveling abroad for three months.

It was promptly protested by Haim Ramon, chairman of the Labor Party’s Knesset faction.

According to Interior Minister Arye Deri, the latest restriction on Husseini’s movements is aimed at keeping him from attending a Palestine Liberation Organization meeting in Cairo.

Husseini heads the Institute for Arab Studies in East Jerusalem. He was forbidden to enter the West Bank or Gaza Strip for six months by an order issued Dec. 6, which drew a sharp expression of disapproval from the U.S. State Department at the time.

Another Palestinian leader from East Jerusalem, Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, was turned back at the Allenby Bridge when he tried to cross the border into Jordan.

Bans also were issued against the heads of Arab trade unions in East Jerusalem and Nablus.

A senior government source said the restrictions were intended to signal Washington that residents of East Jerusalem will not be partners to any political dialogue with the Palestinians.

East Jerusalem was annexed in 1967 and is considered an integral part of Israel.

The government insists that Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir’s plan for Palestinian elections in the administered territories excludes Palestinians from East Jerusalem.

Husseini and other leading Palestinians were once allowed to travel abroad and even to meet with PLO officials. The more liberal policy was interpreted as an attempt to encourage a local leadership alternative to the PLO.

It was ended when the local leaders made clear they considered the PLO to be their only legitimate representative.

Meanwhile, violence perpetrated by intifada activists against fellow Arabs continued in the territories over the weekend.

A bus carrying Arab workers from the West Bank to jobs in Israel was set on fire by masked youths Sunday. No one was hurt, but an estimated $150,000 damage was done.

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