Three Arabs Who Won’t Be Expelled Appeal Against Continued Detention

Three of the 11 Palestinian activists whose expulsion was lifted recently appealed Wednesday to a military appeals board against their continued detention under administrative arrest orders.

The remainder of the group is expected to follow suit.

The 11 were allowed to remain within Israel as part of a series of government gestures aimed at creating a climate of good will during the current peace talks in Washington.

Expulsion orders against them were replaced last month by administrative arrest orders, and the 11 were transferred last week to the Ketziot military detention center in the Negev.

Lawyers for the three appellants argued that the detention orders failed to be grounded in genuine security concerns and instead flowed from “irrelevant reasons.”

Attorney Jawad Boulus submitted the written appeal on behalf of Omar Saffi Assaf, Ghassan Jarrar and Hassan Abdullah.

“Once the authorities abolished the expulsion orders,” said Boulus, “they shattered the legal basis on which the detention orders rely.”

No date has been set for hearing of the appeal.

Meanwhile, Israeli security forces continued the gradual release of 800 prisoners, implementing the government’s conciliatory gestures toward the Palestinians.

By the end of this week, 620 will have been released from detention camps after the freeing of 145 prisoners on Wednesday.

Despite the climate of relaxation in restrictions, the defense establishment does not intend in the near future to lift its curbs on entry into Israel proper of Gaza residents ages 16 to 20.

Maj. Gen. Matan Vilnai, commander of the southern region, told the High Court of Justice in a written statement this week that Gazans in that age category continue “at this stage” to constitute a danger to the population.

Responding in writing to an appeal by the Kav La’oved human rights group, Vilnai said, “These young men still pose a danger of perpetrating sabotage attacks in Israel.”

Official statistics show that 10 of the 18 Gaza residents who have attacked Israeli citizens since the beginning of the intifada were between the ages of 15 and 20, and that only one was over 30.

NEXT STORY