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Justice Minister Said to Oppose Rabin’s Call for Harsher Measres

June 27, 1989
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin has run into resistance from the Justice Ministry in his quest to impose harsher measures against the Palestinian uprising.

Justice Minister Dan Meridor appears to have changed his mind since last week, when he said that some of the methods advocated by Rabin, though at odds with democratic principles, were necessary.

Meridor, a Likud minister, now is said to agree with his senior advisers in the ministry that the proposals should be rejected.

He and Rabin had a generally inconclusive meeting Sunday. They agreed to set up a joint committee to study the issue with a view toward compromise.

Meridor is now on record as saying he fears Rabin’s methods would not stand the test of appeal to the High Court of Justice and would antagonize world opinion.

According to Professor Yoram Dinstein, a Tel Aviv University expert on international law, the measures Rabin wants to implement are contrary to the Geneva conventions on the treatment of civilians in occupied territories.

They include the authority to expel alleged troublemakers within 72 hours of arrest, the authority to demolish or seal off Palestinian houses without appeal, and an extension of administrative detention from six to 12 months.

Administrative detention allows the military to hold activists in custody without charges, trial or appeal.


Opposition to Rabin’s proposals has been strong on the left. Yossi Sarid of the Citizens Rights Movement remarked Sunday that it was ironic that a Likud justice minister should be upholding the rule of law against a Labor Party minister.

But opposition to Rabin’s plans also comes from the right wing, which thinks the proposals do not go far enough.

Yuval Ne’eman, leader of Tehiya, a party that favors annexation of the territories, told Israel Radio on Sunday that the quickest way to end the intifada is to deport an entire Palestinian refugee camp to Lebanon.

“Transfer the entire population of a refugee camp from which stones and gasoline bombs are thrown at Jews to Tyre, and there will be no more Palestinian uprising,” Ne’eman said.

Tehiya in the past has avoided speaking of the “transfer” concept. It is espoused by the far right-wing Moledet party, which believes the Arab population of the territories should be transferred to other Arab nations as part of a negotiated peace settlement.

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