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Speculation Raised That Arab Political Deportees from the West Bank Will Be All Owed to Return

October 27, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The announcement that former Mayor Nadim Zarou of Ramallah, deported in 1969 for alleged subversive activities, will be allowed to return to the West Bank, has raised speculation here that more Arab political deportees will be allowed to return on condition that they do not engage in political activities.

This ties in with what has been characterized as a more liberal policy in the occupied territories undertaken by Defense Minister Ariel Sharon. The return of Zarou is interpreted in some quarters as a sign that the gates will now be opened to exiled pro-Jordanian leaders as a counter-force to pro-Palestine Liberation Organization elements on the West Bank. Mentioned in that connection is the former Jordanian Governor of Jerusalem, Rouhi Al-Hatib who was deported to Jordan in 1967, shortly after the Six-Day War.

But military sources said yesterday that there is no new policy. They said each deportee requesting permission to return will be examined on the merits of his cases. The Military Government recently recommended against the return of the two West Bank Mayors, Fahed Kawasme of Hebron and Mohammad Milhim of Halhoul, who were deported 18 months ago for alleged incitement against Israel leading to the ambush slaying of six yeshiva students in Hebron.

Zarou, 50, who served as Mayor of Ramalla# between 1964-1969, has spent the past 12 years in Jordan where he served in senior government posts including Minister of Transportation, and engaged in business. His successor was Karim Khalaf, a PLO sympathizer, who is still in office.

Gen. Danny Matt, coordinator of activities for the Defense Ministry in the occupied territories, is permitting Zarou to return after he signed a pledge not to engage in hostile activities, it was announced over the weekend.

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