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West Bank Arab Accused of Terrorism is Extradited to Israel

December 14, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Ziad Abu-Eain, a 22-year-old West Bank resident accused of participation in a bombing which killed two boys and injured 36 other persons in Tiberias in 1979, was formally extradited to Israel.

Deputy Secretary of State William Clark, who had been studying the legal aspects of Israel’s extradition request, signed a surrender warrant yesterday. American authorities in Chicago, where Abu-Eain has been held in prison since his arrest by the FBI in August, 1979, turned him over to Israeli officials. The extradition is the first since Israel and the U.S. signed an extradition treaty in 1963.

Clark said, in his written statement, “I have concluded that our treaty with Israel and compelling law require a conclusion that Abu-Eain be extradited. We have been formally assured by the government of Israel that the crimes charged against Abu-Eain–murder, attempted murder and causing bodily harm with aggravating intent — are common criminal charges which will be tried in an ordinary civilian court.”


Abu-Eain, who had been living with relatives in Chicago when he was arrested, lost a series of appeals against extradition. Last Oct. 13, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review his case, letting stand a lower court’s ruling that extradition was permissable. This left the final decision in the case to the State Department.

Abu-Eain a resident of Ramallah, was supported by Arab-American groups and others friendly to the Palestinian cause. Arab Ambassadors in the U.S. made representations to the State Department on his behalf. Israel pressed vigorously for extradition.

When it appeared that the State Department was taking an inordinately long time to decide, Sen. Dan Quayle (R. Ind.) introduced a sense of the Senate resolution last week urging immediate extradition on grounds that the accused could be freed shortly on a writ of habeas corpus. This drew a rebuke from the State Department Friday.

Department deputy spokesman Alan Romberg quoted Clark as saying that for the Senate to seek to “influence” the Department’s decision is “as improper” as it would have been to try to influence the case when it came before the Supreme Court. Clark made that statement in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker (R. Tenn.) after Quayle introduced his resolution.

(In Israel, meanwhile, Supreme Court Justice Miriam Ben-Porat issued a temporary injunction today against the Military Government on the West Bank barring it from demolishing or sealing off Abu-Eain’s home in Ramallah. Ben-Porat acted on the appeal of the accused’s father who feared the house would be destroyed. Israeli authorities recently blew up three houses in Beit Sahour and Bethlehem because members of the families owning the houses were suspected of terrorist acts. The ban will remain in effect until Abu-Eain’s trial ends.)

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