Related topics

Israel Expels Eight Palestinians, Strike Hits Occupied Lands

August 1, 1988

JERUSALEM (AP) _ The army on Monday deported to Lebanon eight Palestinians accused of inciting the 8-month-old uprising in the occupied lands, where a two-day general strike was launched to protest Israel’s policy of expulsions.

Security sources said six more Palestinians were handed deportation orders under emergency regulations enacted by Israel in August 1985, but defense officials denied the report.

In the West Bank city of Nablus, troops wounded two Palestinian youths, including a 12-year-old boy shot in the neck, after masked protesters stoned the soldiers’ jeep, officials at Al Ittihad Hospital said.

The hospital and defense officials spoke on condition of anonymity, as did the security sources.

The deportations brought to 29 the number of Palestinians banished since the insurrection began on Dec. 8 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which Israel seized from Jordan and Egypt in the 1967 Middle East war. The insurrection has killed 235 Palestinians and four Israelis.

The deportees were visited by their families at Jneid prison near Nablus hours before being expelled. Relatives said they watched the men being driven away in unmarked cars, the windows blocked by newspapers and plastic bags.

Israel television said an army helicopter took the deportees to southern Lebanon, where they were placed in waiting taxis after being giving a medical checkup and offered $50 each. Only three accepted the money, the report said.

Television segments showed one man flashing a victory sign as he climbed into the taxi.

An army spokesman said the eight were senior activists in guerrilla organizations and accused them of ″inciteful and subversive activities.″

Among the deportees was a journalist with Jerusalem’s Arabic-language Al Fajr newspaper, Loui Ali Nafeh Abdu, who was accused of being a senior activist in the Palestine Liberation Organization in Nablus.

Others included a Bir Zeit University lecturer and a labor leader from El Bireh.

Al Fajr managing editor Maher Abukhater denounced the deportations as ″an extreme form of punishment and obvious violation of basic human rights.″ The U.S. administration also has criticized the policy.

A leaflet circulated on July 21 called for a Monday-Tuesday strike to protest such deportations.

Palestinians meanwhile painted graffiti on walls denouncing Jordan’s King Hussein for announcing plans to sever ties with the 850,000 Palestinians in the West Bank. ″Down with Hussein the traitor,″ read one slogan in Tulkarem.

Other Palestinians praised the move.

″It should start the ball rolling in the direction of working out strategic relationships between the PLO and Jordan on the future,″ Palestinian journalist Daoud Kuttab of the Nazareth daily A-Sinara told Israel radio.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir said Hussein ″dealt a blow″ to the idea of a Palestinian state by differentiating between Palestinians living on the east bank of the Jordan River and those in the West Bank.

″If, as Hussein says, one part of them has to set up a Palestinian state and another part is Jordanian ... where then is the one Palestinian people?,″ an aide quoted Shamir as saying in a meeting with New Zealand’s new ambassador.

″It is possible to draw the conclusion that the whole idea of a Palestinian people is an invention for the sake of propaganda.″

Shamir’s right-wing Likud bloc opposes territorial concessions to the Arabs.

A government official disclosed Monday that Foreign Minister Shimon Peres tried through foreign intermediaries to persuade Hussein not to cut legal and administrative links with the West Bank.

The decision was a setback for Peres’ Labor Party, which proposed resolving the dispute with the Palestinians by negotiating with Jordan.

Peres told Israel television on Monday that Israeli elections here this November ″will determine if the Jordanian option is dead or not.″

Also Monday, the Israeli Peace Now movement appealed to the United States and three other Western countries to obtain the release of Faisal Husseini, a prominent pro-PLO activist jailed Sunday for six months without trial.

″The only chance to make peace is with the Palestinian leadership. When one appears, they (Israeli authorities) cut him down,″ said Peace Now spokesman Avishai Margalit.

Attorney General Yosef Harish decided on Monday to put Jewish settler leader Pinhas Wallerstein on trial in the Jan. 11 shooting death of a West Bank Palestinian, Israel television said.

According to initial army reports, Wallerstein fired in self-defense after being stoned by Palestinians, but Palestinian witnesses said 17-year-old Nasser Ghanem Hammad was killed without provocation.

Update hourly