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Rabin: World Is Hypocritical In Criticism Of Israel With PM-Lebanon-Israel and

December 21, 1992

Rabin: World Is Hypocritical In Criticism Of Israel With PM-Lebanon-Israel and PM-Lebanon-Deportees

JERUSALEM (AP) _ A defiant Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin today defended his decision to expel 415 alleged Muslim fundamentalists and dismissed world criticism as hypocritical.

Rabin also told Parliament that Israel was determined to continue peace negotiations with its Arab neighbors.

″But the hand that is stretched out toward real peace is the same hand that will pull the trigger to strike against murderers,″ Rabin warned.

Lebanon has refused to accept the deported Muslims. Today, Israeli-backed militiamen fired mortars and warning shots to stop them from returning to the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Two deportees were wounded by shrapnel.

Israel’s Supreme Court delayed for another day its ruling on an appeal by civil rights lawyers who contend the deportations were illegal.

The court heard arguments in the case Sunday and said it would reconvene Tuesday to hear further testimony.

Also today, Israeli troops shot and killed a 10-year-old Palestinian boy after youths violated an army curfew and took to the streets in the Gaza Strip, throwing stones and bottles at soldiers.

The victim, Ayman Subhi Ahmer, of the Khan Yunis refugee camp, was dead on arrival at Nasser Hospital, doctors said.

He was the eighth Palestinian to die in Israeli gunfire in the tense refugee camp since Saturday.

Earlier today, Mohammed Abu Moussa, 16, died of wounds he received in clashes in Khan Yunis on Saturday.

Ahmer’s death raised to 1,005 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers or civilians in the five-year uprising against Israeli occupation.

An additional 679 Palestinians have been killed by fellow Arabs, most on suspicion of collaboration. At least 112 Israelis have died in the violence.

The deportees are suspected of belonging to the fundamentalist Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements, which were blamed for killing six Israeli troopers earlier this month.

The army says 183 are from the Gaza and 232 from the West Bank.

The government issued the deportation order last week following the killings of six Israeli troopers by Muslim fundamentalists over a 10-day period.

The prime minister was defending his government against a no-confidence motion in Parliament brought by the hawkish opposition Likud bloc. The government, which has a majority in the 120-seat Parliament, was expected to prevail.

Israel has been on the defensive ever since because Lebanon refused to let the deportees pass, and pictures of the deportees’ makeshift camp have been seen around the world.

″In contrast to the tear-jerking images on today’s television screens, we are not talking about a group of righteous men,″ Rabin told Parliament. ″We are talking about one of the most murderous groups that ever walked the earth.″

Rabin dismissed international condemnation of Israel as hypocritical.

″The criticism directed at us ... comes from the same world that said nothing when 300,000 Palestinians were deported from Kuwait, and it’s the same world that sees day-in and day-out thousands murdered and raped in Bosnia and doesn’t lift a finger,″ Rabin said. ″For some reason, the world likes to come down on us.″

The confrontations came as Palestinians in many parts of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip continued a commercial strike for a fourth day to protest the deportations.

In an unusual move, Israeli Arab leaders announced that they, too, would strike to protest the expulsions. There are about 900,000 Israeli Arabs within the state of Israel.

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