Awad Deported From Israel; Arab Villager Killed In Army Search
LOD, Israel (AP) _ Israel on Monday deported Arab-American Mubarak Awad, an advocate of non- violent resistance to Israel’s occupation. He flashed a defiant victory sign before police hustled him aboard a plane that flew him to New York.
In the occupied West Bank, troops carrying out a pre-dawn search in an isolated mountain village fatally shot a nearly deaf Arab man after he ignored orders to halt, hospital officials and villagers said.
Israeli leaders called for tougher measures, including shoot-to-kill orders, against Arabs throwing firebombs and setting fires to Israel’s pastures and scarce forests.
More than 2,500 acres were scorched in weekend blazes, and officials blamed most of the fires on Arab arsonists. American donors have planted 20 million trees in Israeli national parks, more than 10 percent of the country’s trees.
The Jerusalem-born Awad was driven to Ben Gurion International Airport in a black windowless prison van under heavy guard. Wearing a white shirt and carrying a jacket, he waved and gave a victory sign before boarding the plane.
Awad arrived Monday night at New York’s Kennedy Airport, where about 50 demonstrators - supporters as well as opponents of Awad - gathered in the TWA terminal.
″Awad wishes to express that he was happy to be out of jail after 40 days of incarceration,″ said Charles Kimball, director of the Middle East office of the National Council of Churches, who spoke for Awad.
Awad did not speak to reporters, but Kimball said Awad planned to hold a news conference Tuesday.
The deportation ended a seven-month legal battle to avoid expulsion. Awad was the 21st Arab to be expelled since the Dec. 8 start of the Palestinian uprising in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Awad was kept away from reporters in an airport holding cell, but his letters to supporters from prison were distributed and shown to journalists.
″Even after my departure, my efforts will continue,″ Awad wrote. ″We have no choice but to continue with the uprising for our liberation.″
He vowed in the letters to return soon. Awad, a Christian, has said he might convert to Judaism as a means to return to Israel.
Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir ordered Awad deported, saying he played a key role in organizing te uprising. Shamir on Monday rejected U.S. condemnation of the order, saying if the United States were confronted with a similar case, ″the person would be expelled immediately with no second thoughts.″
″We think it is unjustifiable to deny Mr. Awad the right to stay and live in Jerusalem where he was born,″ White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said Monday. ″If he acted illegally, he should have been charged and tried in court with full due process of law. He should not have been deported.″
Awad denied inciting violence against Israel but has supported the uprising in the territories that Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war. Although he has little influence in the Palestinian community, some tactics he advocates, such as tax boycotts, were adopted by uprising leaders.
About a dozen Israelis gathered at an airport gate to protest Awad’s deportation, unfurling banners and holding flowers. One banner read ″Mubarak: Next Year in Jerusalem,″ a reference to a traditional saying of Jews living outside Israel. Police immediately confiscated the banners.
A second protest was held in downtown Jerusalem where 25 Awad supporters gathered. One held a poster that read: ″Mubarak Awad was deported today, but his ideas remain.″ Dozens of angry Israelis staged an impromptu counter demonstration, shouting that Awad supporters were traitors.
In the West Bank village of Abwein, Dib Mahmoud Hussein, 43, was fatally shot in the head after he ignored soldiers’ orders to halt, said Dr. Yasser Obeid, director of Ramallah Hospital.
One villager, who identified himself only as Samy, said in a telephone interview that Hussein was hard of hearing and probably never heard the order. Sami said Hussein was killed during a search for troublemakers in which soldiers rounded up about 30 youths.
The army confirmed the death but said it was investigating the circumstances.
Hussein was the 207th Palestinian killed in the uprising. Two Israelis also have died.
Three Arabs working for the military government were injured in an attack in the West Bank city of Hebron on Monday, the army and hospital officials said. An Arab postman was stabbed and two other employees were beaten.
Palestinian underground leaders have demanded that all Arabs working for the military government resign.
After a weekend marred by an upsurge in Arab violence, including a firebomb attack in Tel Aviv’s main mall, Israeli leaders promised retaliation.
Shamir told the daily Haaretz he would introduce legislation to jail arsonists for up to 15 years.
″We must put an end to this,″ Industry Minister Ariel Sharon said on Israel radio. ″Those who throw firebombs must be shot with the intention to kill ... they must be warned these are the steps the army is going to take.″
Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin told a closed-door Cabinet session he had authorized Israeli civilians to shoot at Arabs holding firebombs and in response to ″other imminent dangers,″ the Jerusalem Post reported Monday.