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Reports Palestinian Activist To Go On Trial Soon With AM-Israeli Palestinians

August 9, 1988

JERUSALEM (AP) _ The government said Monday it would consider filing charges against Palestinian activist Feisal Husseini, which could bring an end to his detention without trial, Israel’s army radio reported.

The decision came during a court hearing hours before U.S. special envoy Richard Murphy expressed concern about the case of Husseini and about 2,500 other Arabs jailed without trial. Most were arrested after the Palestinian uprising began in December against Israeli rule in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

By Israeli law, prisoners jailed under ″administrative detention″ can be held for up to six months without being charged or tried.

Husseini’s Israeli attorney, Avigdor Feldman, said the court decided to postpone the hearing for 48 hours pending a government decision on whether it would press charges.

Murphy complained of the detentions without trial during talks with Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

He urged Israeli leaders to communicate with the Palestinians.

″I have discussed America’s concern that there is insufficient dialogue ... between Israel and the moderate Palestinians,″ he told reporters.

He also said he had sharp disagreements with Rabin over the way Israel has dealt with Palestinian activists.

In addition to the administrative detentions, the army has demolished 84 Arab homes and deported 29 Palestinians since December.

″We don’t think that’s the way to go,″ Murphy said. ″We don’t agree with Israel. On that we’ve had a very frank exchange.″

Moshe Amirav, a former member of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir’s right-wing Likud bloc, denounced the government, calling Husseini ″one of the moderate Palestinians we’ve been looking for all these years.″ Amirav was ousted from the Likud last year for meeting with Husseini.

Husseini was arrested July 31 and ordered held, without charges, for six months. It was his third administrative arrest in less than two years and drew protests from some Israeli leftists and foreign governments, including the United States.

Rabin has said Husseini is the Palestine Liberation Organization’s representative in the occupied territories. Israel prohibits contacts with the PLO, calling it a terrorist organization dedicated to destroying the Jewish state.

Police Minister Chaim Bar-Lev told Israel television Monday that Husseini is a ″leader who incites and pushes the issue to a collision course.″

He said Husseini’s detention was not related to the draft of a Palestinian ″declaration of independence″ that Israel television reported was found in Husseini’s Arab Study Center after his arrest.

Amirav said Husseini problably helped write the document that calls for the declaration of an independent Palestinian state in the occupied territories and parts of Israel to be headed by PLO leader Yasser Arafat.

Haaretz newspaper said contents of the document may have been leaked to the media by Israeli officials to discredit Husseini and defuse pressure over his detention.

Israel television said Sunday that Shamir knew of and approved of the deliberate passing of the information.

The independence document has provoked strong reactions, with right-wing parties demanding annexation of the occupied territories and opposition leftists calling for talks with the PLO.

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