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January 08, 1993 - Image 52

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-01-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Find It All In
The Jewish News
Classifieds
Call 354-5959

Israeli Arabs
Support Deportees

Jerusalem (JTA) — Israel's
700,000 Arab citizens are
continuing to show support
for the 415 Palestinians ex-
pelled by Israel from the
administered territories —
at the risk of further
alienating themselves from
the Jewish population.
Their demonstrations of
solidarity came as Lebanon
announced it would not
allow a U.N. envoy to travel
through its territory to visit
the deportees at their en-
campment on a strip of land
between Israeli and
Lebanese army checkpoints.
The Beirut government
said U.N. Undersecretary-
General James Jonah would
have to reach the deportees
through Israeli lines.
Jonah met in east
Jerusalem with Palestinian
leaders Faisal Husseini and
Hanan Ashrawi, who called
on him to press Israel to
allow humanitarian aid to
reach the deportees.
The Israeli Cabinet voted
to bar the Red Cross and
other relief agencies from
sending food and medicine to
the deportees through its
border security zone in
southern Lebanon, saying
the Palestinians were now
Lebanon's responsibility.
Lebanon has similarly
refused, insisting that its
territory cannot become a
dumping ground for Israel's
undesirables.
The U.N. envoy, who was
sent here at the request of
the U.N. Security Council,
also met with families of the
deportees and joined a rally
on their behalf in the West
Bank town of Ramallah.
Israeli Arab leaders made
a futile effort to transmit
food, medical supplies,
clothes and heaters to the
deportees in Lebanon, in de-
fiance of the Israeli
Cabinet's decision.
The Arab delegation was
stopped at the border by
Israeli police and instead
staged a demonstrative noon
prayer at the border cross-
ing. At an improvised news
conference, Arab officials
pledged to continue efforts
on behalf of the deportees.
Just as the issue of the
deportees has blurred
longstanding differences
between the Palestine Lib-
eration Organization and
the Islamic fundamentalist
Hamas movement, to which
many of the deportees
belong, so it has softened di-

vergences between Israeli
Arabs and Palestinian
residents of the ad-
ministered territories.
"The issue is not Hamas,"
said Tarek Abdul Hai,
mayor of Tira, an Arab town
north of Kfar Sava. "The
issue is transfer" of Arabs
out of the country. Israeli
Arabs fear that they, too,
could become subject to
deportation, he said.
The most dramatic expres-
sion of Israeli Arab discon-
tent was voiced last week by
an Arab Knesset member at
a rally in Gaza. Hashem
Mahmid of the formerly
Communist Hadash party
urged Palestinians to step
up the intifada by "all possi-
ble means."
The call, documented by
Israel Television, stirred
anger among Jewish
Knesset members, who said
it was tantamount to in-
citement to armed revolt

Israeli Arab
leaders made a
futile effort to
transmit food.

against Israel. They urged
that the Knesset member's
parliamentary immunity be
waived.
The Knesset House Com-
mittee could not reach a
decision after several hours
of discussion, although it
appeared most of its mem-
bers, including coalition
representatives, supported a
removal of his immunity.
Opposition Knesset mem-
bers charged that the com-
mittee chairman, Haggai
Merom of Labor, deliberate-
ly stretched out delibera-
tions so that Hadash would
vote with the government
when the state budget came
up for a vote later in the
week.
Mr. Mahmid, for his part,
refused to retract his state-
ment, except for saying he
did not mean to encourage
residents of the territories to
use force in the intifada.
Attorney General Yosef
Harish launched an in-
vestigation against Mr.
Mahmid for allegedly
violating a law banning
terror activity when he
spoke in Gaza. If Mr.
Mahmid's Knesset immuni-
ty is removed and he is found
guilty of encouraging terror-

N

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