Awad Ordered Held Pending Ouster Ruling : Shamir Tells Court Arab-American Poses Threat to Security
The Supreme Court ruled today that an Arab-American accused of inciting riots in the occupied lands must stay in jail until his deportation hearing in two weeks.
Also today, Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian during rioting in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli officials say Arab-American Mubarak Awad, 44, helped promote the 5-month-old Arab uprising in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. At least 185 Arabs and two Israelis have been killed there since Dec. 8.
The three-judge panel today set Awad’s deportation hearing for May 23, and accepted a statement from Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir that Awad’s release would endanger national security. On Sunday, the court issued a temporary injunction barring the immediate deportation of Awad.
Shamir spokesman Avi Pazner denied an Israel radio report that the prime minister received a message from Secretary of State George P. Shultz objecting to Awad’s treatment.
The judges today also turned down the prosecution’s request to deport Awad immediately and hear his appeal in his absence.
Prosecutor Nili Arad presented an affidavit that accused Awad of “taking part in the publication of leaflets which issued . . . a call for violent and hostile actions against the state by residents of the (occupied) territories.”
Arad said that if the court released Awad, he would continue these activities until his trial began.
Rejects Awad Offer
The court turned down an offer by Awad’s lawyers, Jonathan Kuttab and Avraham Gal, to free their client in return for a promise that he would not speak out publicly and would pay for a police guard to supervise him.
Awad’s American wife, Nancy Nye, told reporters after today’s hearing, “I learned a long time ago not to be optimistic or pessimistic but to see what happens.” She has denied her husband wrote a leaflet inciting violence.
Awad, born in Jerusalem, left for the United States in 1968 but returned in 1985. He founded the Palestinian Center for the Study of Non-Violence.
Earlier today, he blew kisses to supporters as he entered the courthouse for the hearing. During a recess, he told reporters he was in the fourth day of a hunger strike.
“I feel good. I’m still fasting, but I started to drink water. I still believe in Israeli law and Israeli justice and I hope I won’t be disappointed,” he said.
At the Deheishe refugee camp near Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, meanwhile, a man was fatally shot in the head today when soldiers opened fire on rock-throwing Palestinians, hospital officials and Arab witnesses said. The victim was identified as Ibrahim Mohammed Haniyah, 34.