Israel Expels Three Palestinians
JERUSALEM (AP) _ Israel deported three more Palestinians to Lebanon on Wednesday, but the army said their offenses took place before the year-old Palestinian uprising in the occupied territories.
Israeli soldiers took the three prisoners to Israel’s self-declared security zone in southern Lebanon and sent them through a crossing into the Syrian-controlled Bekaa Valley, said an army spokesman, who cannot be identified under military rules.
″The decision to deport us was tyrannical,″ deportee Ahmed Hasan Mehanna told reporters in Lebanon. The three were blindfolded and handcuffed.
Police in Lebanon said the deportees were escorted by Israeli officers.
Prior to Wednesday, 33 Palestinians had been deported for anti-Israeli activities in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip during the last year. An additional 27 are under orders to be deported, according to army figures.
The United States and other Western countries have condemned the deportations as illegal.
The last deportations related to the uprising were Aug. 17, when four Palestinians were expelled to Lebanon.
The latest action ″has nothing to do with the ’intefadeh,‴ said the army spokesman, using the Arabic word for ″uprising.″ He said the men’s offenses occurred before it began.
The three were identified as Mehanna, Issa Eid Saleh Hamadah, and Abdel Fattah Mahmoud Ziyara, Arab reporters said.
The army official said Ziyara served an 18-year prison sentence after he was caught in 1969 infiltrating from Jordan with weapons. He twice lost Supreme Court appeals to bar his deportation, the official said.
Mehanna was freed in a prisoner exchange in 1985, but was later caught planning terrorist activities and reimprisoned, he reported.
Hamadah was serving a life sentence for an attack in which two people were killed and others injured, he said.
The official said Mehanna and Hamadah requested deportation to avoid further jail time.