Israel deports relatives of terror suspect to Gaza
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- A day after Israel's Supreme Court approved their expulsion, two relatives of a Palestinian terror suspect Wednesday were deported from the West Bank to Gaza, military sources said.
The Israel Defense Forces confirmed the relocation of the deportees to Gaza, and according to Palestinian sources they were brought in a military vehicle to an area near the Netzarim settlement in Gaza. They are currently in a private home.
In a unanimous decision Tuesday, the nine-member court ruled that Kifah and Anitsar Ajouri from the Askar refugee camp in Nablus should be resettled. They are the brother and sister of Ali Muhammad Ahmed Ajouri, 23, a Fatah activist and expert bomb-maker blamed by Israel for coordinating a mid-July double suicide bombing attack in Tel Aviv.
In the court ruling, judges upheld the army's right to transfer family members of militants who have conducted terror attacks in Israel, but only those who have physically and deliberately assisted relatives in carrying out those attacks.
The Israeli army must provide proof of involvement for expulsions to take place.
Fatah is the mainstream faction and Palestinian nationalist movement of the Palestine Liberation Organization. It is dedicated to the formation of an independent Palestinian state. Along with the mainstream organization, it also is linked to several splinter groups. The mainstream Fatah acts as the political organization of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat and was formed by Arafat in 1965.
The Israelis have suggested sending accused families to Gaza because Gaza is sealed and surrounded by a security fence, making it much more difficult for those exiled to enter Israel or to return to their West Bank homes. Palestinians objected to the exile proposal because it would remove them from their homes, something that has been happening to Palestinians for decades, they said.
But the court also ruled Tuesday that Abdel Nasser Asida, from Kafr Tel near Nablus, could remain in the West Bank, saying he had no advance knowledge of attacks his brother is accused of taking part in.
Before starting their overland trip from the West Bank, Kifah and Anitsar Ajouri were allowed to meet with family members. Their deportations to Gaza are scheduled to last two years.
The brother and sister were moved in a seven-vehicle convoy to the Erez Crossing on the Gaza border.
"This is a black day for human rights in Israel and Palestine," Saeb Erakat, chief Palestinian negotiator, said Tuesday, following the court ruling. "This is collective punishment just as is demolishing homes."
Israeli forces have demolished homes and buildings that Israel says belong to Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank.
Meanwhile, two Palestinians were arrested in the West Bank during overnight operations Tuesday, the Israel Defense Forces said.
Israeli troops arrested a man in Ein Azimo, east of Nablus, for intending to carry out terrorist activity, the IDF said.
He was armed with an M-16 rifle, six magazines of ammunition and a pistol, according to the IDF.
Another man wanted by Israel was arrested in Jenin, the IDF reported.
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