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>JN May 7, 1997, Vol. 5, Number 82
Marzook Lawyer Denounces U.S. Justice
By Max Ruston (VOA-New York), Mahmoud Zawawi (VOA-Amman)
The deportation from the United States to Jordan of Hamas political
leader Mousa abu Marzook is being denounced by his lawyers Tuesday
as a subversion of the US justice system. US immigration
authorities reject those charges, saying the deportation was legal
Lawyer Michael Kennedy charges the US Immigration & Naturalization
Service pursued abu Marzook in collusion with US judicial
authorities and the Israeli government, to prevent him from
participating in Middle East politics during a crucial period.
"I think the primary motivation was to take Dr. abu Marzook, who is
an extremely influential Palestinian leader, to take him out of the
mix and out of the conversation with reference to the peace process
in the Middle East."
Another of abu Marzook's lawyers, Stanley Cohen, is urging the
Hamas leader to sue the Israeli government for $200 million because
of his detention and deportation. Most of abu Marzook's time in
detention in the United States was the result of an Israeli request
for his extradition to face terrorist charges. That request was
dropped earlier this year, after abu Marzook said he would not
Abu Marzook was detained on arrival in New York in July 1995,
because his name was on a list of people suspected of terrorist
activities. The immigration service began deportation proceedings
shortly after his detention, but those proceedings were suspended
when Israel requested his extradition. The deportation proceedings
resumed last month and resulted in his departure for Jordan.
Abu Marzook denies any role in terrorist activities saying his role
in Hamas is entirely political. But US authorities say his
fundraising and other activities have played an instrumental role
in terrorist acts allegedly committed by Hamas.
Immigration service spokesman Russ Bergeron says the proceedings
against abu Marzook were entirely legal and justified. He rejects
charges that the US justice system was subverted in abu Marzook's
case. "From the standpoint of the immigration service this is a
highly satisfactory resolution to this issue. The purpose of the
charges that were filed against abu Marzook in immigration
proceedings were to prevent him from entering the United States and
to find him deportable. That is exactly the outcome that was
achieved, so we are very satisfied with the results of the
Abu Marzook was a legal resident of the United States since 1982
and his wife and children remain in the country. Under the
deportation agreement reached between abu Marzook and the
immigration service, the 46 year old Hamas leader agrees to
relinquish his permanent resident status in the United States and
says he will not challenge the US decision to deport him.
Speaking to reporters at his home in Amman Tuesday, abu Marzook
pledged to continue to work for Hamas. "I will continue in
political activities," he said. "Naturally, the motives that made
me stand with the hopes and aspirations of my people still exist.
I have still a lot to do to serve my people and help them achieve
During the news conference abu Marzook refused to condemn acts of
violence against Israelis. "Palestinians had no choice but to fight
for their rights as long as Israel was not ready to concede them,"
the Hamas leader said. Abu Marzouk also thanked Jordan's King
Hussein for welcoming him back to Jordan. He said Palestinian
leader Yasir Arafat had called his family to congratulate them on
Weizman Holds Talks with Arafat
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli President Ezer Weizman says he succeeded, at
least in part, in improving the atmosphere of
Israeli-Palestinian Relations in his meeting Tuesday evening with
Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat.
Weizman said the meeting improved Israeli-Palestinian
relations by what he called "a certain percentage," and that made
it a success. But he also indicated there is more work to do
before the Israeli-Palestinian peace process can make significant
advances. Weizman said he went to meet with Arafat as an
"ice breaker" and he hopes the Palestinian leader will soon meet
with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Arafat said he remains committed to the peace process and to
working with Israel to maintain security -- a key Israeli demand.
But it is not clear whether he is ready to resume the level of
cooperation Israel wants. There was no indication of any
progress on the main Israeli-Palestinian dispute -- Israel's
construction of a new Jewish neighborhood in east Jerusalem.
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