In Jerusalem, two Arab mayors say they'll lodge a High Court appeal against their expulsion six months ago from the Israeli-occupied West Bank of the Jordan.
SV Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel, arriving at his office.
SV Mayors of Gaza and Bethlehem arriving at Mr. Begin's office. (2 SHOTS)
SV Newsmen waiting outside office.
SV Mr. Begin coming out to meet newsmen. (2 SHOTS)
SCU Mr. Begin speaking in English and reporters listening. (5 SHOTS)
BEGIN: "I explained to my guests that I can't fulfil their request for the following reasons: The Mayors of Hebron and Halhul were permitted to come to be before the advisory committee. They did so together with their legal representatives. The advisory committee is a quasi-traditional institution. It is not a court. But its members make their decisions completely independently. They don't get instructions from anybody and they decide by the law and by their conscience. So they did and the decision was that the orders of deportation against the two mayors should not be cancelled. Now the legal representatives of the two mayors of Hebron and Halhul asked in advance to make sure that if the decision of the advisory committee goes against their clients, they will be permitted and enabled to go again to the supreme court and they can appeal against the decision of the advisory committee."
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Background: In Jerusalem, two Arab mayors say they'll lodge a High Court appeal against their expulsion six months ago from the Israeli-occupied West Bank of the Jordan. The Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, has refused to allow the mayors of Hebron and Halhul, Fahd Al-Qawasmeh and Mohammed Milhem, to return to their towns. But he said any appeal decision by the High Court would be honoured by the government.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Begin was speaking after talks of more than one hour with two other Palestinian mayors, Rashad Al-Shawa of Gaza and Elias Freij of Bethlehem.
The two mayors tried to persuade Mr. Begin to allow the mayors of Hebron and Halhul to return to their towns. The two were expelled in May after six Jews died in a Palestinian guerrilla attack.
Mr. Begin explained to waiting newsmen that a government advisory committee had recommended that the deportation orders against the two men should not be cancelled.