West Bank Mayor, Bassam al-Shaka, is back in jail after appearing before Israel's Supreme Court to challenge a deportation order against him.
West Bank Mayor, Bassam al-Shaka, is back in jail after appearing before Israel's Supreme Court to challenge a deportation order against him. Mr. Shaka is threatened with deportation because of his alleged support of Palestinian guerrilla killings, but the case has sparked off widespread demonstration and strikes in the occupied West Bank.
SYNOPSIS: At the hearing -- in the Supreme Court in Jerusalem on Thursday (22 November) -- the judges decide to refer Mr. Shaka to a military tribunal. They said the case came under emergency regulations enacted by the former British administration in Palestine before the Second World War."
The Supreme Court ruled that if the military tribunal recommended the deportation of Mr Shaka, he could come back to the Supreme Court for another hearing. Mr. Shaka is Mayor of the West Bank town of Nablus, and 23 Arab mayors resigned to demonstrate their solidarity. Many of them were at the Supreme Court on Thursday and joined the crowd of people angrily demonstrating against the Israeli military authorities.
If it had not been for injunction taken out by Mr. Shaka's wife, the mayor would have been deported when the order was made on November the twelfth. The case against Mr. Shaka arrillout of a conversation he had with an Israeli military government official. During the conversation, Mr. Shaka is alleged to have endorsed a Palestinian raid near Tel Aviv, in which 34 Israelis were killed.
Despite his week-long hunger strike in prison, Mr. Shaka looked healthy when he left the court after the hearing, and he waved cheerfully to fellow West Bank mayors and Palestinian supporters.
The arrest of Mr. Shaka has aroused strong opposition and sympathisers have launched a wave of strikes and demonstrations. The 23 West bank mayors have said they will not return to their posts until the mayor of Nablus is freed and re-instated. The Israeli authorities meanwhile, are also facing widespread opposition to the recent increases in food prices. Demonstrators have set fire to dustbins and tyres, as well as blocking off roads.
In Jerusalem, the Black Panther movement has joined the opposition to price hikes. The Israeli government, faced with inflation of up to 150 per cent, announced austerity measures which, for example, doubled the price of milk overnight. Several policemen have been injured in demonstrations in Jerusalem along, while dozens of protestors have been arrested.