A West Bank Palestinian who was extradited from the United States in 1981 in a celebrated legal battle has been rearrested and held without charges in "administrative detention," the Israeli Army command said today.
Ziad Abu Eain, of the West Bank town of El Biera, is the first Palestinian to be held under such special detention since the practice was abandoned three years ago. The incarceration order is for six months and can be renewed indefinitely. After his extradition, Abu Eain was sentenced to life imprisonment for a terrorist bombing, but he was released in a prisoner exchange in May.
Abu Eain's new arrest coincided with mounting public outrage over a recent series of random killings of Israelis inside Israel proper that security forces have attributed to West Bank Palestinians. It appeared to presage the Israeli Cabinet's expected approval Sunday of the imposition of harsh security measures in the occupied territory, including the use of administrative detention and the deportation of persons found to incite to terrorism.
The Cabinet also is to consider increased use of the demolition of houses of families of suspected terrorists and other stringent security measures that the government of Prime Minister Shimon Peres has left largely unused.
Abu Eain, one of 1,150 Palestinian inmates released May 20 in exchange for three Israeli soldiers held prisoner in Lebanon since the beginning of the war in that country, was accused of violating the conditions of his release by making contact with other freed prisoners and attending at least one nationalist political meeting.
In 1979, Abu Eain was accused of planting a bomb in Tiberias that killed three persons and wounded 30 others. He fled to Chicago, where he had relatives, but was extradited to Israel in 1981 after lengthy proceedings and tried and sentenced to life imprisonment.
In 1983, he was on a list of Palestinian inmates in Israeli jails who were to be exchanged with the Palestine Liberation Organization under the supervision of the international Red Cross. He was taken to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport in a bus with other prisoners, but at the last moment was held back in a move that prompted allegations by the PLO of an Israeli violation of the exchange agreement.
Abu Eain, however, was exchanged in May of this year and allowed to return to his home.
An Israeli Army spokesman said today that a few days after his release, Abu Eain "began propaganda and incitement activities among various groups . . . in which he called for the continuation of the activities until the liberation of Palestine and the expulsion of the 'Zionist enemy.' "