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Palestinian-American Activist Defies Orders to Leave Israel

November 20, 1987|Associated Press

JERUSALEM — Mubarak Awad, a Palestinian-American who has urged nonviolent resistance to Israeli occupation, defied a government order to leave the country today.

The 44-year-old activist said he would seek temporary refuge alternately in a mosque, a synagogue and a church during Sabbath services of the city's three religious communities this weekend.

Awad is here on a tourist visa that expired today. The Ministry of Interior, which handles visas, had sent him a letter ordering him to leave before the visa expired.

A spokeswoman for the ministry indicated the government had no immediate pljans to take action against Awad. But she said that despite U.S. pleas to allow Awad to stay, the order has not been rescinded.

"We just refused to extend his visa," Tova Elinson said in a telephone interview. "For the moment, there is no decision to deport him."

Elinson added that if Awad believes in obeying the law, as he said he does, then he should leave the country.

Awad has homes in both Jerusalem, where his wife, Nancy, is a teacher, and in Wapakoneta, Ohio, where he runs a counseling clinic for delinquent teen-agers.

In a book entitled "Nonviolent Resistance: A Strategy for the Occupied Territories," he urges the 1.4 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to refuse to pay taxes, to lie down in front of bulldozers to prevent land confiscation and to boycott Israeli products.

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