- The Washington Times - Monday, January 26, 2004

JERUSALEM — A Palestinian man, saved from expulsion to the West Bank over the weekend by his Israeli soldier son, has been given a chance by an Israeli court to seek permanent residence in Israel.

Adel Hussein, 52, had been expelled into the West Bank after being stopped by Israeli police on Friday and found to have no Israeli identification papers.

Mr. Hussein, who said he was an illegal worker, was taken to an army checkpoint and ordered to continue into the Palestinian area beyond.

Illegal Palestinian workers are expelled every day, but Mr. Hussein is the father of an Israeli soldier.

Thirty years ago, he had married an Israeli Jew, Stella Peretz, with whom he had a son, Mohammed. The family lived in the West Bank city of Tulkarm until five years ago, when the couple divorced and Mrs. Peretz returned to Israel with their son, whose name was changed to Yossi Peretz.

The father also moved to Israel, illegally, and maintained contact with his son. The youth was drafted into the army upon coming of age and joined a combat unit.

Their story was told in the New York Times two months ago. But when the father showed the article to the soldiers at the checkpoint in a bid to be spared expulsion, a soldier pointed out that the article quoted him as telling his son to carry out his duties properly, even if it meant stopping his own father.

After passing into the West Bank, Mr. Hussein used his cell phone to call a journalist and his son, who arrived in uniform.

An Israeli photographer took the two aboard his vehicle and returned to the checkpoint where the guard on duty, seeing the soldier in the back, waved them through.

Attorneys immediately filed a petition against Mr. Hussein’s expulsion, asserting that he had been forced to flee Tulkarm after residents learned that his son was serving in the Israeli army.

“It is obvious that if he is forced to return to the territories it would be like signing a death warrant,” the petition said. “The son is willing to sacrifice his life for the country, but the Interior Ministry is preventing him from having his father by his side, in Israel.”

On Sunday, the High Court of Justice issued a temporary injunction against Mr. Hussein’s expulsion. His attorneys said they will seek citizenship or permanent residency that will permit him to remain in the country.

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