Chicago — The US State Department's decision to extradite Ziad Abu Ein, a West Bank resident, to Israel caught the Palestinian, his lawyers, and his supporters completely by surprise, Monitor correspondent Lucia Mouat reports. Mr. Abu Ein, who was taken from his jail cell here Nov. 12 and apparently rushed aboard a plane in the company of US marshals, is wanted by Israel on charges of planting a bomb in a Tiberius marketplace which killed two boys and injured many other shoppers. He was arrested and jailed in Chicago in August 1979 while visiting relatives here and has vigorously protested his innocence ever since.
The State Department's legal decision was not expected for another week. In the memo accompanying his decision Undersecretary of State William Clark said he was not judging Abu Ein's guilt or innocence and said he was confident that he would have a ''just trial in an open system.'' Abu Ein vehemently insists that it's impossible for him to get a fair trial in Israel.
''I wouldn't want to predict what the reaction might be in the Arab world but . . . this marks the first time a Palestinian or Arab has been handed by any country to the state of Isreal,'' saus Suhail Miari, director of the Ziad Abu Ein Defense Committee.