TWO Palestinian deportees to Lebanon were wounded yesterday, one seriously, as they began marching toward Israeli-controlled territory in a test of Israel's continuing refusal to allow them to return to the West Bank and Gaza.
Meanwhile, two more Palestinians died yesterday as a result of three days of clashes with Israeli authorities in the Gaza town of Khan Yunis over Israel's deportation of 415 alleged Palestinian extremists.
The peaceful deportee procession was met by artillery fire from the Israeli-allied South Lebanese Army (SLA) as the group of 415 marchers walked from their hillside campsite south toward Lebanese territory controlled by the Israeli-allied SLA. SLA militiamen reportedly fired warning shots and artillery at the marchers as they proceeded toward the SLA-controlled Al-Zamriya checkpoint, where they stopped for prayers.
Palestinians in Gaza said more riots would break out in the occupied territories if seriously wounded deportee Majd al-Zamel dies. Mr. al-Zamel was evacuated to the Al Rashiya Hospital inside the SLA zone, but a second injured deportee refused treatment by the SLA. Protest demonstrations
Meanwhile, Palestinian sources in Gaza said an 11-year-old Palestinian, Aiman Amer Abu Ammer, was killed by a gunshot during demonstrations in the town of Khan Yunis yesterday. A second Khan Yunis youth, Mohammed Salim Abu Mussa, died Sunday night in the Israeli hospital Tel Ha Shomer.
Yesterday was the third consecutive day that protestors in Khan Yunis, a fundamentalist stronghold in the southern Gaza Strip, broke the Army-imposed curfew to confront Israeli patrols.
The fundamentalist Hamas movement and the rival Fatah faction of Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat published a rare joint leaflet Sunday calling for coordination of their actions and a "comprehensive escalation" of protests in the occupied lands. Most of Gaza has been under virtually continuous curfew for the past 10 days - since the kidnap-murder of an Israeli policeman by Hamas, which is based in Gaza. Supreme Court to rule
In Jerusalem, meanwhile, civil rights lawyers and families of the Palestinians expelled from the occupied lands pinned hopes for their return on a ruling by the Israeli Supreme Court.
The high court said it would rule late yesterday after hearing four hours of testimony Sunday in an appeal by lawyers who contend the deportations to Lebanon were illegal. The court blocked the expulsions briefly last week before allowing them to proceed Thursday. The justices ordered the government to prove the legality of its action.
At stake may be the future of Middle East peace talks, jeopardized by a storm of international condemnation of the deportations. Palestinians say they will not participate in the talks until the deportees are allowed back into Israel.
All but one member of Israel's Cabinet closed ranks Sunday against the criticism and reaffirmed the decision to expel the fundamentalists. The United States, Israel's strongest ally, was among the nations criticizing the expulsions.
"I don't agree with it and think it is a terrible step to move to these deportations," Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger said Sunday in a television interview.