BelgiumPalestine

Palestinian militant’s whereabouts in Belgium a secret

The whereabouts in of exiled Palestinian Khalil Mohammed Abdullah Nawareh remain shrouded in secrecy owing to concerns for his safety and public order.

Khalil Mohammed Abdullah Nawareh, 24, whom the Israeli government describes as a junior Tanzim operative, was one of 13 alleged Palestinian militants exiled to as part of an -brokered deal to end the five-week Church of the Nativity standoff in Bethlehem. Eleven others have been taken in by Spain, Italy, Greece, Ireland and Portugal, while one remains in Cyprus until his destination is decided.

Chawki Armali, the Palestinian Authority's representative in Brussels, has been allowed to visit Nawareh. “He's in good spirits considering the situation he's in. He spoke to his family on the phone while I was there and explained to them what was going on,” Armali told me.

Nawareh is being granted asylum in Belgium for an initial 12-month period, during which time he is not allowed to enter other EU countries. His movements are currently being strictly controlled and monitored – an arrangement which may be eased if it is seen not to compromise his safety or public order, a government spokesman said.

The ultimate fate of Nawareh and the other 12 exiles, however, remains unclear. Under Belgian law, Nawareh may apply for permanent asylum, but it is far from certain if he would get it as some opposition figures have already voiced their opposition to his presence. Meanwhile, the EU is expected to review their longer-term status at a later date.

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, which blames the men for terrorist attacks against its citizens, has indicated that it will not allow them back into the occupied Palestinian territories. Palestinian diplomats, who say there is no hard evidence connecting the exiles with terrorist attacks, hope to be able to repatriate them once the political is again conducive to dialogue.

________

This article appeared in the 30 May 2002 issue of The Bulletin.

 

Author

  • Khaled Diab

    Khaled Diab is an award-winning journalist, blogger and writer who has been based in Tunis, Jerusalem, Brussels, Geneva and Cairo. Khaled also gives talks and is regularly interviewed by the print and audiovisual . Khaled Diab is the author of two books: Islam for the Politically Incorrect (2017) and Intimate Enemies: Living with Israelis and Palestinians in the Holy Land (2014). In 2014, the Anna Lindh Foundation awarded Khaled its Mediterranean Journalist Award in the press category. This website, The Chronikler, won the 2012 Best of the Blogs (BOBs) for the best English-language blog. Khaled was longlisted for the Orwell prize in 2020. In addition, Khaled works as communications director for an environmental NGO based in Brussels. He has also worked as a communications consultant to intergovernmental organisations, such as the EU and the UN, as well as civil . Khaled lives with his beautiful and brilliant wife, Katleen, who works in humanitarian aid. The foursome is completed by Iskander, their smart, creative and artistic son, and Sky, their mischievous and footballing cat. Egyptian by birth, Khaled's life has been divided between the and Europe. He grew up in and the UK, and has lived in Belgium, on and off, since 2001. He holds dual Egyptian-Belgian nationality.

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Khaled Diab

Khaled Diab is an award-winning journalist, blogger and writer who has been based in Tunis, Jerusalem, Brussels, Geneva and Cairo. Khaled also gives talks and is regularly interviewed by the print and audiovisual media. Khaled Diab is the author of two books: Islam for the Politically Incorrect (2017) and Intimate Enemies: Living with Israelis and Palestinians in the Holy Land (2014). In 2014, the Anna Lindh Foundation awarded Khaled its Mediterranean Journalist Award in the press category. This website, The Chronikler, won the 2012 Best of the Blogs (BOBs) for the best English-language blog. Khaled was longlisted for the Orwell journalism prize in 2020. In addition, Khaled works as communications director for an environmental NGO based in Brussels. He has also worked as a communications consultant to intergovernmental organisations, such as the EU and the UN, as well as civil society. Khaled lives with his beautiful and brilliant wife, Katleen, who works in humanitarian aid. The foursome is completed by Iskander, their smart, creative and artistic son, and Sky, their mischievous and footballing cat. Egyptian by birth, Khaled’s life has been divided between the Middle East and Europe. He grew up in Egypt and the UK, and has lived in Belgium, on and off, since 2001. He holds dual Egyptian-Belgian nationality.

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