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Hamas leader deported to Jordan

Marzook May 6, 1997
Web posted at: 5:58 p.m. EDT (2158 GMT)

AMMAN, Jordan (CNN) -- A leader of the Palestinian group Hamas pledged Tuesday to return to political life after spending nearly two years in a New York jail.

Musa Abu Marzook returned to Jordan late Monday for the first time since being expelled in 1995. Israel had accused Marzook of controlling the leadership of the segments of Hamas responsible for killing 47 of Israelis between 1990 and 1994.

At a news conference, Marzook would not condemn acts of violence against Israelis, but said future Hamas attacks would not be directed at civilians.

"Killing civilians is not our aim at all," he said.

Marzook phone

Marzook has denied any responsibility for the 10 terrorist attacks but has admitted to leading Hamas' political wing. Israeli dropped a demand for Marzook's extradition as a suspect in the terrorist attacks, leading to his deportation by the United States.

Marzook had been a legal U.S. resident for 15 years at the time of his arrest. After his expulsion from Jordan, he returned to the United States but was arrested because his name had been added to a list of suspected terrorists. He was being held in New York on charges of violating immigration laws.

"The Americans were embarrassed to acquit me after a long time in detention and therefore, they found deportation the best way to end my case," he said.

Marzook was released under an agreement reached two weeks ago that called for him to never return to the United States.

"I have still a lot to do to serve my people and help them achieve their aspirations," he said, surrounded by senior members of Hamas.

Jordan says it decided to accept Marzook as a humanitarian gesture and it only requires him to abide by Jordanian law. Marzook's wife and children will join him in Amman.

 
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