ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A northern Virginia man who says he fears torture by the hands of Israeli authorities is again within the U.S. after a decide’s order pressured immigration authorities to reverse his deportation and produce him again from Israel earlier than he ever acquired off the airplane.

Abdelhaleem Ashqar just lately served 11 years in jail for refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating the Palestinian militant group Hamas. In 2005, he ran to succeed Yasser Arafat as president of the Palestinian Nationwide Authority, all whereas confined to his Alexandria house on home arrest as he awaited trial. He completed fourth in a discipline of seven.

In line with courtroom papers and interviews, U.S. authorities arrested Ashqar on Tuesday and shortly deported him on a chartered flight after deceptive him about his have to report back to an immigration workplace to course of paperwork.

By Thursday, although, Ashqar, 60, was again within the U.S. He’s now at a detention facility in Bowling Inexperienced, Virginia, as his case awaits an expedited ruling from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court docket of Appeals in Richmond.

The turnaround adopted a late-night emergency listening to Tuesday in federal courtroom by which the decide inquired about turning across the airplane carrying Ashqar mid-flight.

In the end, although, the airplane landed in Israel, the place U.S. officers say they deliberate to make preparations to show him over to Palestinian authorities.

However deportations to Palestinian territory should be carried out by means of Israel, mentioned Ashqar’s immigration lawyer, Patrick Taurel. So Israel might both intercept and interrogate Ashqar earlier than handing him over to the Palestinians, or the Palestinians would possibly merely hand Ashqar over to the Israelis, Taurel mentioned.

Ashqar, who was born within the Palestinian West Financial institution and got here to the U.S. in 1989 on a short lived visa to check on the College of Mississippi, has a reputable worry of torture by the hands of Israel, Taurel mentioned; Ashqar says he was imprisoned and crushed by Israeli interrogators within the 1980s after protesting the Israeli occupation of the West Financial institution.

After the listening to, U.S. District Decide T.S. Ellis III issued a ruling by which he largely mentioned he mentioned he had no authority to intervene within the deportation. He did say, although, he was involved that Immigration and Customs Enforcement was not finishing up the deportation correctly. Ashqar’s elimination order specifies he be deported to Jordan, so Ellis barred immigration officers from turning Ashqar over to Israeli authorities in any approach.

In doing so, he said in a footnote that his ruling “should not be construed in any approach as accepting as true petitioner’s (Ashqar’s) declare that he was tortured by Israeli officers prior to now and that he has a bona fide worry that he can be tortured.”

ICE officers issued an announcement Saturday saying the bureau totally complied with Ellis’ order. The assertion mentioned officers returned Ashqar to the U.S. Thursday as a result of they have been “prohibited from executing the elimination if Ashqar was delivered to Israeli authorities.”

The U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace for the Japanese District of Virginia, which is defending the federal government’s actions in courtroom, declined remark Saturday.

Taurel mentioned authorities can’t deport Ashqar to Jordan as a result of the Jordanians gained’t settle for him. Certainly, Taurel mentioned information in one in all Ashqar’s courtroom proceedings present that then-Division of Homeland Safety Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen raised the difficulty on to her Jordanian counterparts to no avail.

Taurel expressed frustration about the best way by which the deportation was carried out. He mentioned ICE brokers will usually conduct deportations unannounced when folks make common check-ins at immigration places of work. However he mentioned that is the primary time {that a} consumer was deported after he had obtained specific assurances that might not happen.

Ashqar’s household mentioned they accompanied him to the immigration workplace in Fairfax on Tuesday when he was deported. His spouse, Asmaa, mentioned brokers assured her every part was fantastic at the same time as they took him away in handcuffs. She mentioned she waited 4 hours earlier than an agent got here out and instructed her her husband had been deported and was going to Israel.

“It’s like a film. It’s unbelievable,” she mentioned.

After he completed serving his jail sentence, Ashqar spent one other 18 months in immigration custody as officers appeared for a method to deport him. He was lastly launched in December after his attorneys efficiently petitioned to get him out. In the course of the 5 months he was free, Asmaa mentioned, “he didn’t like to depart the home. He needed to only keep house with us.”

Ashqar’s son, Ahmad Mohammed, likened his father’s deportation to a kidnapping. He mentioned the household was capable of communicate to him by telephone after he was introduced again to the U.S.

“He’s hanging in there,” he mentioned. “He’s occupied with us greater than he’s occupied with himself.”

In this Feb. 1, 2007 file photo, Abdelhaleem Ashqar is surrounded by cameramen as he leaves federal court with his wife, in Chicago. Ashquar who says he fears torture at the hands of Israeli authorities, is back in the U.S. after a judge's order forced immigration authorities to reverse his deportation and bring him back from Israel before he ever got off the plane. According to court papers and interviews, U.S. authorities arrested and deported Ashqar Tuesday, June 4, 2019 after misleading him about his need to report to an immigration office to process paperwork.

Hamas issued an announcement Thursday condemning the deportation and holding the U.S. accountable for his therapy.

The assertion mentioned Ashqar “is a nationwide icon who is understood for his sense of nationalism and loyalty for his folks. … Certainly, all of the Palestinian persons are happy with him.”

An electronic mail looking for remark from the Israeli Embassy in Washington was not instantly returned Saturday.