The Palestinian authorities have warned the Israeli government that deportation of the families of suicide bombers and other participants of the Palestinian resistance movement "will lead to further outbursts of violence".
According to a RIA Novosti correspondent, who referred to the Palestinian radio, the warning was voiced by Nabil Abu Rudeina, senior aide to chief of the Palestinian national autonomy Yasser Arafat.
On Friday morning Israeli troops arrested 16 close relatives of Palestinians, allegedly involved in terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens in the West Bank. According to other sources, the number of the arrested people amounted to 21.
The Israeli government intends to resort to deportation for the first time since the beginning of the latest popular uprising - intifada - on the Palestinian territories in September 2000, as a collective punishment for unceasing terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians.