Prominent Arab-American detained in Israel, group says

WASHINGTON -- The largest Arab-American organization in the United States said Friday that its president was denied entry into Israel and detained at Tel Aviv airport because of his politicalviews.

Israeli officials had no immediate comment on the report.


The Washington-based American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee said it learned from the group's office in Jerusalem that ADC President Abdeen Jabara was being held until his deportation back to the United States.

'Mr. Jabara is being held incommunicado and will be kept in police custody overnight, after which he will be returned to the United States,' the organization said in a statement.

The statement said Jabara, who is an American citizen, was reportedly denied entry into the Jewish state by the Israeli Interior Ministry because of his political actitivies.

James Abourezk, chairman of the largest Arab-American group in the United States with more than 25,000 members, urged the Reagan administration 'to forcefully protest this arbitrary action against a prominent American.'

'I am outraged by the Israeli government's actions against Mr. Jabara, who is an American citizen and fully within his rights,' Abourezk said.

'He has been singled out because of his political views -- views which happen to be shared by many Israeli and American citizens,' he said.


Jabara had travelled to Israel and the Israeli-occupied territories twice during the past year, the AEC chairman said, and on a number of other occasions 'without incident.'

The reported arrest came two days after Secretary of State George Shultz announced that PLO leader Yasser Arafat had met U.S. conditions for a dialogue by recognizing Israel and renouncing terrorism in Geneva that day.

U.S. Ambassador Robert Pelletreau was designated the official American representative and held unprecedented talks with PLO officials Friday.

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