Newsmen Force Retraction of Jordanian Charges Israelis Applying Death Penalty

Two former Jordanian officials were forced by sharp questioning at a sparsely-attended news conference here to retract a charge that Israeli occupation authorities were imposing death sentences on Arabs in the West Bank area.

The charge was one of a number of similar allegations made by Rouhi el-Khatib, former mayor of East Jerusalem, and Rimahoui Kassem, former vice-president of the Jordanian Parliament and Information Minister, on a tour of Europe. The two Jordanians accused Israel of aggression and with “unjustified annexation” of East Jerusalem, as well as of enforcing “oppressive military and emergency laws” in the occupied areas and with “imposing death and life imprisonment on the slight suspicion of using arms.” Under questioning, they conceded that no death sentences had been imposed in the occupied areas. The former mayor reportedly said in Geneva that demonstrations against Israeli “oppression” in East Jerusalem were being carried out by Arab women because the Israelis “have threatened demonstrators with 15 years’ imprisonment.”

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