East Jerusalem Arab Women Released Following Intervention by Notables

Two East Jerusalem Arab women civic leaders, who were detained two weeks ago on suspicion of participation in subversive activities, were released yesterday. Under the administrative order on which they were arrested, they could have been held for three months.

Officials said the women had given written promises to refrain from political activity, a pledge backed by several Arab notables, including the Mufti of Jerusalem; the former Jordanian Defense Minister, Anwar Nusseibeh; and the mayors of Nablus and Hebron. Their release was recommended by Israeli Police Minister Eliahu Sasson after appeals by the Arab notables. Officials also reported that the house arrest of a third Arab woman has been lifted. A number of prisoners in Judea and Samaria will receive amnesty on Id El Fitr, the feast ending the Moslem holy month of Ramadan, it was learned.

The detention of the two Arab women – one the wife of former Jordanian Jerusalem mayor Rouhi el-Katib – was protested by the Jordanian Ambassador to the United Nations, in a letter to UN Secretary-General U Thant. Ambassador Mohammed H. el-Farra charged, in the letter, that a third Jordanian citizen, Nazeeh Kurah, a teacher, “was sentenced arbitrarily to three years imprisonment under the pretext that he opposed Israeli changes in the school’s curriculum.”

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