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Foreign Ministry Confirms It Has Barred Entry of Anthony Nutting, Now a Journalist

The Foreign Ministry confirmed yesterday that it has barred the entry to Israel of Anthony Nutting, a former British Minister of State who is now a journalist, because of “hostile” remarks he was reported to have made while visiting Arab countries. A ministry spokesman said the British Embassy in Tel Aviv was advised that Israel considered the proposed visit by Mr. Nutting undesirable.

The former Conservative MP said in Amman, Jordan today that the decision to bar him from Israel showed “how arrogant the Israelis’ attitude is toward anyone who criticizes them.” Mr. Nutting attributed the Israeli ban to his remark that the Israel-occupied West Bank was “one large prison.” adding that they “must have something terrible to hide.”

An Israeli spokesman said yesterday that Mr. Nutting would have been welcomed to visit the West Bank and see conditions for himself. He was barred because of a speech he made to students in Beirut several days ago in which he reportedly said that the Palestine question can be solved only by force and that it was up to the Palestinian guerrillas to impose such a solution. The spokesman called those remarks inimical to Israel’s security. Mr. Nutting said he would not try to force his way across the Allenby bridge and preferred to remain in Amman with “my friends.”

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