TEL AVIV (Sep. 17)
An Army spokesman disclosed today that 307 of some 450 West Bank and Gaza Strip residents arrested last weekend on suspicion of membership in or collaboration with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine have been released. He said they had been released after investigations had cleared them. The spokesman gave no other details but presumably the 307 included 25 Arab women and 50 men who were released last Monday. Some observers viewed the mass arrests as a strategic move by Israel to strengthen its bargaining position with the terrorists holding more than 50 airline hostages in Jordan. However. Foreign Minister Abba Eban strongly denied such reports, asserting that the roundup had been purely a security matter.