JERUSALEM (Mar. 9)
More than 30 Arab families from the Gaza Strip who are related to wanted terrorists, have been exiled to a deserted town deep in the Sinai peninsula, it was disclosed today. Another 150 Arabs from the Strip suspected of maintaining contact with terrorists are being held in a special camp in the Sinai it was learned. The issue was raised in the Knesset today. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan denied that the Sinai camp was a “concentration camp.” He said that 34 Gaza Strip families had been sent to Abu Znaima, a former manganese mining town on the shores of the Red Sea about 100 miles south of the Suez Canal, which was abandoned after the Six-Day War. According to Dayan, five families have since been returned to Gaza. The families were suspected of maintaining contact with fugitive terrorists whom they allegedly supplied with money and food. The rationale for the exile was to cut off the sources of support and thereby make it more likely that the terrorists would be captured. Dayan said. Each of the deported families included at least one adult male. In reply to another question, Dayan said Israeli authorities know about terrorists in the Gaza Strip who are members of the Communist Party which is illegal in the area. At an earlier question-and-answer session with a group of disabled veterans, Dayan confirmed a statement attributed to him last month that he would prefer to retain the Sharm el-Sheikh strongpoint in southern Sinai without peace to peace without Sharm el-Sheikh. He said he had been expressing an opinion.