WZO Emissaries, Employes Arrested in Argentina Have Been Released

The five World Zionist Organization shlichim and the three Argentine Jewish employes of the WZO who were arrested in Cordoba, Argentina July 22, have been released, the Foreign Ministry announced today. The announcement, which was made early this morning, came after the Ministry was informed of the release by the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires. The Ministry immediately called WZO officials and families of the five detained Israelis.

Yosef Almogi, chairman of the WZO Executive in a radio broadcast today, thanked the Foreign Ministry for handling the situation discreetly and successfully. The release was greeted with a sign of relief by officials here who had maintained the arrests were the result of a misunderstanding. All eight were arrested after attending a Zionist seminar in Cordoba. There is still no information here as to the cause of the arrests.

The release came after diplomatic efforts in Jerusalem and Buenos Aires and two days after three major Argentine Jewish groups announced that they had asked the Argentine government to free the eight prisoners. The DAIA, the central body of Argentine Jewry; the Federation of Jewish Communities in Argentina and the Argentine Zionist Organization said in a communique Monday that the arrests, had “caused justified concern in the (Jewish) community” and had noted that the eight Jews were devoted exclusively to teaching and spreading Jewish and Zionist values.

SHLICHIM MAY REMAIN

In Israel, the official efforts for the release of the WZO representatives were handled entirely by the Foreign Ministry through Ram Nir Gad, the Israeli Ambassador in Buenos Aires. He met with the Argentine Foreign Minister. Interior Minister and chief of staff among others.

A Jewish Agency spokesman here said today that there is no reason why the shlichim should not resume their work in Argentina since they had been released without any conditions. The JTA has learned that one of the shlichim, Amnon Rudin, whose father is an Israeli police official, has already called his parents in Jerusalem to tell them he was okay and ready to continue with his mission in Argentina.

The other shlichim are Mr. and Mrs. Yitzhak Estrugo of Kibbutz Bahan and Mr. and Mrs. Yosef Pick, of Tel Aviv, who had immigrated to Israel from Argentina. The names of the three Argentine Jews were never released.

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