2 West Bank Notables Prevented from Meeting with British High Official

The West Bank military government prevented two prominent Palestinian leaders from meeting with visiting British Minister of State Richard Luce as Israeli authorities took tough measures to squash demonstrations in the territory linked to Balfour Day yesterday.

Bassam Shaka, the deposed Mayor of Nablus and Haidar Abdul Shafi, a leader in the Gaza Strip sympathetic to the Palestine Liberation Organization, were barred from a meeting Luce had here with two other Palestinian notables, Mayor Elias Friej of Bethlehem and Anwar Nusseiba, a former Defense Minister of Jordan who heads the East Jerusalem Electric Corp. Shaka was reportedly stopped by border police on the way to Jerusalem and forced to return to his home in Nablus.

The military government offered no explanation. The Defense Ministry later told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that it opposed the inclusion of “extremist militant elements identified with the PLO” in any process of a dialogue which might strengthen the position of those elements. Shaka’s attorney, Felicia Langer, charged in a letter to Defense Minister Moshe Arens that the former mayor was being kept under house arrest as his home is under 24-hour guard.

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