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Arabs Who Fled Israel for Libya Prevented from Returning Home

Three Israeli Arab youths who immigrated to Libya several months ago want to come home but are having trouble because their passports were confiscated by the Libyan authorities.

The three young men are presently stranded in Cyprus. Mayor Moshe Peretz of Ramla promised their families he would try to cut through red tape to help them, Hadashot reported Monday.

The men come from the village of Jawarish, near Ramla, and are members of the large el-Jaroushi clan, from which the village takes its name.

The village was founded in the 1950s by agreement between the clan and Israeli security officials, with whom the el-Jaroushis always had a special relationship.

In 1974, young people began to leave the village to settle in Arab countries, where they thought there were job opportunities that could make them rich.

Libya, with its oil wealth, was a favored destination. But the three recent emigres were disappointed.

They told their families that they were arrested in Libya, interrogated, accused of being Zionist spies and expelled without their passports.

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