Ashrawi Will Not Be Prosecuted, Israeli Attorney General Decides

Attorney General Yosef Harish will not prosecute Palestinian activist Hanan Ashrawi for alleged meetings with officials of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Tunis.

The attorney general announced his decision a week after State Attorney Dorit Beinish recommended that the government not press legal charges against the popular activist. Beinish had questioned police claims against Ashrawi and also pointed out the political implications of arresting or trying her.

The Israeli police had recommended Ashrawi’s indictment after investigating charges that she had met with the PLO, an infringement of Israeli law.

Harish did not say in his announcement that there were insufficient grounds for prosecution. He said in reaching his decision, he took into account “interests and values which are more important than the possible benefit which would derive from pressing charges against Ashrawi.”

Ashrawi, a lecturer at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank, served as spokeswoman for the Palestinian delegation at the Madrid peace talks.

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