Government to Submit New Measure Ending Ban on Meetings with PLO
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Government to Submit New Measure Ending Ban on Meetings with PLO

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The government is planning to propose legislation next week lifting a ban on meetings between Israeli citizens and officials of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Justice Minister David Libai said the proposed measure makes such meetings a criminal offense only if they are intended to prejudice the security of the state.

The decision by a ministerial defense committee to submit the legislation to Parliament comes in response to pressure from left-wing Labor Knesset member Yael Dayan.

Dayan, who had come under criticism for meeting with a PLO official in Europe, threatened to submit her own private member’s bill if the government failed to act by the end of the month.

Labor and its left-of-center coalition partner Meretz pledged in their election platforms last spring to abrogate current provisions making it a crime to meet with PLO officials, no matter what the motive.

Libai said the bill equalizes the status of the PLO with that of other enemy states in respect to such meetings.

Veteran Tel Aviv peace campaigner Abie Nathan was sentenced to two jail terms for meetings he held with PLO leaders. His second term was commuted by President Chaim Herzog earlier this year.

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