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Arab-American leaders meet with Rice

Arab-American leaders discussed unexploded Israeli bombs in South Lebanon and restrictions on Palestinians with dual citizenship with Condoleezza Rice. The delegation meeting with the U.S. secretary of state Monday included leaders of the American Task Force on Palestine, the Arab American Institute and the Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. They discussed Israeli restrictions on dual Palestinian citizens traveling to Palestinian areas. Israel, which controls most entries to Palestinian areas, traditionally checked with the Palestinian Authority before allowing in dual citizens; that practice has been suspended for more than a year because Israel will not deal with P.A. officials as long as they are governed by Hamas.American Palestinians say that has hindered trade and assistance for an economy in dire straits. Rice last year promised to look into the issue. The delegation also asked Rice to pressure Israel into divulging the coordinates of cluster bombs dropped on southern Lebanon during last year’s war to facilitate in the cleanup of unexploded bombs. It also presented a letter asking for the United States to take a more active role in supporting the Arab League peace initiative that was signed by 50 Arab-American community leaders.