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Army Said to Ban Amos Oz Book at Palestinian Detention Camp

August 9, 1989
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Leading Israeli novelist Amos Oz contends the Israel Defense Force has barred Arab prisoners at the Ketziot detention camp in the Negev from reading one of his books.

Oz, a prominent member of Peace Now, said that he will demand that Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin either publicly apologize for the ban or have the writer arrested for incitement.

Knesset member Yair Tsaban of Mapam also wrote a letter of protest to Rabin, after a copy of Oz’s “In the Land of Israel” was returned to an Israeli attorney who had sent it to a Palestinian client being held in the camp.

Tamar Peleg, an attorney with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, said she sent prisoner Jaber Badran a copy of the book, but it was returned to Peleg last week with the inscription: “Disqualified by security officer Motti.”

Tsaban said that in response to a previous query, Rabin had maintained that books arriving at the detention camp were examined to prevent the entry of “inflammatory material.”

“If this is the sole consideration, it means that someone has defined Oz’s book as inflammatory,” Tsaban wrote.

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