Rasmea Odeh, Palestinian American involved in Israeli terror attacks, pleads guilty to immigration fraud


(JTA) — A Palestinian-American woman who had not told U.S. immigration authorities that she was imprisoned in Israel for committing two terror attacks pleaded guilty to immigration fraud.

Rasmea Odeh, 69, will not spend time in U.S. prison or detention but will be stripped of her U.S. citizenship and deported, as stipulated under a plea bargain that she accepted last month. Jordan reportedly has agreed to take Odeh.

Odeh, who appeared in U.S. district court in Chicago on Tuesday, has lived in the United States for the past 24 years. She worked as associate director of the Arab American Action Network, which provides social services and education, and worked closely with women and immigrants.

Israel convicted Odeh of involvement in a 1969 bombing in Jerusalem that killed two and injured nine. In 1970, a military court sentenced Odeh to life in prison for two bombing attacks on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. She spent 10 years in prison before being released in a prisoner exchange in 1980.

Odeh confessed to planting the bomb in the 1969 attack, though in recent years she has claimed the confession was made under torture. Israeli officials dispute the claim.

In 2015, Odeh was sentenced in the U.S. to 18 months in prison for covering up her conviction and imprisonment in Israel when she entered the country in 1995 and applied for citizenship in 2004, but the conviction was later vacated.

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