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Former Israeli President Katzir Detained by Soviet Officials After Visiting Leningrad Refuseniks


Israelis had anxious hours today after Israel Radio reported that former President Ephraim Katzir had been detained by Soviet authorities in Leningrad yesterday.

Telephone calls to his hotel and other locations in Leningrad yielded no information. But Israeli officials finally tracked him down at his Moscow hotel at noon today. Katzir declined to say anything of his experience by phone, other than that he was well and would be leaving the USSR tomorrow on an Aeroflot flight to Paris.

Katzir, a biochemist who was President of Israel from 1973-78, went to the Soviet Union for a scientific meeting. According to Israel Radio he was visiting a family of refuseniks in Leningrad when he and other visitors were detained, apparently by the KGB. It is not known here for how long he was held but he was driven from Leningrad to Moscow today.

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