Army Confirms Salah and Jarad Held, Gives No Details
JERUSALEM (AP) _ The Israeli army acknowledged today that it was holding two Arab American men whose whereabouts have been questioned by a U.S. senator, but officials refused to give details.
Sen. Paul Simon D-Ill., has asked that the men be released.
The army said it had no information about a third Arab-American also being held according to Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Zalman Shoval.
Asked whether Mohammed Jarad, 36 and Mohammed Salah, 39 of the Chicago area had been detained in the West Bank city of Ramallah, a military official replied ″they indeed have been detained.″
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity in keeping with military regulations, refused to elaborate.
Edward Salazar, a foreign policy specialist in Simon’s office, said he was told the men were arrested on Monday ″out of some security concerns.″
Jarad was born in Ramallah and Salah in Jerusalem, but both have lived in the United States for about 20 years and are naturalized citizens. Both were said to be visiting relatives.
Families of the Illinois men denied reports in the United States that the detainees had links to Hamas, an anti-Israeli Islamic fundamentalist group.
Officials in Simon’s office said the senator had cabled Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin asking that the men be released if no charges were filed against them. Simon’s office was told that the men can be held up to 14 days without charges.
Spokesmen for Rabin said Friday they knew nothing about the case.