51 Members Of Congress Urge Ashcroft: Arrest Bethlehem Killers Of American (ZOA-ZIONIST ORGANIZATION AMERICA) NEW YORK 05/30/02)
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NEW YORK - Fifty-one members of Congress have written to U.S. Attorney
General John Ashcroft, urging him to indict and extradite two of the
Palestinian Arab terrorists from Bethlehem who were involved in the
an American citizen.
Ibrahim Abayat and Jihad Ja´ara, both members of Yasir Arafat´s Fatah
terrorist group, were involved in the January 15, 2002 murder of 72
U.S. citizen Avi Boaz. Abayat and Ja´ara were among the terrorists
occupied the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem last month. They
residing in Europe.
The co-sponsors of the Congressional letter to Ashcroft were U.S.
Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY), Rep. J.D.Hayworth (R-OK), House
Leader Rep. Richard Armey (R-TX) and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY).
Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of
America (ZOA), which worked closely with Congress on the letter,
praised Representatives Engel, Hayworth, Armey, and Weiner for their
"courageous and principled efforts to bring Palestinian Arab killers
Americans to justice."
Sarah Stern, director of the ZOA´s Capitol Hill office, added: "These
two killers of Americans are now living in Europe, within easy reach
law enforcement officials. This is a golden opportunity for the Bush
administration to capture and prosecute two terrorists who murdered
citizen. Will the administration fulfill its legal obligation to
them--or it will continue the deplorable policy of the Clinton
of granting de-facto immunity to terrorists who are affiliated with,
the protection of, Yasir Arafat...?"
The full text of the letter follows:
Dear Mr. Attorney General:
We are writing to urge you to take immediate steps to seek the
extradition of two Palestinians sent into ´exile´ from the Church of
Nativity so that they stand trial for the murder of American citizen
of Brooklyn, New York. There is very strong evidence that Ibrahim
Abayat and Jihad Youssef Khalil Ja´ara directed and took part in the
and murder of the 72 year-old Boaz near Bethlehem on January 15,
Justice Department must not allow these terrorists to escape justice
heinous act against an innocent American.
U.S. law --specifically 18 U.S.C. 2331 and 2332-- makes it a crime to
kill or injure, or to conspire to kill or injure, an American
the U.S. in furtherance of a terrorist cause--even if Americans were
intended targets. The law further provides that prosecutions shall be
undertaken only with the "written certification of the Attorney
In Congressional testimony last September, you said: "The fight
terrorism is now the highest priority of the Department of Justice."
of that effort, DOJ won an indictment against Sheik Omar Saeed, the
behind Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl´s execution and the
of American Bela Nuss in India in 1994. More recently, DOJ also won
indictment against six members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of
(FARC) on charges of murder in the deaths of three Americans.
We believe that Americans killed by Palestinian terrorists in Israel
are equally deserving of justice and that DOJ´s fight against terror
extend to all U.S. victims of terror. Therefore, we respectfully
urge you to
instruct the DOJ to seek extradition of these two terrorists so they
tried in a U.S. court.
The letter was also signed by House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX);
U.S. Representatives Tom Lantos (D-CA), Ranking Democratic Member of
International Relations Committee; Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Howard
John Boozman (R-AZ), Kevin Brady (R-TX); Bob Clement (D-TN); Howard
(R-NC); Phil Crane (R-IL); Joe Crowley (D-NY); John Culberson (R-
Delahunt (D-MA), Bob Ehrlich (R-MD); Jeff Flake (R-AZ); Randy Forbes
Bob Goodlatte (R-VA); Sam Graves (R-MO); Felix Grucci (R-NY); Steve
(D-NY); Sam Johnson (R-TX); Jack Kingston (R-GA); Frank LoBiondo (R-
Lowey (D-NY); Carolyn Maloney (D-NY); Mike McNulty (D-NY); George
(D-CA); Jeff Miller (R-FL); Jerrold Nadler (D-NY); Tom Osborne (R-
Otter (R-ID); Mike Pence (R-IN); Joseph Pitts (R-PA); Dana
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL); Jim Saxton (R-NJ); Adam Schiff (D-CA); Ed
(R-VA); Pete Sessions (R-TX); Brad Sherman (D-CA); Chris Smith (R-
Souder (R-IN); John Sullivan (R-OK); Pat Tiberi (R-OH); Greg Walkden
Henry Waxman (D-CA); Dave Weldon (R-FL); and Zach Wamp (R-TN). (©2000
Zionist Organization of America 05/30/02)
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