Israel Refuses Entry to Plane Bomber After Prison Term

WASHINGTON (AP) -

A Jordanian-born Palestinian responsible for a deadly 1982 airline bombing sought to be deported to Yehudah and Shomron upon completing his prison term last year, but the Israeli government denied the request, citing problems with his identity documents, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Since then there have been “confidential diplomatic dealings” aimed at moving Mohammed Rashed, now 66, out of the U.S. and fulfilling an earlier commitment to deport him, court filings show.

Rashed was released from federal prison in March 2013 for the bombing of Pan Am 830, which killed a Japanese teenager and injured more than a dozen passengers aboard the Hawaii-bound plane. A onetime lieutenant of a Palestinian bomb maker featured on the FBI’s list of most-wanted terrorists, Rashed remains at a federal immigration detention facility in upstate New York that houses those awaiting deportation.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a June 25, 2013, memo that Rashed’s Palestinian passport and birth certificate “contain material discrepancies” about his place and date of birth.

Even before that rejection, government officials had discussed coordinating travel plans with other foreign countries. “It will take a little push to have Jordan accept and provide a security detail,” an email said.

Issa Karake, head of the Palestinian government’s prisoner affairs department, told the AP that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was “contacting the Israeli side and other countries to … bring him back to the country.”