MidEast

U.S. to Deport Palestinian Terrorist Who Lied on Citizenship Application

A Palestinian terrorist who was convicted in a 1969 bombing that left two Hebrew University students dead was stripped of her citizenship at a court hearing Thursday and will be deported.

In April, Rasmeah Odeh admitted to lying about her past terrorist activity on her citizenship application as part of an earlier plea deal.

At the hearing on Thursday, the judge had to interrupt Odeh three times as she railed against the United States and Israel and denied that she is a terrorist.

“This is not a political forum for you to fan the flames of Israeli-Palestinian disputes. … It’s about the application you filled out,” U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain told Odeh. He also threatened to jail her for contempt of court.

By terms of the plea deal, Odeh was stripped of her citizenship and will be deported to Jordan.

Odeh was convicted by an Israeli court in 1970 for bombing a Jerusalem supermarket on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 1969, killing university students Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner and injuring nine other people. She was also involved in the bombing at the British Consulate. Odeh was found guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. Exhibits presented at her trial included physical evidence such as bomb-making material that was found in her bedroom by Israeli police.

In 1980, she was released in a prisoner exchange between Israel and the PFLP. Then immigrated to the U.S. in 1995 and applied for citizenship in 2004. She did not mention her conviction and membership in a terrorist organization on her citizenship application form and in an interview with an immigration officer.

“Had Odeh revealed the truth about her criminal history, as she was required to by law,” the Department of Justice said in a statement, “she never would have been granted an immigrant visa, admitted to the United States, allowed to live here for the last 22 years, or granted United States citizenship.”

[Photo: MLive / YouTube]