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Israeli Court Rejects Hijacker’s Refugee Claim

An Israeli court rejected on Friday a hijacker’s plea that he be released from jail and recognized as a political refugee.

Reza Jabari, 29, an Iranian flight attendant, hijacked an Iranian Boeing 707 passenger jet on a domestic flight on Sept. 29. He forced it to fly to Israel, where he surrendered to authorities. The plane, with its 174 passengers and crew, returned to Iran the following day.

Jabari’s lawyer, Shmuel Saadya, told the Beer Sheba District Court that Jabari wished to settle in Israel, get married and promote peace between Israel and Iran.

The attorney general is expected to decide in the next few days whether to prosecute Jabari for air piracy, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

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