Rasmea Odeh, Palestinian woman imprisoned in Israel for terror attack, pleads guilty to immigration fraud


(JTA) — A Palestinian woman who had not told U.S. immigration authorities that she was imprisoned in Israel for committing  two terror attacks pleaded guilty to immigration fraud.

Under a plea bargain that she accepted last month, Rasmea Odeh, 69, will not spend time in U.S. prison or detention but will be stripped of her U.S. citizenship and deported.

Odeh, who appeared in U.S. district court in Chicago on Tuesday, has lived in the United States for the last 24 years. Jordan reportedly has agreed to take Odeh. She worked as associate director of the Arab American Action Network, which provides  social services and education, and worked closely with women and immigrants.

Odeh was convicted by Israel of involvement in a 1969 bombing in Jerusalem that killed two and injured nine. She was sentenced by an Israeli military court in 1970 to life in prison for two bombing attacks on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and spent 10 years in prison before being released in a prisoner exchange in 1980.


Odeh confessed to planting the bomb in the 1969 attack, though in recent years has claimed the confession was given under torture, which is disputed by Israeli officials.

In 2015, Odeh was sentenced in the U.S. to 18 months in prison for covering up her conviction and imprisonment in Israel when she entered the country in 1995 and applied for citizenship in 2004, but the conviction was later vacated.