The Jewish Defense League announced plans yesterday to demonstrate Sunday outside the Hanafi Muslims' headquarters here, and federal and D.C. officials said they were watching the situation closely.
Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the JDL, said he hoped several hundred persons would take part in the demonstration outside the Muslims' house at 7700 16th St. NW.
The house is the home of Hamaas Abdul Khaalis, leader of the group that held 124 persons hostage here last week at B'nai B'rith, the District Building and the Islamic Center.
Meanwhile, in an apparent response to a telegram sent Wednesday by Kahane, Khaalis' wife read a press statement yesterday that contained a sharp warning to the JDL.
"It's very sensitive," said D.C. Mayor Walter E. Washington. "The matters are still being sorted out." He said he had discussed the situation with top police officials and was confident of "their ability to handle the entire matter."
"At his juncture," he added during his press conference yesterday, "that's about all I can say."
Deputy D.C. Police Chief Arthur F. DiGennaro, director of community relations for the department, said police would be prepared for any eventuality.
Asked last night whether an injunction might be sought to prevent or restrict the proposed demonstration, U.S. Attorney Earl J. Silbert said only that public safety officials "are going to consider all possible alternatives."
Statements issued yesterday by the JDL and the hanafis, couched at points in the hot rhetoric of challenge and defienace, followed a telegram that the JDL said was sent Wednesday to the Muslims.
In the telegram, Kahane said: "Expect immediate apology for words and actions against Jewish people and the God of Israel. we are not B'Nai B'rith, Never Again."
In an interview lasw night, Kahane said he was particularly concerned about the reports of anti-Jewish actions and statements by those of the Hanafis who held hostages at the B'nai B'rith headquarters here.
In the interview he said he planned to bring "tough Jews" to demonstrate here Sunday to show that actions such as those of last week "won't go unanswered."
He said he hoped to have "several hundred" people outside the Hanafis' house armed with unspecified "legal weapons."
Shortly before the start of a press conference in New York yesterday at which the JDL announced plans for the demonstration, Khaalis' wife, Khadyja, read a statement to the press at the house on 16th Street NW.
In the statement, copies of which were given reporters, she said the JDL had "treatened" all Hanafis throughout America by telephone and a telegram from . . . Meir Kahane."
In a concluding paragraph, her statement warned the JDL that "they will write their epitaph in self-destruction and the blood of their people . . ."
Much of the statement was devoted to attacks on "Zionist Jews", whom it linked to the Black Muslims. A group of Black Muslims from Philadelphia was tried here three years ago for the murders of seven Hanafi Muslims, including five children, at the Hanafi house.
At the same time, here statement had praise for D.C. Police Chief Maurice J. Cullinane and Capt. Joseph M. O'brien, head of the homicide branch, who supervised the investigation of the 1973 murders.
The Hanafis "work with them for peace, goodwill and understanding," the statement said. Abdul Aziz Khaalis' son-in-law noted to reporters that Khaalis himself was barred by court order from making public statements.