A visit to Amman, Jordan, by an Israeli journalist and former member of parliament to meet with senior officials of the Palestine Liberation Organization has rekindled controversy over prohibited contacts by Israelis with enemy agents.
Uri Avneri, editor of the leftist journal Haolam Hazeh, returned to Israel early today from Cairo after spending about a week in Amman, where he met with Jordanian officials and leaders of the PLO.
Avneri, founder of the Progressive List for Peace party, said he entered Amman on Feb. 27 with a West German passport and a stamp of approval placed in his Israeli passport by the Israeli Interior Ministry. He said he had obtained permission for the trip from Prime Minister Shimon Peres.
A spokesman for the prime minister said Peres "was in agreement" about the visit, and that the Foreign and Defense ministries had been informed.
On the flight from Cairo to Amman, Avneri met and talked with Khalil Wazir, top PLO military commander, also known as Abu Jihad. In Amman, he said, he also met with members of the Palestine National Council, the PLO's parliament-in-exile.
Israelis can be prosecuted for meeting PLO representatives on the grounds that the PLO officials are either citizens of Arab countries in a state of war with Israel or are classified as enemy agents.
The last Israeli to visit Amman, journalist Amnon Kapeliuk, was tried upon his return and fined.
Avneri, in a telephone interview, said that he had been invited to go to Amman on a fact-finding mission and had received permission from "the highest authority in Israel."