The United States on Wednesday rejected the Palestinian demand for release of radical Palestinian leader Abu Abbas who has been caught by US forces in Baghdad.
A US official insisted that Abbas was not covered by an immunity clause in a 1995 peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians. And the family of an American tourist killed during 1985 hijacking of a cruise liner by Abbas group said they want him pursued.
The immunity deals only with the detention and prosecution of certain people in the jurisdiction of the Jewish state and Palestinian Authority, the official said on condition of anonymity.
"It does not apply to the legal status of persons detained in a third country," the official said of Abbas, the mastermind of the 1985 hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro, who was captured in Baghdad on Monday.