ISRAEL REJECTS CRITICISM OF KIDNAPPING

Israel has rejected growing international criticism of its abduction of a pro-Iranian Muslim leader and dismissed threats of retaliation by guerrillas in southern Lebanon. Britain deplored the abduction, while United States President Bush indirectly criticized it.

Israel has refused to say why it seized Sheikh Abdel Kareem Obeid, but there is speculation the Army intended to use the sheikh to obtain the release of three soldiers who have been held hostage since 1986.

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