Newsletter : 5fax0922.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Sept. 22, 1995, V3, #175
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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Iranian May be Charged with Air Piracy
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
An Israeli court has ordered the confessed hijacker of an Iranian
airliner held for 15 days, while the authorities prepare charges
against him and consider his request for political asylum.
The 29-year-old flight attendant was brought before a judge in
Eilat Thursday, less than 12-hours after the plane had flown back
to Iran. The judge said the prisoner, Reza Jabari, had confessed
to the hijacking and told investigators he wanted to flee Iran.
Israeli authorities are planning to charge him with air piracy,
hijacking, weapons possession, and infiltration. The judge said
Israel is also seriously considering his request for political
The prisoner told the court he never wanted to hurt anyone. All
176 of the plane's other passengers and crew members returned to
Iran unharmed late wednesday, after spending about 30-hours at a
remote air base in southern Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said he had allowed the
hijacked plane to land around midday on Tuesday after the pilot
said he might crash for lack of fuel. The plane's return was
delayed until late Wednesday by political considerations and a
Egyptian POW Burial Sites Discovered in Sinai
By David Gollust (VOA-Cairo)
Egyptian officials say they will investigate the reported discovery
in the Sinai of two burial sites of Egyptian prisoners killed by
Israeli troops in the 1967 Six Day War. The POW issue is becoming
a serious irritant in Egyptian-Israeli relations.
Egyptian officials say they intend to examine the two sites in the
Sinai to try to determine if they are -- as reported -- mass graves
of Egyptian prisoners killed by Israeli troops in 1967.
The Egyptian government newspaper Al-Ahram said Wednesday its
reporters found human bones at two locations near El-Arish in the
Sinai after having been guided there by alleged eyewitnesses to
Israeli prisoner killings.
More than 80 Egyptians are said to have been killed in the two
incidents, although the Al-Ahram report said only bone fragments
and no complete skeletons had been found at the two sites. It
quoted an Egyptian doctor as concluding that the bones were human
and more than 20 years old -- and suggesting that other remains
could have weathered away in the shallow graves.
The POW issue emerged as a major problem in Israel-Egyptian
relations in August, when a retired Israeli general said he had
killed 49 Egyptian prisoners during the 1956 Sinai campaign because
he didn't have enough men to guard them.
Other Israeli veterans have since come forward with accounts of
prisoner killings during the Six Day War in 1967 -- prompting
Egyptian demands for an investigation by Israel and trial of those
Israel's attorney general has called the murder of prisoners of
war unlawful and intolerable but says Israeli law does not allow
murder charges to be filed more than 20 years after the alleged
crime was committed.
The Israeli stance has come under attack in the Egyptian press,
with commentators accusing Israel of hypocrisy for continuing to
seek action against those responsible for World War 2 atrocities
against Jews while citing a statute of limitations in the POW
Israel is indignant over the comparison of Nazi genocide to the
prisoner issue, and has reacted bitterly to an Egyptian magazine's
allegation that the Egyptian-born Israeli ambassador in Cairo,
David Sultan, had himself killed prisoners in 1956. Sultan says he
was a teenage army clerk during the Sinai campaign and had no
Autonomy Deadline Passes
By David Gollust (VOA-Cairo)
The Israeli/PLO talks in Egypt on a second phase of Palestinian
autonomy remain stalled over future Israeli troop deployments in
the West Bank. Negotiators now say an agreement might not be
reached until October.
The delegations led by PLO leader Yasir Arafat and Israeli Foreign
Minister Shimon Peres have held some 50 hours of talks since
Sunday. But negotiations are still hung up over the details of what
is to be an Israeli troop withdrawal from the major Arab towns in
the West Bank, including violence-plagued Hebron.
A spokesman for Arafat said that while the voluminous accord
providing for the next stage of autonomy is 90 percent complete,
finishing the deal will be difficult and the process might drag
The two sides missed their goal of signing the agreement in
Washington Thursday and the Arafat spokesman said a fall-back
target date of Sept. 28 might not be attainable either.
In the absence of an early accord, the talks at the Egyptian Red
Sea resort of Taba will have to be suspended for Jewish New Year's
observances beginning Sunday. But Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin told
Israel Army Radio a signing delay of one or two weeks will not
cause any great harm, and that the peace process is still on track.
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