JERUSALEM (Dec. 30)
The International Red Cross has officially agreed to Israel’s request to investigate the condition of Israeli prisoners held in Syrian jails, it was announced here today.
The notification from the international organization said that the Red Cross will ask the Syrian authorities to permit its representatives to visit the prisoners and the Syrian reply will be communicated to Israel as soon as possible.
Foreign Minister Golda Meir informed the Cabinet yesterday that Israel had submitted to the Red Cross the names of 11 prisoners known to be in Syria and also requested Gen. Odd Bull, chief of staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, to use his office to secure the early release of the prisoners. Gen. Bull was also asked to arrange that the Israeli prisoners be visited by UN observers and Red Cross representatives pending their release. She said a copy of this request had been sent to UN Secretary-General U Thant in New York.
The Israel Ministry of Health, meanwhile, is planning to invite international medical experts to examine the 11 Israelis released by Syria in a prisoner exchange 10 days ago. The Red Cross has already rejected an Israeli request that its medical personnel examine the released Israelis.