Carmel Reveals Steps Have Been Taken to Block Hijacking of Vessels

Transport Minister Moshe Carmel declared in the Knesset (Parliament) today that Israel “will safeguard her international air routes by every means in her power” and demanded that Algeria immediately release the hijacked El Al airliner which it has held since July 23 along with 12 Israeli passengers and crewmembers. It was disclosed meanwhile that special measures have been taken to prevent the hijacking of Israeli vessels on the high seas.

Mr. Carmel said that Israel will make every effort to “activate every possible source and authority and power” to prevent chaos in world air transport. He said that Algeria assumed grave responsibility by continuing to hold the plane. He urged nations and international authorities to take vigorous action against “aerial piracy.” It was learned today that immediately following the hijacking of the Israeli jet airliner, special inspection and control measures were instituted to protect Israeli shipping from similar attempts. Controls were tightened at Israeli seaports and aboard Israeli ships at overseas ports where passengers embarked.

The Algerian Government is continuing to hedge over the release of the Israeli airliner that was hijacked by Arab terrorists on July 23 and forced to land in Algeria. Representatives of the International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations which protested the hijacking were told by Algerian authorities that they were still waiting for additional information and guidance from “friendly countries” before making a decision on the plane, it was reported in Paris today. The Algerian Government is known to be in contact with Italy on the matter. The plane was on a flight from Rome to Tel Aviv when it was hijacked. The Algerian Cabinet is scheduled to meet next Thursday at which time the plane issue will probably be taken up again. A Cabinet meeting in Algiers last Thursday produced a statement that a decision on the plane would have to await further “investigation” of the hijacking.

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