TEL AVIV (Aug. 29)
A Nablus military tribunal rejected today a plea by a member of an Arab sabotage group that he be recognized as a prisoner of war according to the Geneva Convention. Adnan Ghanem, 22, one of a gang of ten marauders charged with subversive and hostile activities, claimed that he was a lieutenant in the so-called Palestinian Commando Battalion 421 which operated under Iraqi command. But the court ruled that by entering Israel-held territory in civilian clothing, using forged documents and mingling with civilians in Nablus, the prisoner forfeited any claim to POW status under the Geneva Convention.
Ghanem supplied his interrogators with the names and addresses of other members of his group and also disclosed other underground cells. He was separated from his comrades for his own protection but objected by going on a hunger strike and had to be helped into court today because of his weakened condition. The prosecution feared that the prisoner might be beaten up or worse by his comrades for informing on them.