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Israel Cabinet Endorses Ratification of Tokyo Convention Against Hijacking

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The Israeli Cabinet yesterday endorsed ratification of the 1963 Tokyo Convention against aerial hijacking and other forms of crime against civilian aircraft. The Knesset is expected to ratify the convention when it reconvenes after next month’s national elections. The Cabinet has already approved a draft bill that will make Israeli law conform to the provisions of the Tokyo convention. The action was taken in the wake of the Aug. 29 hijacking on a TWA plane bound for Tel Aviv. The plane was landed in Damascus, where two Israeli passengers are still being held.

The convention has been ratified so far by 10 nations. It requires 11 ratifications to make it binding on all members of international civil aviation associations. Action by the Knesset would automatically put it into force. The convention chapter dealing with hijacked planes provides for the immediate return of the aircraft, its passengers and crew and punishment for the hijackers.

(According to reports from Paris, the French Government will propose that Parliament ratify the Tokyo convention. French Foreign Minister Maurice Schuman has reportedly urged ratification at the earliest possible time.)

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