TEL AVIV (Aug. 24)
An Israeli Army spokesman announced today that Ali Bel Aziz. one of two Algerians removed from a British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) plane which had stopped at Lydda Airport 10 days ago while en route from Hong Kong to London, was a high official of the Algerian Secret Service. Mr. Bel Aziz had been posing as a businessman. His identity was discovered after the Army had moved into the case taking over from civil authorities. Mr. Bel Aziz’s companion. Maj. Khatib Jaloul, had earlier been identified as the head of the Algerian Secret Service. Army spokesmen said the investigation was continuing. It was indicated in political circles that the two Algerians may now be considered to be prisoners of war as the Algerian government has declared that she was at war with Israel.
Meanwhile, two executives of the International Federation of Airlines Pilots Association (IFALPA), Jim O’Grady, president and C. Jackson, secretary, arrived here last night to negotiate the release of the two men. They met today with Arthur Lourie, the Deputy Director General of the Foreign Ministry. They will meet tomorrow with Foreign Minister Abba Eban. Mr. Jackson said the two men would stay until the Algerians were released. If their efforts were unavailing, he said, other IFALPA executives will arrive to pursue the goal of freedom for the Algerians. He also said that there can be no question of prisoner exchanges. Maj. Jaloul was reported to have had a hand in the detention of hijacked passengers of an El Al plane to Algeria two years ago. The plane, its 42 male Israeli passengers and its crew were held in Algeria for 39 days until exchanged for Arab terrorists in Israeli custody.