TEL AVIV (Aug. 26)
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Chaim Bar-Lev today signed a detention order permitting the continued holding for questioning the two Algerian high Secret Service officials who had been taken from a BOAC plane which had landed at Lydda Airport last week while en route from Hong Kong to London. The two men, Maj. Khatib Jaloul, identified as the head of the Algerian Secret Police, and Ali Bel Aziz, a high ranking Secret Service official who had been posing as a businessman, were being held at an undisclosed hotel. Officials denied reports that the two men were on a hunger strike. The detention order, issued under regulations in force since the days of the British Mandate, was necessary since Israeli law does not permit lengthy detention without such an order. As the order was signed, two officials of the International Federation of Airline Pilots Association (IFALPA), Capt. James O’Grady. President, and Capt. Charles Jackson, Secretary, continued their efforts to secure the release of the two Algerians. They met yesterday with Foreign Minister Abba Eban without securing a release date for the two men. If their efforts were unsuccessful by next week, they said, they would call upon the chairman of the Association to “exert more pressure” upon the Israeli authorities.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Israeli Transport Workers Trade Union today advised the International Federation of Transport Workers that the two Algerians were being held for questioning under rules set by international law and procedures. In reply to queries from the London based Secretariat of the International Federation, TWTU Secretary Yona Yagol cabled a reply that the two Algerians held in Israel were actually “high ranking officers. As such–and since Algeria openly declared that she was in a state of war with Israel–they are considered as part of the fighting forces against Israel and their interrogation is within the rights of international law and procedure.” Mr. Yagol said there was no conflict between their being questioned as members of an enemy army and the right to “freedom of transport in the air.” He told the International Federation that he had learned from “well informed sources” that the questioning of the Algerians would soon be over.”