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Thant’s Intervention on Behalf of Two Algerians Termed Pointless, Useless

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said that no new note has been received from United Nations Secretary General U Thant concerning two high ranking Algerian nationals detained by Israel. The Algerians, Col. Khatib Jaloul and All Bel Aziz, were removed from a BOAC airliner in transit at Lydda Airport two weeks ago. The Ministry spokesman’s statement over the weekend was made in response to press reports from New York that the UN chief had again urged Israel to release the detainees. Reports from UN headquarters that Mr. Thant planned to send a special emissary to Israel to press for their release were termed “pointless and useless” by diplomatic sources here. They pointed out that Mr. Thant never considered such action when Algeria kept a hijacked Israeli airliner and its Israeli male passengers and crew members captive for 39 days in 1968 or when Syria held two Israeli passengers in jail for more than three months after a hijacked TWA airliner was landed at Damascus one year ago.