TEL AVIV (Nov. 23)
Details of a plan to blow up the Shalom Tower, Israel’s only skyscraper office building, were disclosed here today at the opening of the trial of a 20-year-old Swiss youth. Rene Brejuel. He was arrested at Haifa port last summer with high explosives concealed on his person. The young man has been linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and to Arab circles in Switzerland. His parents have arrived here with a Swiss lawyer reportedly paid for by the Swiss manager of the Arab Bank in Switzerland. If convicted. Brejuel could be sentenced to death but it is considered unlikely that capital punishment will be applied in his case. Police said that Brejuel talked freely of his plans after he was picked up in Haifa. A sharp-eyed customs inspector spotted the youth after he disembarked from the Italian motorship Messapia with a tourist passport. Despite the summer heat he was wearing a jacket and an overcoat. A search showed him to be wearing a specially made corset in which 20 briquets of high explosives were concealed.
According to police Brejuel told them “I am a leftist.” He said he wanted to help the Arab cause and went to Beirut, Lebanon where he contacted the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist group headed by Dr. George Habash. They trained him in the use of explosives and provided him with the corset. He returned to Switzerland, secured a fresh passport and went to Israel to commit sabotage. Police said Brejuel told them he intended to plant the explosives in a lavatory in the Shalom Tower and make his get-away. The 20-story building in the old business district of Tel Aviv is the tallest in Israel. An explosion during business hours could have caused heavy casualties, police said. Police announced yesterday that 12 members of an Arab terrorist cell, all of them Jordanian citizens, have been arrested in various West Bank villages. The round-up followed the confession by 22-year-old Said el-Farah that he planted the two hand grenades which blew up in the Tel Aviv central bus terminal on Nov. 6 fatally wounding two persons and injuring 25 others. El-Farah is an Israeli Arab from Baqa al-Gharibya village near Hedera in central Israel. Magistrate Menachem Ilan ordered him detained.