TORONTO (Aug. 21)
Mayor Harry Veiner, the Jewish Mayor of Medicine Hat, Alberta, says he is prepared to pay up to $5000 toward the legal fees of Muhammed Atouni, a Libyan national taken into custody in Israel last week after he hijacked a Lebanese airliner to Lod Airport.
Veiner said he cabled his offer to Jerusalem because he believed that the hijacker, however misguided, committed his act because he hoped it would further Middle East peace. “I think this man was trying to say something to all of us and we should listen. If I can help I will.” Veiner said. Atouni claimed after his arrest that the hijacking was a gesture to show that Jewish and Arab nations could live in amity.