TEL AVIV (May. 16)
French Ambassador Jean Hurly gave an account of yesterday’s events in Maalot which differs sharply with the official version given by Information Minister Shimon Peres at a news conference last night and by Premier Golda Meir in her radio and television address. The French envoy’s account, contained in an interview published in Yediot Achronot today was corroborated in part by a Foreign Ministry document released last night containing a chronological summary of yesterday’s diplomatic contacts aimed at saving the Maalot hostages.
The discrepancies between Hurly’s account and the official Israeli version related to the ambassador’s role in dealings with the terrorists and a mysterious code word with which the ambassador was to identify himself to the terrorists which never arrived. The Foreign Ministry document, however, confirmed the role assigned to the Rumanian Ambassador as stated in the government’s account.
Hurly told Yediot Achronot that he was not supposed to handle negotiations with the terrorists but to serve as their hostage until Israel carried out their demand to free 20 imprisoned terrorists and fly them out of the country. He said the code word was supposed to reach him from Damascus only after the freed terrorists were safely landed in the Syrian capital. According to Peres, the code word was to signal that Israel was about to carry out the terrorists’ demands and the simultaneous release of the hostages. As the terror-
(Continued From Page 1, Column 2) He said yesterday’s massacre that killed 27 in Maalot “affirmed the humane character of our revolutionaries.” According to the terrorist chief. “The language of arms and logic” had been used to show the Israelis that their government could not protect them against “the blows of our people.”) After the Israeli raid on Lebanon, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmy said in an official statement tonight in Cairo: “Egypt firmly declares that the Israeli acts of flagrant aggression on the civilian population can only have the gravest consequences which Israel must bear in mind. The Arab world cannot stand idle before this terrorism.”