TEL AVIV (Sep. 30)
A captured terrorist who admitted he was on a mission to seize hostages in Israel said on a television interview last night that the Lebanese authorities and army are fully aware of terrorist movements in southern Lebanon and could stop them at any time if they so desired. Haled Mahmoud Yassin, 28, who comes from the Lebanese coastal town of Tripoli, was captured by Israeli forces during a skirmish near Fassouta in Upper Galilee on Sept. 3 in which two of his companions were killed.
(See separate story dealing with statement on Lebanon and terrorists by Yosef Tekoah, Israel Ambassador to the United Nations.)
Yassin, a member of Naif Hawatmeh’s Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine appeared on the Arabic television broadcast. He said that he and his fellow terrorists infiltrated into Israel under orders to capture hostages and hold them for the release of terrorists in Israeli jails. He said their orders were to blow themselves up along with their hostages should the Israeli authorities refuse to make the exchange. They were also ordered to kill anyone who tried to interfere with their mission, Yassin said.
According to Yassin, terrorists come and go at will in southern Lebanon despite the fact that the region is a military area, heavily patrolled by the Lebanese army which knows of the terrorists’ movements and could stop them from entering Israel. He said that he and his companions passed through Lebanese villages in broad daylight, in full view of soldiers and civilians who knew their identity.
DEAD ARAB WAS A TERRORIST
Police today identified an Arab laborer killed when a bomb exploded in an Egged bus yesterday morning as a member of a terrorist gang in Gaza. They said that Ibrahim Hilmi, 23, died when the bomb he intended to leave in the Tel Aviv central bus terminal exploded prematurely as his bus carrying workers from Gaza entered Tel Aviv. Hilmi was employed in the bus garage in Gaza, A search of his home there yielded a quantity of potash, the chemical base used in the manufacture of explosives, police said.
TERRORISTS TRAINED IN USSR
Meanwhile, another terrorist suspect, Ahmed Mouhamed Yassin, 30. was arraigned before a military tribunal in Nablus today on charges of membership in the National Palestinian Front, the military arm of the Palestinian Communist Party According to the charges, Yassin, who was employed as a city engineer in Nablus, underwent training near Moscow for acts of sabotage to be carried out in Israeli territory.
The prosecution contended that Yassin was recruited by the NPF in 1971 and was sent to the Soviet Union the following year to participate in an institute on Marxist-Leninist doctrines attended by 250 youths from all over the world, including several others from the Israel-administered territories. In addition to the studies, the youths were sent to a camp near Moscow for training in the use of firearms and explosives, first aid and techniques for resisting the dispersion of demonstrators, the prosecution said. Yassin’s trial will begin in a few weeks.