TEL AVIV (Aug. 13)
One hundred and one detainees were released today from the Atlit military detention camp and taken in three buses to Ras Bayda, a tiny coastal settlement some 10 miles south of Tyre, and handed over to Red Cross representatives who transported them to Tyre, Sidon and other destinations inside Lebanon.
The detainees, Shiite Moslems and a number of Palestinians, were among the more than 700 whose release was demanded in June by the Shiite hijackers of a TWA jet. Some 250 detainees are still in the Atlit camp, awaiting their release. These are the last of about 1,200 who were transferred there last April after Israel dismantled its Ansar prison camp in south Lebanon when the Israel Defense Force withdrew. Between April and today, close to 1,000 detainees were released in a series of stages.
The Shiites who hijacked the TWA jet held 39 Americans hostage for two weeks to back demands for the release of the Atlit detainees. Israel freed 300 detainees two days after the release of the hostages on June 20, and 100 more on July 24. Both Israel and Washington affirmed that this was not part of a deal with the Shiites.