LONDON (Sep. 8)
The British Cabinet decided today to let the public prosecutor decide whether to extradite 24-year-old Laila Khaled. the survivor of an Arab commando team that tried to hijack an El Al airliner off the British coast Sunday. Israel has demanded her extradition on grounds that she committed a crime on what was technically Israel soil. Arab terrorists have demanded her release as one of their conditions for freeing 300 hostages from hijacked American and Swiss airliners held in Jordan. Israel’s Ambassador, Michael Comay and the Ambassadors of five Arab states met with British Foreign Office officials today in connection with the hijackings and the detention of 300 hostages by terrorists in Jordan. Mr. Comay met with Joseph Gadber, Minister of State in charge of the Middle East Department. The envoys of Iraq. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Lebanon met with Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home at half hour intervals during the day. There is no evidence that there are British citizens among the hostages. The International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations’ executive committee meets here tonight to consider proposals for armed guards on all flights and to arm captains and crew members.
The International Red Cross announced in Geneva today that it has sent ten more representatives to join a Red Cross team in Amman to help the hostages. A Red Cross spokesman said, “As far as we are concerned, we are there to help people of all nationalities and all faiths. Police in Berne reported an anonymous telephone threat to murder all Arabs living in Switzerland if any of the hostages in Jordan is harmed. A Latin American statesman suggested today that the Arab terrorists be dealt with the way Uruguay dealt with terrorist threats to execute two captives unless 150 guerrillas were released from prison by the Uruguayan government. The government simply told the terrorists that they would execute all of the prisoners if the two hostages were killed. As far as known, the hostages were not harmed, the diplomat said. British intelligence officers were reportedly questioning the El Al steward, Shlomo Vidor, to determine where his plane was when two Arab commandos attempted to hijack it Sunday. Mr. Vidow was wounded in the scuffle in which one of the commandos was fatally shot. The British experts want to ascertain whether the plane was in British air space or over the North Sea when the hijack attempt was made. This would have bearing on Israel’s demand for extradition of Miss Khaled.