TEL AVIV (Jul. 30)
Officials announced today that a woman officer of major rank, Zippora Neriya, is one of the three officers who will comprise the military tribunal which will try the two Arab girls charged in the abortive terrorist attempt to hijack a Sabena Airlines plane at Lydda Airport in May. The charges against Rimma Aossa Tannous and Therese Asskhak Saleiman Khalsa include attempted hijack and possession and placement of explosives and grenades on the plane, whose 90 passengers and crew members were freed in a ruse by an Israeli Army unit who stormed the airliner on May 9.
The court is headed by Lt. Col. Aharon Alpern as president and Major Yehoshua Ben Zion, both of whom are jurists. It was noted that a court with only on jurist may apply capital punishment. The trial will be held in the Sarafand camp where Kozo Okamoto, the Japanese gunman, was tried and sentenced to life Imprisonment for his role in the May 30 massacre at Lydda Airport. Similar precautionary measures will be applied, including requirement of a special entry permit and special searches of men and equipment at the trial, which is expected to begin Tuesday.
Lt. Col. David Israeli, the military prosecutor, will direct the prosecution. Yaacob Henigman and Eliezer Karni are the defense attorneys. Miss Tannous, 21, is a nurse. Miss Khalsa, 19, who was born in Acre, was a student nurse. They were among four would-be hijackers, two of whom were killed when the airliner was stormed. The lawyers said after several meetings with the two defendants, that they had been quarreling, apparently fearing they may be sentenced to death. Miss Khalsa, who crossed into Lebanon and joined a terrorist group there, is visited by her father an Acre resident. She is still suffering from injuries sustained when the Israeli commandoes seized the plane.