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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

April 17, 2003

PLF leader Abu Abbas faces charges and a life sentence in Italy. (AP)

U.S.: Abu Abbas not immune under Israeli-Palestinian deal article says captured teror leader not immune from justice. Note arab response the usual crazed denials

WASHINGTON - The United States said Wednesday that a 1995 agreement between Israel and the Palestinians did not give immunity to Palestinian guerrilla leader Abu Abbas, who was detained by U.S. forces in Baghdad this week.

Later Wednesday, Sky News reported that Italy would request the extradition of Abu Abbas for masterminding the hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985 and the murder of Leon Klinghoffer.

Under the agreement, members of the Palestine Liberation Organization may not be detained or tried for matters they committed before the 1993 Oslo peace accords, said Palestinian minister Saeb Erekat, who demanded the U.S. set Abu Abbas free.

But a State Department official, who asked not to be identified, said: "The 1995 interim agreement concerns arrangements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority for the detention and prosecution of certain persons. It does not apply to the legal status of persons detained in a third country."