1,000 SLA Militiamen Expected to Leave Israel

Published July 2nd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Around one sixth of the ex-South Lebanon Army soldiers who fled to Israel, following the Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon, are expected to leave the country and move abroad, reported Haaretz newspaper.  

Heads of the Shin Bet administrative unit that is set up to assist the former SLA soldiers and their families, believe that 1,000 out of the 6,000 refugees will choose to move abroad, rather than stay in Israel, said the paper. 

Germany is the first country to agree to absorb the former soldiers, and although there are still some bureaucratic issues that have to be ironed out, the first plane is expected to leave for Germany next week.  

Extensive talks are also being held with other countries, mostly in North and South America, and look almost certain to end with an agreement to absorb some of the refugees, said the paper. 

Meanwhile, a Lebanese military court sentenced 14 SLA militiamen on Saturday to prison terms ranging from three weeks to more than seven years for collaborating with Israel during its 22-year occupation of southern Lebanon, reported The Associated Press.  

An official bulletin posted outside the court said Ziyad Fouad Ghayyad received the severest sentence - seven and a half years - in the hearings that ended late Friday.  

Ghayyad was convicted of not only collaborating but also of recruiting his brother, a Lebanese army corporal, to work for Israeli intelligence, said the agency.  

The court postponed the sentencing of 30 other defendants.  

The accused were the 10th batch of alleged collaborators that the court has tried since Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon, the AP added - (Several Sources) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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