Israelis gets tough with PLO

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The Independent Online
Jerusalem (Reuter) - The Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, ordered the continued closure of Palestinian-ruled Jericho yesterday to pressure the PLO to hand over two Hamas militants suspected of planning a bus bombing that killed four people last Monday, security sources said.

But the Foreign Minister, Shimon Peres, and Justice Minister, David Libai, acknowledged that the Palestinians had no legal obligation to extradite them. Palestinian officials said the militants had been tried and sentenced in a Palestinian military court in Jericho on Friday, and would not be surrendered. Abdel-Majid Dudin and Rajid al-Khatib were sentenced to 12 and seven years in prison, respectively.

In Cairo, Israel and the PLO signed an agreement transferring eight civilian powers to the Palestinians, the first part of an accord for extending self-rule in the West Bank. The accord gives the Palestinians responsibility for agriculture, insurance, labour, municipal affairs, postal services, petrol and gas, statistics, and trade and industry.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Police Minister ordered the closure of three ''illegal'' Palestinian offices in east Jerusalem which carry out broadcasting, statistics and health work for the Palestinian Authority. Under the 1993 Israel-PLO accord, the authority must restrict its activities to areas under Palestinian rule.