Palestinians place faith in new UN envoy

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

MARJ AL-ZOHOUR (Reuter) - Palestinian deportees trapped in an icy south Lebanon no man's land said yesterday they were hopeful a new United Nations envoy would arrange their return home.

A spokesman for the 415 deportees, Abdul Aziz al-Rantisi, hailed as 'positive' a warning by the UN Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, that he might recommend Security Council action to force Israel to take back the men expelled 19 days ago on suspicion of links to Islamic fundamentalist groups.

Mr Boutros-Ghali said on Monday that a former Indian UN representative, Chinmaya Gharekhan, his special political adviser and representative to multilateral peace talks on the Middle East, would head the new mission.

The Deputy Secretary-General, James Jonah, last month failed to secure Israel's agreement to deportees' immediate safe return.