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Mitterrand Promises to Intercede on Behalf of Two West Bank Mayors, JTA, Jan. 19, 1982.

MitterrandPresident Francois Mitterrand promised today to intervene, during his visit to Israel in March, on behalf of the two West Bank mayors, Fahed Kawassame of Hebron and Mohammed Milhim of Halhoul, who were expelled by Israeli military authorities in May 1980 following the ambush slaying in Hebron of six yeshiva students.

The two mayors met with Mitterrand for nearly 45 minutes. After the meeting, Kawassame said “the President has promised that he will try to obtain permission for us to return to our homes.”

French sources confirmed that Mitterrand will “most probably” raise the issue of the two mayors’ return and will probably ask Premier Menachem Begin to grant their wish for both political and humanitarian reasons. French officials explained that an Israeli “gesture” on this subject would help show the Arab states that his pro-Israeli policy “pays off” and that even Palestinian individuals, such as the mayors, accused by Israel of incitement to violence, can benefit as a result of his confident and cordial relations with Israel.

Mitterrand is due to leave for Israel early in March for the first visit by a French President to the Jewish State. His personal adviser, Jacques Attali said yesterday that Mitterrand will also visit Jordan for talks with King Hussein, either at the end of March or early in April.

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