36. Telegram 203374 From the Department of State to Secretary of State Rogers in Bonn1 2

Tosec 75


  • TWA Hijacking
Syrian Government on morning December 5 permitted departure from Damascus of hijacked TWA aircraft as well as two Israeli passengers who had been detained since hijacking took place on August 29. TWA aircraft and passengers arrived Athens at 1532 hours local time and passengers departed half hour later on regular TWA flight to Tel Aviv.
Release of passengers and aircraft was pursuant to three-cornered agreement worked out through ICRC under which (1) Israeli passengers released from Damascus; (2) simultaneously, thirteen Syrians, including two Syrian MIG pilots, turned over to Syrian authorities [Page 2] in Golan Heights; and (3) approximately 24 hours later, about 50 UAR nationals to be handed over to UARG in exchange for two Israeli Air Force pilots downed in action over Egypt.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, AV 12 US. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Baas, cleared by Davies, Seelye, and Brown, and approved by Sisco.
  2. The Department of State informed Rogers that the Syrians had permitted TWA Flight 840 and its two remaining passengers to leave Damascus. Israel had released 13 prisoners to Syria and 50 detainees to the UAR, in exchange for 2 Israeli pilots.