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Israel decides to appoint panel on Beirut killings

Bowing to intense domestic and international pressure, the Israeli government decided Tuesday to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry into the Beirut massacre of Palestinian refugees, an official statement said.

The statement, issued after a cabinet meeting, said the investigation would be conducted under the terms of 1968 legislation that gives a commission wide powers to subpoena witnesses and order them to testify under oath.

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Meanwhile, French and Italian troops began patrolling Beirut's Palestinian refugee camps, and Israeli forces still held key positions in the airport and harbor. The military high command said Israeli troops were expected to complete their pullback by today (Sept. 29).

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