THE Israeli Cabinet voted yesterday to ban two Jewish extremist groups, using antiterrorist laws that since 1960 have been used only against Palestinians.
The Cabinet declared the groups Kach and Kahane Lives, both inspired by the anti-Arab fervor of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, to be terrorist organizations. The decision was unanimous, Israel radio reported.
Baruch Goldstein, the Jewish settler who killed at least 30 Muslim worshipers in a Hebron mosque on Feb. 25, was a Kahane disciple.
The Cabinet vote was an attempt to meet Palestinian demands for protection of the 1.8 million Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories from set- tler attacks. The Palestine Liberation Organization has insisted on better protection before it agrees to resume talks on implementing Palestinian autonomy in the territories. Algerian extremists storm prison
Muslim extremists have recruited a hardened army by freeing nearly 1,000 prisoners in a spectacular attack on a mountain fortress prison.
``They've got 900 men who have nothing to lose, who can't go back to their homes, and have no choice but to fight alongside the hard-liners now and stay in the underground,'' says one Algerian, a state employee contacted by telephone.
Diplomats say it spells a new spiral in the Algerian conflict. ``To organize an operation like that is very much more complicated than killing an individual from time to time in Algiers,'' says a Western diplomat in Algiers.
Dozens of guerrillas seized Tazoult prison, 220 miles east of Algiers, late on March 10 and freed the Islamists, including 280 condemned to death by special courts. They ferried off the prisoners in trucks, Algerian newspapers said. At least two prison staff members were believed to have helped them, the Justice Ministry said.
The jail raid has further dented the fragile authority of those running the country. The militants already have achieved an aura of command, killing at will in Algiers, including daytime hit-and-run attacks in its main shopping street, Rue Didouche Mourad.
About 3,000 people - security personnel, Algerian and foreign nationals targeted by militants, and militants caught in the harsh government response - have been killed since the insurgency began January 1992, when the military stopped parliamentary elections after the Islamists won the first of two rounds.