In Lebanon, the leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation Yasser Arafat and many other Palestinian officials took part in the mass funeral procession through Moslem West Beirut on Wednesday (24 January) for those who were killed in a car bomb attack on Monday (22 January).
GV & SV Palestinian Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat and other Palestinian leaders head funeral procession through Beirut. (2 SHOTS)
SV Funeral procession of five Palestinians killed, including Abu Hassan, with coffins on flower-covered cars. (2 SHOTS)
SV Coffins draped with Palestinian flags carried through crowd. (2 SHOTS)
SCU Mourners weeping PAN through crowd. (4 SHOTS)
SV Coffins being carried through crowd and wreaths being held in the air.
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Background: In Lebanon, the leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation Yasser Arafat and many other Palestinian officials took part in the mass funeral procession through Moslem West Beirut on Wednesday (24 January) for those who were killed in a car bomb attack on Monday (22 January). Among the dead was Ali Hassan Asameh better known by his code-name Abu Hassan, who was Mr. Arafat's top personal security aide and head of special operations in Fatah, the largest commando group in the PLO.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Arafat, Arab diplomats and Palestinian leaders headed the huge crowd of mourners which made its way towards the Palestinian Martyrs Cemetery. Hundreds of guerrilla commandos, their machine-guns wreathed in flowers, accompanied the coffins. Abu Hassan was killed with four of his body-guards and several passers-by in a remote-controlled car bomb explosion. The PLO has accused Israel of organising the attack and announced that their investigations had revealed that a British passport holder had set up the explosion.
Abu Hassan was blamed by the Israelis for the 1972 shootings at the Munich Olympics in which eleven Israeli athletes were killed. This charge was always denied by the Palestinians, but Abu Hassan remained top of Israel's "most wanted" list. The Beirut car bomb coincided with the renewal of hostilities in southern Lebanon. During the past five days there have been exchanges of rocket bombardments between Israeli and Palestinian commandos, following the Israeli raid on guerrilla bases in which at least sixteen people were killed.
During the funeral oration, Yasser Arafat praised Abu Hassan as a hero of the Palestinian cause. He said such assassinations would not weaken the movement, since new leaders always came forward to replace those killed. Speaking with tears in his eyes, Mr. Arafat who was a close personal friend of Abu Hassan, said his organisation would carry on fighting until it reached its aim of a Palestinian homeland.