The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) announced on Wednesday (29 January) that it will treat Palestinians who take part in hijacks as criminals.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) announced on Wednesday (29 January) that it will treat Palestinians who take part in hijacks as criminals. The statement was made by the head of PLO's news agency, Mr. Ziad Abdel Fattah, after newsmen had been taken on a tour of a PLO prison 15 miles (24 kilometres) southeast of the Syrian capital, Damascus.
Mr. Fattah said that the PLO condemned the recent guerrilla attacks at Orly airport in Paris, and had already "severely punished" the hijackers of a British VC-10 airliner which was flown from Dubai to Tunisia last year.
The PLO statement emphasised that the organisation wanted to convince Arab Governments and world public opinion that it was determined to deal firmly with hijackers and that it had the capacity to do so.
At the converted farmhouse-prison, newsmen saw a number of PLO prisoners, charged with violating the PLO code of conduct. Armed PLO officials estimated that there were about 70 men in the prison, charged with offenses ranging from drinking on duty to attempting to "sabotage" the resistance.
During his speech to newsmen, Mr. Fattah stated that the PLO was prepared to impose the death penalty on hijackers whose actions had resulted in loss of life. If there were no victims, he said, the sentences would be up to 15 years' hard labour.