In an emotional rally in Beirut members of Palestine Liberation groups remembered the death 40 days earlier of one of their senior officials.
In an emotional rally in Beirut members of Palestine Liberation groups remembered the death 40 days earlier of one of their senior officials. Abu Hassan, the code name for Ali Hassan Salameh, died with four of his bodyguards and several passers-by in January when a remotely-controlled bomb in a parked car exploded as they drove past (on January 22).
SYNOPSIS: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat led Abu Hassan's son into the rally to remember the man thought to have been Israel's most wanted fugitive.
Abu Hassan's 12-year-old son called on all Palestinians to remember other former leaders of the movement who are now dead. His father was accused by Israel of organising the 1972 massacre of athletes at the Munich Olympics, a charge denied by the Palestinians. Abu Hassan's widow was among those at the rally.
Abu Hassan's death brought eulogies from Yasser Arafat and other Palestinian leaders, and he was given a martyr's funeral. His death also prompted a series of guerrilla actions, and a pledge from his former associated to seek vengeance. They blamed Israel for his death. During his speech Yasser Arafat said the Middle East peace initiative is a trick and is not in the interests of Palestinians. He said he is against the meeting being held between President Carter, Egypt's President Sadat and Israel's President Sadat and Israel's Prime Minister Begin; a view endorsed by the Palestinians at the memorial rally.