PLO leader Yasser Arafat has pledged to continue Palestinian commando raids against Israel despite successive days of Israeli raids on Palestinian bases in southern Lebanon.
PLO leader Yasser Arafat has pledged to continue Palestinian commando raids against Israel despite successive days of Israeli raids on Palestinian bases in southern Lebanon. Israel's prime Minister Menachem Begin has pledged to completely destroy the Palestinian guerrillas. On Wednesday (9 May) more than four hundred Israeli troops backed by at least forty tanks occupied a village on the border between Israel and Lebanon.
SYNOPSIS: On Tuesday, Yasser Arafat attended a graduation ceremony for a new group of Palestinian commandos on the outskirts of Beirut.
While the PLO leader was attending the graduation ceremony Israeli planes were raiding along the coast north of the Israeli border and at leftist strongholds north of the Litani River.
Arafat told the commandos that while the Israeli planes were in the sky...he challenged them, 'with you...our fighters, our martyrs'.
In his speech Yasser Arafat referred to Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin's offer of peace talks to Lebanon. He said it was an attempt to find in the Lebanese President Elias Sarkis, 'a new Arab traitor to follow the example of Sadat'. The Lebanese Prime Minister Selim al-Hoss has rejected ...the peace initiative saying that continued Israeli attacks represented blackmail in its ugliest form.
The young Palestinians have completed a guerrilla training cou??? named in honour of a late Fatah leader, Ali Hassan Salameh. In congratulating the commandos Arafat said that the Palestinian nation would never surrender. 'one of you he told the group, 'will raise the Arab flag over Jerusalem'.
During his address Arafat had spoken of the United States as the head of the snake which is conspiri??? against peace in the Middle East. Arafat sees a Tripartite Alliance existing between Israeli, Egypt and the United States. He called on the Islamic Conference meeting in Morocco to answer the challenge. For its part the Lebanese government has rejected Mr. Begin's suggesti??? that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon should be resettled in other Arab lands.