In Lebanon, a mass rally was held on Saturday (7 January) to mark Palestinian Martyrs' Day.
In Lebanon, a mass rally was held on Saturday (7 January) to mark Palestinian Martyrs' Day. Several thousand Palestinians and sympathisers attended the rally in Beirut.
SYNOPSIS: It was held at a hall on the campus of the Arab University of Beirut in the Lebanese capital. Mr. Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation - PLO - was among those who attended.
Portraits of Palestinians killed in action were displayed in the hall.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Arafat visited a Palestinian cemetery to pay his respect to the dead. There, he unveiled a memorial to those who lost their lives during the siege of Tel Zattar camp during the Lebanese civil war.
About 3,000 sympathisers turned up for the rally. Among others, it was addressed by Mrs. Om Jihad, wife of one of the Palestinian leaders.
Many of those who came along for the rally more were mothers, widows and other close relatives and friends of the victims. After the rally, they went to nearby cemeteries to lay wreaths and p[ray at the graves of the "martyrs."
The rally was held a day after Lebanon declared that it would reject any Middle East settlement which failed t o repatriate Palestinian refugees living in that country. Some 400,000 Palestinians have made their homes in Lebanon. Friction between Lebanese rightists and the Palestinian commandos was one cause of the civil was which ended over a year ago.