• Short Summary

    Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's visit to Jerusalem provoked violent reaction around the world on Saturday (19 November) and Sunday (20 November) from Palestinian sympathisers opposed to the visit.

  • Description

    Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's visit to Jerusalem provoked violent reaction around the world on Saturday (19 November) and Sunday (20 November) from Palestinian sympathisers opposed to the visit.

    SYNOPSIS: The Moslem celebration of Id Al Adha, the feast of sacrifice, coincides with President Sadat's visit to Jerusalem. On Sunday morning he joined an estimated 3,000 worshippers for special prayers in Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque. The mosque is Islam's third holiest shrine.

    From a security point of view, the visit to the mosque was dangerous and President Sadat left the mosque under heavy guard. Egyptian and Israeli security men formed up shoulder to shoulder around him as several hundred arabs and Palestinians shouted to his that Palestine is arab. They told him not to forget Palestine in his negotiations with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem.

    In Cairo, Egyptians had gathered around any available television screens on Saturday evening to see President Sadat's historic arrival at Jerusalem's Ben Gurion airport. The President's visit is reported to have received strong support from the Egyptian people. President Sadat will receive a hero's welcome when he returns.

    But reaction in other Arab countries has been angry, and at time violent. The Syrian government declared Saturday a day of mourning. Flags were flown at half mast and Radio Damascus labelled the President's visit `a black day in the history of the Arab nation'. Syria's President Hafez Al Assad offered Id Al Adha prayers at the Grand Omayad Mosque in Damascus where the Moslem preacher denounced the Egyptian leader's mission to Jerusalem as a `treason trip'.

    Later in the morning, Palestinians from refugee camps near Damascus were joined by workers and students in a large protest march through the city's streets.

    The march was orderly and peaceful. Workers' representatives handed a protest note to Egypt's senior diplomat in Syria. It denounced President Sadat's visit as `an offence rejected by the Arab people and world opinion'.

    In the Lebanese capital of Beirut, demonstrators set fire to car tyres as feelings amongst Palestinians there reached fever pitch. The burning tyres, traditional form of protest, sent clouds of smoke over most of the city. As in Damascus, thousands of people joined a protest march. Many carried effigies of President Sadat and shouted anti-Sadat slogans as the marched progressed. Explosions and gunfire echoed through the streets during the demonstration.

    Protest were not confined to Arab countries in the Middle East area. In Washington, Libyan Jamahiriyah Embassy officials and staff burned the flag they once held in common with Egypt. The Libyan Jamahiriyah has been one of the most strident opponents of the Sadat visit to Jerusalem, and in Paris, their embassy officials duplicated their American-based colleagues' protest. It was a ceremony performed in Libyan Jamahiriyah embassies around the world.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA7FBQSEIJ45V7O3C95YCS9KPCB
    Media URN:
    VLVA7FBQSEIJ45V7O3C95YCS9KPCB
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    20/11/1977
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:03:14:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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