A Palestinian commando chief has accused Libya's Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of trying to split the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).
SV INTERIOR PLO leader Yasser Arafat enters hall and embraces Fatah Deputy Salah Khalaf
SV Arafat embraces mothers of Palestinians killed in action
SV Arafat lights memorial torch, salutes and Last Post in played (2 shots)
CU Woman weeping into handkerchief
CU Salah Khalaf speaking in Arabic (2 shots)
Last month, WAFA -- the Fatah dominated news agency of the PLO -- accused the Libyan leader of trying to take over the commando movement. They said he was "stabbing Palestinians in the back" and dubbed him "the mad Colonel".
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Background: A Palestinian commando chief has accused Libya's Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of trying to split the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). The charge was made by the Deputy Chief of the Fatah organisation, Salah Khalaf -- better known under his code name of Abu Iyad. He was reacting to the announcement by Libya that it would sever all relations with Fatah and suspend aid to it -- because Fatah had deviated from the armed struggle against Israel. Abu Iyad made his accusation at a mass rally in Beirut on Monday (7 January).
SYNOPSIS: PLO leader, Yasser Arafat -- who also heads Fatah -- greeted Abu Iyad warmly at the start of the rally, which marked Palestinian Martyrs' Day. After comforting the mothers of dead Palestinian fighters, Mr. Arafat lit a torch in their memory.
Colonel Gaddafi's decision to suspend aid to Fatah climaxed a bitter row over Mr. Arafat's efforts to steer the Palestinians towards diplomacy and moderation. Colonel Gaddafi advocates military, rather than diplomatic, action against Israel. As the dispute over Fatah's policies gathered pace last month, he closed the PLO offices in Libya and expelled the organisation's chief representative in Tripoli Suliman Al-Shurafa. In all, Fatah is expected to lose at least 28 million dollars in Libyan aid.
As the Palestinians mourned their dead guerrilla fighters, Abu Iyad branded Colonel Gaddafi as an "under-cover agent" who acted on behalf of the United States.
Abu Iyad also accused Colonel Gaddafi of depriving his fighters of Libyan oil which, he said, Belonged to the entire Arab nation. But some Palestinian officials have no been overly concerned about he aid suspension. They said Colonel Gaddafi was unpredictable, and not known for unwavering adherence to his decisions.