Yasser Arafat and other leading figures of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation attended a military passing out parade for Palestinian Cadets in Beirut on Thursday (27 April).
SV Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat arrives at Sabra camp, Beirut, surrounded by crowd
SV Yasser Arafat inspects guard of honour (3 shots)
SV Yasser Arafat reviews march past
GV Graduate cadets march past band to their positions
SV George Habash receiving graduates with Yasser Arafat
SV Mr. Abu Iyad presenting cadet with passing out award
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Yasser Arafat and other leading figures of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation attended a military passing out parade for Palestinian Cadets in Beirut on Thursday (27 April).
SYNOPSIS: As Yasser Arafat arrived for the ceremony at Sabra camp in Beirut he was engulfed by a large crowd of followers. More than 4,000 people were reported to have turned out for the occasion. They had come to see the final passing out parade for a group of 120 Palestinian cadets who will soon join various guerrilla groups in the Middle East. In his capacity as official leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, Yasser Arafat presided over the final inspection.
The passing out parade took place as the Lebanese parliament was discussing plans to ban private militias and curb Palestinian guerrilla activity in the country. The plans have received support from right-wing Christians and conservative Muslim leaders but have met with criticism from the Left and from the official newspaper of the ruling Baath party in Syria. In parliament, approval of the plan resulted in President Elias Sarkis asking the outgoing Prime Minister Dr. Hoss to try again and to from a new Government.
The presence of Dr. Habash -- the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -- at the parade helped dispel recent rumours that there is a rift in the ranks of the Palestinian leaders. Yasser Arafat denounced such rumours at the parade saying that the unity of the Palestinian revolution was stronger than its opponents imagined. Furthermore, he said, it would not be shaken by storms of conspiracy and waves of subversion. Al-Fatah's second-in-command Mr. Abu Iyad was also at the parade. He presented the graduating cadets with their passing out honours.