Thousands of demonstrators marched through Beirut yesterday (Friday) in a Left-Wing rally supporting Palestine Commando action in Amman.
MV Demonstrators towards with banners
LV Ditto demonstrators with banners through streets (2 shots)
CU Police escorting
LV & CU Embassy fire (night) (4 shots)
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: OUR TWO STORIES ON RELEASE OF HOSTAGES IN AMMAN SERVICED TODAY PROD NOS. 5637/70 AND 5635/70.
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Background: Thousands of demonstrators marched through Beirut yesterday (Friday) in a Left-Wing rally supporting Palestine Commando action in Amman. They demanded the overthrow of King Hussein and denounced the idea of a peaceful solution to the Palestine question. The demonstrators then forced their way into the Jordanian Embassy, raised the Palestinian Flag on the roof, and set fire to the building.
The demonstrators, said to number 10,000, were believed to be from the Radical Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. (PFLP).
They shouted slogans demanding the overthrow of King Hussein and the establishment of a Republic in Jordan. They also carried banners proclaiming: "DEATH TO THE RULING CLIQUE IN JORDAN" - "FATAH YES, PEACEFUL SOLUTION NO" - and: "SILENCE ABOUT THE JORDAN MASSACRES IS TREASON".
Steel-helmeted Gendarmes marched ahead and alongside the procession, which was peaceful.
There were more Gendarmes stationed at the Jordanian Embassy, but although they were armed, the heavily outnumbered police made no attempt to stop demonstrators when they broke into the Embassy compound, and then into the building itself, setting fire to it. It blazed on for hours and resulted in extensive damage.
The demonstration march and the fire resulted in considerable apprehension in Beirut that the violence and civil warfare in Jordan might spread into Lebanon.
Even as the Jordanian Embassy was blazing, European refugees from Amman were arriving at Beirut Airport for a stop-over before proceeding on to Athens.
Palestine refugees from Shatila Camp near Beirut International Airport blocked the main road into the city shortly before the first plane was due in form Amman with the evacuees.