INTRODUCTION: Representatives of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation -- PLO -- in Paris, France, called a press conference on Wednesday (5 January) to call on the French government to punish the killers of Palestinian militant Mahmoud Saleh.
INTRODUCTION: Representatives of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation -- PLO -- in Paris, France, called a press conference on Wednesday (5 January) to call on the French government to punish the killers of Palestinian militant Mahmoud Saleh. Two young gumen shot M. Saleh on Monday (3 January) as he closed the shutters of his Arab book shop on the left bank of the Seine in Paris.
SYNOPSIS: At the press conference M. Loftallah Soliman told journalists that M. Saleh was the fourth Palestinian to have been killed in Paris in as many years. He said the killings made all Palestinians in France feel ill at ease and he found it hard to believe that the French police had been unable to reveal anything from their enquiries.
M. Saleh, who was born in a village near the Israeli occupied town of Nablus, worked as a teacher in Algeria and fought in the Lebanese civil war. He was a member of the Rejection Front, a Palestinian organisation totally opposed to a negotiated settlement of the Palestinian problem and was briefly head of the unofficial PLO office in Paris after its representative, Mahmoud El Hamchari, was killed five years ago by a radio controlled bomb under his telephone. The words "Israel will win" were daubed on M. Saleh's shutter but this is thought to have been done some days before the murder.
Monday's shooting came two days after reported contacts in Paris between a senior representative of the PLO leadership and an Israeli peace group.
M. Ezzedine Kalak, the head of the PLO's Paris office, said his organisation was working for the creation of an independent Palestinian state on its own land. Major General Matiyahu Peled, chairman of the council for Israeli-Palestinian peace has told a press conference in Tel Aviv on Sunday that he and an unnamed PLO delegate in Paris had agreed on a joint statement in which the PLO implicitly recognised the existence of Israel -- but the Beirut leadership in Lebanon and the Paris office of the PLO have both denied this. M. Kalak said that at heart he didn't believe the Israeli leaders wanted to retreat form Arab territory they had occupied, but a United Nations committee had also found in favour of an independent Palestinian state.
M. Kalak had earlier said that his office had sent a massage to the French government saying France should shed light on the assassination and punish the guilty.