Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestinian Commandos who clashed last week with Jordanian Army troops in Amman, said at a news conference on Sunday that there had never been any intention of harming the foreign nationals held as hostages in a hotel in the city.
SV Arafat enters room
CU Palestine Liberation poster
SV Arafat seated
CU Arafat speaking in Arabic with CU translator at the end of each question
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 4: ARAFAT: "I want to say that there are some dreams which affect the imagination of somebody and makes him believe that there is a split in the Palestine Revolution. I am sure that my brother Dr. Habash has not said this because Dr. Habash knows quite right the position of El Fatah....the weight of El Fatah and the strength of El Fatah in the struggle for the revolution. Really they have occupied the hotel but they have told us afterwards about what has happened. But I can assure you and the military commandment has accepted the taking of such a measure but we have been always sure that nothing harmful or any kind of harm would happen to the inhabitants of the hotel.
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Background: Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestinian Commandos who clashed last week with Jordanian Army troops in Amman, said at a news conference on Sunday that there had never been any intention of harming the foreign nationals held as hostages in a hotel in the city. His remarks contradicted earlier statements by another commando officer who said that the hotel would have been blown up if King Hussein had not agreed to the guerrillas' demands.
About 70 people of various nationalities were released from the hotel after King Hussein dismissed his two top military commanders.
At Sunday's news conference Mr. Arafat also denied reports of a split in the Palestinian Liberation Movement and blamed the U.S. for the current Jordan crises. Mr. Arafat, speaking through an interpreter said: