INTRODUCTION: Fatah, the main Palestinian commando group, held a rally in Sidon, South Lebanon, on Sunday (8 March), to mourn the death of one of its officers.
SV INTERIOR Photograph of Yasser Arafat
SV Bishop of Sidon speaking, audience applaud (2 shots)
SV Bishop speaking
SV Audience applauds
SV Abul Zaim, Director of Military Intelligence, speaks, audience applauds (2 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Fatah, the main Palestinian commando group, held a rally in Sidon, South Lebanon, on Sunday (8 March), to mourn the death of one of its officers. The occasion was partly commemorative, but also provided an opportunity to whip up renewed enthusiasm for the Palestinian cause.
SYNOPSIS: Yasser Arafat, the Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, was not present personally, but the rally was held under his patronage. Among the speakers was Father Boulos Khoury, the Greek Orthodox Bishop of Marjayoun, Bekaa and Sidon. Representatives of both the Christian and Moslem religious communities took part, as well as leading figures from the P.L.O and left-wing movements in Lebanon. Sidon, a port of the Lebanese ocast, is within range of the guns of Major Saad Haddad's Christian militia down on the Israeli frontier; and has suffered regular casualties from Haddad's shelling.
The rally marked the end of 40 days of mourning for Major Robin Abul Ala, a Fatah security chief. The Director of the group's military intelligence and security, Abul Zaim, used the occasion for a restatement of Fatah's political and military objectives. he rejected any ideas that palestinians should be settled permanently in Lebanon, and said there was no alternative to fighting to recover their occupied lands.