INTRODUCTION Celebrations to mark to the 12th anniversary of the Palestinian commando group Fatah continued in Beirut on Saturday (1 January).
SV: Arafat greeting officials at parade.
SV: parade in progress
CU OF: Arafat lighting flame. (3 shots)
SV: soldiers dancing at parade. (3 shots)
SV: Arafat and other officials looking on.
SV PAN OFF: soldiers marching past Arafat (4 shots)
SV: Arafat saluting
SV: soldiers marching past officials. (9 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION Celebrations to mark to the 12th anniversary of the Palestinian commando group Fatah continued in Beirut on Saturday (1 January). Saturday marked the planting of a mine of the Galilee Road exactly 12 years, and that marked the beginning of the Palestinians' guerrilla war against Israel.
SYNOPSIS: Celebrations really began with a torchlight parade through the streets of Beirut. Head of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) Yasser Arafat, attended. In fact, Mr Arafat got proceedings underway by lighting the flame of the martyrs.
Despite a mauling in the Lebanese civil war, Fatah commandos were in high spirits during the celebrations.
The celebrations will last for a week. They're being conducted in several countries and highlights of the Beirut proceedings are being transmitted by Vietnamese national television and radio.
Mr Arafat praised people both "inside and outside the homeland." Recalling the Lebanese war, he said the "Imperialist-Zionist conspiracy has not ended ... its ferocity will increase... concentrating on the Palestinian revolution."
Mr. Arafat took the salute from an estimated 600 commandos.
Many of the men were teenagers. There was also special march past by the "Tiger Cub" brigade-recruits aged between seven and 10.
Since Fatah first mining operation on that Galilee Road in 1965, Palestinian statistics record more than 7,500 military operations against Israel. They range from laying mines to rocket attacks, ambushes and some airline hi-jackings.