The seven-member Arab Parliamentary Union met in Damascus on Saturday (23 August) with the Palestinian problem high on the agenda.
SV Street scene with traffic PAN TO Parliamentary building-in Damascus, Syria.
CU PLO delegation leader Khaled Al Faho???m speaking in Arabic.
SV ZOOM IN TO CU Fahd Al-Qawasme, Mayor of Hebron, seated with member of Palestinian delegation.
SV Parliamentarians listening to speaker, Mohammed Milhem, Mayor of Halhoul. (2 SHOTS)
SV Parliamentarians listening to speech. (3 SHOTS)
GV Parliamentarians seated in chamber.
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Background: The seven-member Arab Parliamentary Union met in Damascus on Saturday (23 August) with the Palestinian problem high on the agenda. Two West Bank mayors, recently exiled by the Israelis, following the deaths of several Jewish settlers also took part in the meeting. Their presence prompted a discussion of Israel's sovereignty over the former Arab sector of Jerusalem.
SYNOPSIS: Delegations from Syria, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, South Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and the Palestine Liberation Organisation came to the conference centre at the Parliamentary building in Damascus. PLO delegation leader, Khaled Al Fahoum chaired the gathering.
The exiled Mayor of Hebron, Fahd Al-Qawasme, told the conference about his deportation by Israeli authorities after six Jewish settlers were killed in the occupied Arab town of Hebron. Another deported West Bank mayor, Mohammed Milhem, the Mayor of Halhoul, also told of his expulsion. Mr. Milhem and Mr. Fahd have been fighting a four month legal battle to have the deportation orders lifted. On Tuesday (19 August) the Israeli Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the mayors to return home, but Palestinian sources say the men will attempt to go back.
The Arab Parliamentary Union also discussed the Israeli Knesset's (Parliament) move to strengthen its sovereignty over Jerusalem. At the end of July the Knesset passed a Bill formalising Israeli control over the former Arab sector of Jerusalem, which has been occupied since it was conquered in the 1967 war. The Bill is now one of Israel's basic laws, and as such the subject of much controversy among Arab nations.