The first Palestinian Social Congress was held in Jerusalem on Sunday (22 July). Organised by?
GV exterior YMCA building, Jerusalem
CU sign of Palestinian social conference
MV Crowd listening to speaker on rostrum
MV Children on rostrum during presentation are greeted by applause from the crowd (two shots)
LV Children on rostrum (Two shots)
MV Crowd applauding
MV Conference speaker at rostrum
MV Crowd applaud as women receive awards (three shots)
CU Exterior: Mayor of Hebron, Fahd Kawasma, speaking in English outside conference hall
GV Delegates leaving conference building
TRANSCRIPT: KAWASMA: "I think this conference will do many things. The Palestinian Social Conference was started in Jerusalem (indistinct...Arabs everywhere.")
REPORTER: "Are political decisions going to be taken in the course of this conference?"
KAWASMA: "For me the conference in Jerusalem, the Palestinian society, its main benefits."
REPORTER: "Thank you very much."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The first Palestinian Social Congress was held in Jerusalem on Sunday (22 July). Organised by various charity organisations in the Israeli-administered territories and East Jerusalem, it was held officially to discuss pressing social, welfare and educational problems of Arab residents of these areas. its organiser, Dr Amin Al Khatib, afterwards told newsmen the event was not meant to be political. However, the Jerusalem Post claimed that the ingredients of the congress -- slogans supporting the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) plus songs, speeches and dramatic sketches -- had turned the event into 'a profoundly political event'.
SYNOPSIS: The congress was held in the YMCA building in East jerusalem. It attracted an audience of several hundred, described as largely middle-class, and the entire political leadership of the administered territories, including the mayors of West Bank towns -- Nablus, Hebron and Bethlehem.
Small children acted out a tableau in which they were arrested by Israeli soldiers for shouting Palestinian slogans. The dialogue had the soldiers saying the children wanted a Palestinian state, but would be offered autonomy. When one girl showed a Palestinian flag, the audience applauded. The congress had been allowed to go ahead because of its professed non-political nature.
Observers said the West Bank mayors had been warned in advance not to make any political statements. Military government officials would not comment on the gathering because its venue in Jerusalem put it outside their jurisdiction. Hebron's ;mayor, Fahd Kawsma, spoke to newsmen.
Speakers had linked social problems to the Israeli occupation.