TEL AVIV (Jul. 19)
A Palestine Liberation Organization leader who surrendered himself to Israeli forces in Lebanon, said on a radio interview that he was proud of the PLO’s diplomatic successes but ashamed of its terrorist tactics.
Assod Sulieman Abdul-Kadr, a close associate of PLO chief Yasir Arafat and El Fatah commander in south Lebanon, told Israel Radio Arab Affairs correspondent Aharon Bornea, ” I am not saying this because I am now in your hands. I have always felt this way.” Speaking in English in the taped interview broadcast Saturday, he said he had advised Arafat to leave Beirut with the rest of his men.
A “new era has begun which the Israelis’ misnamed ‘Peace for Galilee’ campaign … There is now a new reality and the death of neither a single Palestinian or Israeli can solve our problems … There’s now a new situation. We need a transitional period,” he said.
The question now, according to Abdul-Kadr was where to go. “Our generation had done what was required of it — I have been in this struggle for 18 years and any soldier is entitled to retire.”
TALKS ABOUT HIS BACKGROUND
Abdul-Kadr, who used the PLO code name of Salah Ta-Amri, the name of the Bedouin tribe of his ancestry, said he knew and worked with Arafat since both were students in Cairo in 1965 when they established El Fatah together. The organization became the mainstream of the PLO. Abdul-Kadr said he had been the Fatah commander in the Jordanian town of Karame when it was destroyed by Israeli forces in 1968 and fled to Lebanon with the PLO after the Jordanian army ousted the Palestinians in the “Black September” campaign of 1970.
In Lebanon, Abdul-Kadr said, he had been in command of the Fatah youth organization, training youngsters between the ages of 10-16. When Israel invaded Lebanon last June 6, he was in Beirut with his wife but returned immediately to PLO headquarters in Sidon. When the Israelis overran that town, he hid in the orange groves, moving from place to place until he decided to give himself up.
He said he made that decision because he did not want to endanger the “good people who befriended me, giving me food and whose children stood guard to warn me of approaching searchers.” He said his sister brought food to his hiding places until she was wounded in the leg.