LONDON (Jan. 27)
Three Arabs identified as members of a PLO splinter group went on trial here yesterday for the attempted murder of Shlomo Argov, the Israeli Ambassador to Britain, who was shot and severely wounded last June 3 outside a London hotel.
The defendants, Hussein Ahmad Ghassan Said and Marwa Al Banna, both Jordanians and Novoff Nagib Meflehel Rosan, an Iraqi, pleaded not guilty to the charges of shooting Argov and his police bodyguard. According to a prosecutor, Argov was shot in the head by Said who was wounded by police when he attempted to escape.
The three men were identified as members of the Palestine Liberation Movement, a little-known breakaway faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization. According to Scotland Yard, they had a “hit list” of prominent Israelis targeted for assassination. Argov suffered brain damage and remains hospitalized.
The PLO disclaimed responsibility for the assassination attempt. Nevertheless, Israel retaliated for the shooting of Argov by bombing PLO bases in Lebanon on June 4 and on June 6 Israeli forces invaded Lebanon with the then stated intention of securing a 25 kilometer terrorist-free zone in south Lebanon.