PLO Now Said to Favor Declaring an Independent Palestinian State

Leaders of the various Palestine Liberation Organization factions have agreed unanimously to declare an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to reports here.

The decision was adopted over the weekend during a three-day meeting of the PLO leadership in Tunis. It was reported by Salah Khalaf, a senior PLO official popularly known as Abu Iyad.

The unified command of the Palestinian uprising in the administered territories issued a statement Sunday urging the Palestine National Council to declare an independent state. “Communique No. 27″ suggested that such a state be put under international auspices for the present.

According to Khalaf, the PNC will convene to act on the matter before the Israeli elections on Nov. 1.

The PNC is sometimes referred to as the Palestinian parliament in exile. Israelis consider it to be an adjunct of the PLO.

Moves to declare an independent Palestinian state have gathered momentum since King Hussein of Jordan announced July 31 that he was severing all ties to the West Bank.

Close aides to Yasir Arafat have endorsed the idea, but the PLO chairman himself has appeared unwilling to make such a move without achieving a consensus among the terrorist organization’s rival factions.

PNC meetings aimed at reaching such a consensus have been repeatedly postponed since August.

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