PLO Officials Urge Palestinians to Escalate the ‘armed Struggle’

Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been urged by Salah Khalaf, a top-ranking Palestine Liberation Organization official, to escalate the “armed struggle” against Israel, which the PLO ostensibly renounced last year in Algiers.

The “armed struggle” also was extolled by Nayef Hawatmch, leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a hard-line faction of the PLO.

Both referred to the gunfight last Thursday near the West Bank village of Beit Ulla that left one Israeli soldier dead and several others severely wounded. Three Palestinians were also killed.

Khalaf, popularly known as Abu Iyad, said, in a statement quoted by the Kuwaiti news agency Monday, that the PLO’s decision to refrain from using firearms during the uprising does not apply to self-defense.

Khalaf made clear that there has been no renunciation of the “armed struggle.” On the contrary, he said, “we declare that the ‘armed struggle’ will continue until the enemy will obey, and will abandon his haughtiness.”

Hawatmeh, speaking from the Persian Gulf principality of Abu Dhabi, characterized the Beit Ulla incident as an act of outstanding bravery and an example of popular self-defense.

He stressed that the Palestinian uprising was a “national revolution” conducted primarily through “armed struggle.”

Hawatmch also was quoted as vowing the continuation of “fedayeen” incursions “from the refugee camps in Lebanon” into ” the heart of the Zionist entity.”

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