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PLO Protests Won’t Deter Finland from Aiding Aliyah of Soviet Jews

Finland has officially rejected protests by the Palestine Liberation Organization over its decision to allow Soviet Jewish emitters to fly from a Finnish airport directly to Israel.

But Finland has beefed up security for its 520-troop battalion serving in southern Lebanon as part of the United Nations peacekeeping force.

The Finns advised the PLO they would continue to facilitate the immigration of Soviet Jews to Israel on “humanitarian grounds, to allow the reunification of families.”

Earlier reports here said the Israeli airline El Al would begin special charter flights this week to an airport in the eastern city of Lappeenranta, near the Soviet border, to pick up Jewish immigrants, mainly from nearby Leningrad.

But the flights reportedly have been postponed for several days.

Finland is one of nine countries contributing troops to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, a 5,800-member armed force that has been in southern Lebanon since 1978.