Ranking PLO Official to Visit Israel

A high-level Palestine Liberation Organization official is scheduled to participate in the second annual Jerusalem Business Conference, to take place later this month, it was learned here over the weekend.

Ahmed Ali Suleiman Karia, 56, known as Abu Alaa, is the head of the economic division of the PLO’s A1 Fatah faction. He was the PLO official who headed the secret negotiations with Israel in Norway that resulted in the historic accord on self-rule signed in Washington last month.

His upcoming visit to Israel was approved by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. But he will travel here in a private capacity, as the guest of the economic conference, which is sponsored by the economic daily Globus.

Despite the private nature of the visit, Abu Alaa is likely to meet with Israeli policy-makers to discuss pressing issues, such as the status of Palestinian laborers during the autonomy period, economic aid to Palestinian refugees, taxation for Arab residents of the territories, joint Israeli-Palestinian ventures and the joint use of water resources.

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