Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

U.S. Sues to Close PLO Mission As U.N. Debate Continues

March 23, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Manhattan Tuesday seeking to close the Palestine Liberation Organization’s observer mission to the United Nations.

Notification of the civil suit comes one day after the PLO refused to comply with a U.S. Justice Department order to vacate the townhouse at 115 E. 65th St. that serves as its headquarters.

The suit cites the Anti-Terrorism Act passed by Congress in December and in effect since Monday. It labels the PLO a terrorist organization for its “numerous violent acts,” including the murder of U.S. citizen Leon Klinghoffer during the 1985 attack on the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro.

Debate continued Tuesday in the U.N. General Assembly on a resolution requesting Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar to take “adequate legal action and further measures” to prevent the United States from closing the PLO mission.

According to a draft, the resolution “deplores” what it describes as the failure of the United States to honor the Headquarters Agreement of 1947, which established the legal relationship between United Nations and the United States, its host country.

Speeches by General Assembly delegates on the resolution continued until late Tuesday afternoon. A spokesperson for the United Nations expected the resolution would come to a vote Wednesday.

There were unconfirmed reports late Tuesday that the United Nations had hired a New York law firm to respond to the U.S. suit as a “friend of the court.”

Recommended from JTA