Back to PLO Bulletin 1 November 1978


arafat, gromyko


On 20 October 1978, the occupied Gaza Strip witnessed one of its next impressive political demonstrations since 1967.

Fifteen hundred Gazans, including the town's mayor, rejected the Camp David accords charging the agreements give no rights to the Palestinians.

"The Camp David agreements deny the rights of the Palestinian people to freedom and self-determination," said a joint statement issued at the end of the meeting.

The statement affirmed that the Palestine Liberation Organization, (PLO) is the sole representative of the Palestinians, and accused the framework agreements signed at Camp David of "undermining the unity of the Palestinian people." The occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip would constitute an autonomous region under the agreements, and the Palestinians say, autonomy would kill hopes for full independence.

The statement said the Camp David accords neglected the most basic Palestinian demands - that Israeli settlement in occupied territory cease, and that Israel return Arab East Jerusalem.

The Mayor of Ramallah, Karim Khalaf, said he and two other West Bank mayors - Bassam Shakaa of Nablus and Fahd Qawasmeh of Hebron - were stopped at Gaza's city limits by the Israeli army and prevented from attending the session.

The meeting took place as Harold Saunders, the U.S. undersecretary of state for the Near East, was meeting with Prime Minister Menahem Begin in Jerusalem.

Earlier, Saunders, during his visit to Jordan, reportedly "invited 15 personalities living in Jordan" to a meeting in an attempt to win their support for the "self-rule" swindle. Most of them rejected the invitation, while, according to Jordanian newspapers, seven attending the meeting told Saunders that they rejected the Camp David plan for administrative autonomy.

PLO rally

Mass Rallies in Support for PLO in Sakhnin (Israel)...


On 13 October 1978, the French news agency "AFP" reported from Jerusalem:

"In the circles close to the military government in the West Bank, it is believed that the scheme of autonomy will be rejected by all known political personalities of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

"At the same time, it is underlined that these notables and political men represent the predominant aspirations of the three major towns of the West Bank: Ramallah, Nablus and Hebron, whose, populations are highly politicized.

"In return, specialists on Arab affairs of the Israeli newspaper 'Yedioth Aharonoth' confirm an intensified activity manifested by 'the political clubs in the West Bank which have always constituted the active centers of Palestinian nationalism, and which for a long time have given expression to political opinion in these territories : Among these 'clubs' are 'The Association of University Graduates' and the 'Union of Associations of Professionals' which have their seats in the three major urban centers of the West Bank and in Jerusalem, says the newspaper.

"In each of these clubs, opposition towards 'self-rule' is total and reaches as far as considering resistance by force to smash any project aiming at applying this kind of government."

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