Beirut Moves to End PLO Right to Attack Israel From Lebanon
The Lebanese Parliament has canceled an accord giving the Palestine Liberation Organization permission to attack Israel from Lebanon.
The formal abrogation of the accord with the PLO becomes effective when Parliament’s measure is signed by President Amin Gemayel and released as a presidential decree, officials said Friday.
All 44 deputies in Lebanon’s 99-seat Parliament who attended Thursday’s session voted in favor of abrogating the deal as “null and void.” The so-called Cairo Agreement was signed Nov. 3, 1969, in the Egyptian capital by PLO chairman Yasser Arafat and Gen. Emile Boustany, acting as a representative to Lebanon’s then-President Charles Helou.
The agreement allowed the PLO to set up military bases in Lebanon and use the country’s southern territories to launch raids into Israel. It also gave the PLO the right to defend its refugee camps in Lebanon against Israeli attacks.
Parliament’s move brought no immediate reaction from Arafat, but the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a radical faction within the PLO said here that it would ignore the action.
“The right of our people to continue its just and legal struggle from Lebanon and other countries is a legal right,” the front said. “The legality of this struggle is not abrogated by a decision from the Lebanese Parliament.”
Palestinian guerrilla activity has increased in south Lebanon in the past two years and the PLO said last month that it considered the Cairo agreement still valid.
Lebanon’s rightist Christian leaders have objected to the accord, saying that it allowed the PLO to establish “a state within the state” before it was driven out of most of Lebanon by the 1982 Israeli invasion. Israel ended its occupation of Lebanon in 1985 but set up a so-called security zone in the south to guard against guerrilla attacks against Israeli settlements.