Arafat Rejects Advice to Delay Vote on Proclaiming Statehood
PLO leader Yasser Arafat, shrugging off the advice of President Hosni Mubarak, said today that the Palestinian parliament-in-exile will vote this month on whether to proclaim an independent state in the Israeli-occupied territories.
Mubarak had urged the Palestine Liberation Organization to delay the proclamation until after the Nov. 1 general elections in Israel so that the issue would not favor the Likud Bloc.
“When our Palestine National Council meets, it does not take into consideration what is going on in Israel but how to serve the interest of the Palestinian people,” Arafat said.
A reporter asked Arafat to comment on a statement by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir that the proclamation would promote Shamir’s hard-line Likud Bloc’s chances of victory in the Israeli elections.
“I am not concerned by these worries,” Arafat said. “These are their worries, not ours. I am concerned only with finding a place under the sun for my people, where our children can live freely on their free, independent soil.”