Monday, September 23, 1991

Palestine National Council meeting begins in Algiers. Chmn. Arafat, calling meeting a "decisive point in the history of the Palestinian cause,' asserts PLO willingness to cooperate with moves to hold peace conference, but without submitting to Israeli "blackmail." Following recent failures to agree on proposed new formulas for PNC composition, either Hamas nor constituent groups of the PNSF are in attendance. PNSF Chmri. Khalid al-Fahum denounces "authoritarian, irresponsible manner" in which composition of PNC was decided, states present composition does not represent all factions. Nayif Hawatma attends the meeting despite 9/21 statement. PNC reelects Shaykh 'Abd al-Hamid al-Sa'ih chairman of PNC after his nomination by Chmn. Arafat, despite al-Sa'ih's earlier statements that he would not seek reelection. PNC also approves expansion of PLO executive committee from 15 to 18 members. (MEM, NYT 9/24; Radio Algiers Network 9/23, al-Quds Palestinian Arab Radio 9/23 in FBIS 9/24)

In Jerusalem, 24 Knesset members from Labor, Mapam, Ratz, and Shinui issue statement urging PNC to authorize Palestinian participation in peace talks. (MEM 9/23)

In Jeiusalem, prominent figures from o.t. hold press conference calling on UN to pressure Israel into allowing residents of the territories who are members of the PNC to attend meeting. (Qol Yisra'el 9/23 in FBIS 9/24)

In leaflet issued in o.t., Hamas denounces PNC as "conference to sell Palestine." (al-Ribat 9/24 in FBIS 10/17)

Pres. Bush addresses UN general assembly, calls for repeal of General Assembly Resolution 3379, adopted in 1975, which calls Zionism aform of racism. Move seen as attempt to improve U.S.-Israeli relations in wake of public dispute over U.S. loan guarantees sought by Israel. (NYT, WP 9/24)

Israeli troops kill three fighters identified as belonging to DFLP (Hawatma faction) who were trying to infiltrate Israel from Syrian front. (NYT 24/9)