Two-track PLO policy: talking, fighting at same time
Like the communist North Vietnamese during the final years of the Vietnam war , the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) now appears set on a two-track policy of talking and fighting at the same time.
Even if the recent promise of Al-Fatah, the PLO's most powerful guerilla organization, to accelerate attacks on Israel and US interests, is carried out, Mideast analysts expect the PLO to continue diplomatic efforts to get a dialogue going with the United States, directly or through the Europeans.
European diplomats at the United Nations in New York say the explosive West Bank situation is building pressure for new United Nations action, even before the US presidential elections, to recognize Palestinian rights. The US is trying to discourage such action, which it sees as harming further the blocked Egypt-Israel-US Palestinian autonomy talks.
The UN Security Council is scheduled to consider a PLO- approved resolution condemning the continued Israeli occupation of Arab territories and recent terrorist bombing attacks against West Bank notables.
Arab League Ambassador to the UN Clovis Makhsoud said efforts had been made to phrase the resolution in the kind of language the US has been able to support in earlier UN documents, to avoid a US veto that would further harm tense US-Arab relations.
Three Palestinian leaders from the West Bank, who support the PLO, are working for a renewal of past "unofficial" US-PLO contacts. (The US pledged to Israel in 1975 it would have no "official" contacts until the PLO recognized the jewish state, something the Al-Fatah organization has just repeated it would not do).
The three West Bank leaders, Mayors Muhammad Milhelm of Halhul and Fahd Kawasmeh of Hebron, and Hebron religious leader Sheikh Rajab Tamimi, were deported to Lebanon May 3, after violence in Hebron. They began a scheduled speaking tour of the United States June 4.
Mr. Milhelm said they were eager to talk to Us officials and especially US Jewish leaders about the need for Arab- Jewish coexistence and a Palestinian state. The US presidential elections, he said, held out little hope of improvement for the Palestinians.