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Palestinian raid on Tel Aviv hotel



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■ (File 137/75)

THE LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA ■ media- release FEDERAL SECRETARIAT ■ -

FROM THE HON. A.S. PEACOCK, MP OPPOSITION SPOKESMAN ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS .

PALESTINIAN RAID ON TEL AVIV HOTEL · . .

The Palestinian raid on a Tel Aviv hotel yesterday and the loss of life that resulted emphasise again the continuing tragedy of the Middle East conflict. It also shows the futility and irrationality of terrorist tactics and extremist measures which will only deepen

the conflict. .

It is reported that Al Fatah is claiming responsibility for the raid, If this is so it denies any claim by the PLO to a moderate stand. Tt leader of the PLO is also leader of Al Fatah.

The Opposition parties condemn this action, directed as it was again; civilians and innocent non-combatants.

If the PLO is genuine in its claim of moderation it should not only , disclaim this raid but denounce it. The onus is on PLO leaders, particularly Yasser Arafat, to provide evidence that their claims of moderation are genuine. If Al Fatah is responsible these claims

are obviously false. If any members of PLO are involved, the same applies.

Our sympathy goes to those innocent people, Israeli and non-Israeli, killed or injured as a result of this Palestinian raid which we denounce as barbaric and pointless.

If reports of Al Fatah1s and the PLO's involvement are correct it confirms our stand that no consideration should be given to visas for PLO representatives to visit Australia until they have unequivocally rejected such extremist action and accepted Israel's · . right to exist„

If confirms our view that the PLO should not have been permitted to participate in UN debate on the Palestinian question.

The Labor Government stands condemned for its condoning of this decision, and for its continuing equivocation on issues related to tl· Middle East. This was illustrated by the Prime Minister replying to a question in the House of Representatives last Wednesday. He failec

to answer concerning a possible, request by the PLO for visas to visii Australia. There should be no equivocation. Visas should not be considered until the PLO is prepared to explicitly reject tactics . such as the raid on the Tel Aviv hotel yesterday,·and to accept ·

Israel's right to exist.

* * * * * *

March 7, 1975

BLACKALL & MACQUARIE STS., BARTON, A.C.T. G.P.O. BOX 13, CANBERRA, A.C.T. 2600. TEL. 73 2564. TELEX A A 62630