Leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization reportedly accepted a UN resolution yesterday, implicitly recognizing Israel's right to exist, and recommended that the PLO's parliament endorse the decision. The move means that Yasser Arafat, chairman of the PLO, has won his struggle with hardline leaders over the controversial UN Resolution 242.
``The PNC will come out with a political decision and a program of peace,'' said PLO spokesman Ahmed Abdul Rahman.
``In the political statement, we will adopt all resolutions of the UN Security Council dealing with the Palestinian question. What's more, we will emphasize Resolutions 242 and 338 as the basis for an international conference to achieve peace in the Middle East.''
Resolution 242, adopted in November 1967, called for Israel's withdrawal from occupied lands in return for the right to live in peace within secure borders. Palestinians were referred to only as a ``refugee'' problem, leading the PLO to reject the resolution. Resolution 338 called for implementation of 242.
If the leadership's decision is accepted by the Palestine National Council, the PLO's parliament-in-exile, it will meet one of the conditions for US recognition of the PLO. The 450-member Palestinian council began meeting Saturday and is expected to conclude on Tuesday with a declaration of independence for the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In the closed-door committee meetings among PLO leaders, there was strong opposition to Resolution 242 from the Marxist-oriented groups, particularly the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, led by George Habash.
Habash reportedly agreed to note his reservations but bow to the majority and not create a major split.
Mr. Habash's faction, backed by Syria, is the second-largest of the eight groups comprising the PLO. Mr. Arafat's al-Fatah is the largest.