[Diary of a Vengeance Foretold] Part 129
NOVEMBER 8 1988
“A negotiated settlement to the issue of Palestinian independence that excluded Syrian involvement was not on Assad agenda. It has never been. It will never be.”
David Yallop — The Hunt for the Jackal
Today (08/11/1988), Khalid jaafar arrived at Frankfurt airport. Bilal el-Salheli, a friend from Lebanon, told him that he could stay with his brother Hassan.
In his book, former FBI special agent Richard Marquise  wrote that Khalid Jaafar, before to returning to America to complete his education, stopped in Dortmund to visit his childhood friends, the Salheli brothers. That is, I believe, uncorrect. To my knowledge, he had never met them before. Indeed, according to a statement he gave to the BKA in April 1989, Hassan el-Salheli had never met Khalid Jaafar before his arrival in Dortmund on Nov. 8 1988.
Once in Frankfurt, Khalid took the train to Dortmund, where he was met by Hassan El-Salheli and another man named Naim Ali Ghannam. According to Hassan el-Salheli, he had only known Ghannam recently, indeed last month, having met him by chance in the street.
Shortly after their chance meeting, Ghannam returned to Lebanon. Ghannam told Hassan that his brother had drowned and he needed to attend the funeral. That is a lie. Ghannan brother had died much earlier while fighting for Hizbullah.
Khalid Jaafar was scheduled to return on a direct flight from Dusseldorf to Detroit on Dec. 19 1988. But, as we shall see, Ghannan changed his ticket and rebooked him on the Dec. 21st PA 103 flight.
Arafat Ponders the Issue of Compromise
Five days before the start of a critical meeting to be held in Algiers, the Palestine Liberation Organization is divided over possible concessions to Isreal. Some concessions are regarded in the West as necessary for peace in the Middle East.
“Some officials say the prospect of an Israeli Government led by the Likud party, which has advocated a hard line toward the Palestinians, has eroded the P.L.O.’s effort to achieve a consensus that would permit moves toward the recognition of Israel. The United States refuses to talk to the P.L.O. until it takes that step and renounces violence,” the New York Times argues today.
Nevertheless, within the PLO, major figures contend that Palestinians are increasingly prepared for some form of recognition of Israel in order to unlock the stalled peace process.
”Our long experience with the Israeli occupation has made the Palestinians more mature. This is the age of maturity of the Palestinian leadership,” said Mohammed Milhem, a member of the P.L.O.’s Executive Committee.
The Palestine National Council will hold a meeting that is to begin on Saturday in Algiers. The Council is widely viewed by Palestinians as a parliament in exile. The group is the supreme policy-making body of the P.L.O.
The importance of the upcoming meeting is drawn from two developments that have changed the dynamics of the Arab-Israel dispute.
Firstly, over the last 11 months, Israel has been confronted by a Palestinian uprising in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Secondly, Jordan has severed administrative and legal ties with the West Bank, handing over technical responsibility to the PLO.
It is rumored that the PLO plans to declare the occupied territories an independent state according to the 1947 United Nations resolution that partitioned Palestine into Arab and Jewish regions. To most Palestinians, such declaration would amount to a tacit recognition of Israel.
Western powers auch the US demands for unambiguous acceptance of two United Nations resolutions, 242 and 338. These resolutions recognize Israel while urging that it withdraw from the occupied territories.
As the New York Times points out today, the issue of recognition of Israel right to existence has divided the PLO. Hard-line factions based in Damascus forcefully oppose any suggestion by the Fatah movement of Arafat that his organization makes major concessions.
Today, a Defense Intelligence Agency Terrorism Intelligence Branch issued a “Defense intelligence Summary” [DITSUM] warning that hardline Palestinian groups will step up their terrorist activities in order to discredit Arafat initiative.
NOTES AND REFERENCES
Richard Marquise led the U.S. task force that investigated the Lockerbie bombing. He has authored a book on the subject: Scotbom: Evidence and the Lockerbie Investigation. See page 41.
To Compromise, or Not? P.L.O. Ponders the Issue — November 8, 1988
Iraq Agrees to Trade Wounded P.O.W.’s — November 8, 1988
Judge Dismisses One Charge against North in Iran-Contra — November 8, 1988