PNC meeting in Gaza to tackle charter change

JERUSALEM — The Palestine National Council will meet next week in the Gaza Strip to address changing its charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel.

Meanwhile, Israel has allowed two Palestinians involved in significant anti-Israel terrorist actions during the 1970s to come from abroad to attend the PNC meeting.

Israel granted entry on Monday to Nayef Hawatmeh, leader of the Damascus-based Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which opposes the Israeli-Palestinian peace moves.

Hawatmeh was responsible for the 1974 Ma'alot massacre, when terrorists killed 26 people, most of them schoolchildren, in the northern development town.

Reversing course from a day earlier, Israel also agreed Monday to allow the entry of Leila Khaled, a member of the PFLP who was captured in London in 1970 after trying to hijack an El Al plane. She was later exchanged for hostages taken in other hijackings.

Khaled was initially turned back when trying to enter the West Bank via Jordan's Allenby Bridge Monday when she did not inform them of her arrival first.

Israeli authorities are not requiring the two to sign pledges denouncing terrorism and backing the peace process, a condition Israel has demanded from other PNC members seeking to enter the self-rule areas.

Khaled, an opponent of the Israeli-Palestinian accords, has promised to vote against any change in the charter.

Another rejectionist, George Habash, the head of the Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, may be given a permit to enter the autonomy in the coming days, according to Israeli officials.

The PNC is scheduled to convene April 22, when the Palestinian parliament in exile is expected to tackle the question of revoking the clauses in its charter calling for Israel's destruction.

Such revocation is a condition of the Israeli-Palestinian peace accords.