Monday, January 7, 2008
Interview, The Electronic Intifada, 7 January 2008
"One of the most legendary figures of the Palestinian struggle for national liberation, Leila Khaled was recently in the Palestinian refugee camps of northern Lebanon. Visiting for the first time since last summer's battle between the non-Palestinian Islamist group Fatah al-Islam and the Lebanese army, during which the Nahr al-Bared camp was destroyed, Khaled sat down with EI editor Matthew Cassel to discuss Annapolis, Nahr al-Bared, and how the Palestinian movement must move forward.
A refugee herself, Khaled was forced to flee Haifa as a young girl in 1948 and later became the first female member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in 1967 and remains a member in the PFLP Leadership Council. Khaled put herself and Palestine in the front pages of newspapers by hijacking two passenger airplanes in 1969 and 1970, under the PFLP motto "Going after the enemy everywhere."
Forty years later, Palestine is still not yet liberated and the situation of the refugees is as dire as ever. More than 30 civilian refugees were killed during last summer's camp battle, and thousands of refugees in Lebanon are wondering when they can return to their camp, let alone their homes and property in historic Palestine........"