Leila Khaled Visit Raises Anger in Britain

Sharon Sadeh
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Sharon Sadeh

LONDON - Former Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, yesterday concluded a 10-day visit to Britain during which she expressed support for suicide attacks against Israel.

Khaled was never indicted for her part in the hijacking of an El Al plane to Heathrow in 1970, but her visit angered the British Jewish community and legislators who demanded that the government explain why Khaled was given a visa.

Khaled, 58, took part in last weeks pro-Palestinian demonstration in Trafalgar Square, and then addressed hundreds of students at London's School for Oriental and African Studies. According to a Daily Telegraph report Khaled told the meeting of about 100 people: "There are no suicide bombers. They are freedom fighters," a comment probably in breach of British laws against incitement and advocating terrorism anywhere in the world.

In an interview with the newspaper, Khaled said: "We are glorifying life because we want peace, but when we are always the targets of the Israelis I don't think we are going to meet them with flowers. We continue our struggle by all means, including armed struggle."

Khaled was also scheduled to speak to students at Sussex University, but the college canceled the event.

It was Khaled's second visit to Britain in the past year. Her previous one also caused much anger after she likened Zionism to Nazism during an address to parliament.

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