A secret deal signed in 1970, between Switzerland and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) has been revealed. According to a new book, it was so secret that other members of Switzerland’s seven-member government had no clue of the deal.
In 1970, two Swiss Air flights were hijacked by the Palestinian groups. Following the incident, then Swiss Foreign Minister fixed a meeting with senior officials of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
The meeting was headed by PLO’s Chairman Yasser Arafat, to discuss the diplomatic plans and to form a protection pact to avoid terror attacks in Switzerland, said Marcel Gyr, a journalist with Swiss national daily the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, in a report filed by THE LOCAL.
As per the newspaper’s report, the full details of the deal are kept under Swiss law — the “50-year statute of limitations”.
The first incidence was on the Swiss Air en-route to Tel Aviv. It was bombed in the air, killing all the passengers on board.
Few months later, another Swiss flight was this time hijacked by the PLO affiliate PFLP, on September 6. The flight was forcefully directed to land in Jordan at Dawson’s Field Airstrip.
All the 157 passengers were kept under lock and key for weeks. Television news crews were invited to highlight the terrorist demands around the world. As well as “the release of PLFP prisoners in Israel and in Europe.” reported The Jerusalem Post.
It was politically difficult for Switzerland to deal alone with the PLO. The country risked its global appearance for being neutral with its allies. The country was officially a part of a united front against Palestinian terrorism including US and UK, Gyr said in the book.
Following the demands, the terrorist group decided September 12 as the release. Just before the release date, on September 11, all the hostages were moved to Amman for release. Most of the hostages were moved except for the Jewish passengers and three flight crews who were kept at the airstrip.
On September 12, after getting warning from the Jordanian army forces, the terrorist group destroyed the laden planes. After the mess, the Jordanian forces moved forwards and fought back against the group.
It was officially declared as war in Jordan called “Black September” against the Palestinian groups in the country. It left thousands dead.