Arab-Israeli Prisoner Exchange

PLO-Israeli Prisoner exchange - many felt the numbers were lopsided.

November 24, 1983 – The PLO/Israeli Prisoner Swap – Expecting An Exit From Tripoli – Thanksgiving In Beirut

Arab-Israeli Prisoner Exchange
PLO-Israeli Prisoner exchange – many felt the numbers were lopsided.

November 24, 1983 – CBS World News Roundup – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

November 24, 1983 – Thanksgiving that year and an exchange going on in the Middle East. Some 4700 Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners, being held in Israel in exchange for six Israeli Army prisoners taken by the PLO during the invasion of Lebanon. The six, held captive for fourteen months were flown into Tel-Aviv to a hero’s welcome; mobbed by relatives and doused with Champagne. Starting at midnight, some 1,000 PLO prisoners were rounded up and put on planes heading for Algiers, and 3200 more prisoners were slated to be turned loose in Lebanon. Many Israeli observers felt it was a lopsided deal; 4700 to 6 and two Israelis were still being held by the PLO. Many of the former PLO prisoners flashed the victory sign and chanted PLO slogans as they left on buses, vowing to come back another day and fight the Israelis who released them.

Meanwhile, PLO Chairman Yassar Arafat was expected to vacate Tripoli and move PLO forces out of Lebanon. The move was based on assurances the PLO would be protected by Syria during the evacuation. At the moment, PLO forces were pinned down and facing resumed shelling by Israelis forces once the ceasefire had expired.

And speaking of Lebanon, American forces were settling down to Thanksgiving dinner in Beirut, mindful that the relative calm could be shattered at any given moment as it was only a few months earlier when the barracks was attacked and left so many U.S. casualties in its wake.

And that’s just a small slice of what went on, this Thanksgiving Day in 1983 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.

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