TUNIS, JULY 15 -- PLO chairman Yasser Arafat today rejected U.S. demands to discipline a guerrilla leader responsible for an attempted seaborne raid on Israel.
Arafat made his remarks during a meeting at the Arab League's Tunis headquarters of foreign ministers and delegates from the 21 member countries. The meeting was called to consider the fallout from the recent break in the dialogue between the United States and the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Washington said it would not resume the dialogue with the PLO unless the organization renounced the seaborne raid and took action against Abul Abbas, leader of the Palestine Liberation Front, which claimed responsibility for the attempted attack on May 30 on a crowded Tel Aviv beach that was foiled off shore by Israeli forces.
"It's out of the question for the PLO to bend itself to these conditions," Arafat told the closed-door session, according to participants in the meeting.
The PLO chairman also accused the United States of "supporting Israel without limit," participants said.
Arafat spoke after the PLO's chief delegate to the Arab League, Mahmoud Abbas, urged "concrete and efficient measures" to protect Arab interests following the suspension of the dialogue. Mahmoud Abbas is not related to Abul Abbas.
The delegate did not define what form such measures to protect Arab interests would take, but he urged Arab countries to prepare a response if Israel attacks either Iraq or Libya.
The meeting started late today and was likely to stretch into Monday, observers said. The Arab League representatives were also considering problems caused by the massive immigration of Soviet Jews to Israel.
League sources said the PLO wants the Arab countries to condemn President Bush's decision to break off the U.S. dialogue with the PLO.
The PLO wants the United States to resume the dialogue, begun in December 1988 after Arafat renounced terrorism and backed the right of Israel to exist.
Earlier, the PLO indefinitely postponed a meeting of its Central Council scheduled for Wednesday in Baghdad, Iraq. The meeting had been called to discuss the suspended dialogue with the United States.