The Struggle for Lebanon
The PLO had an objective to end the siege of the beleaguered pockets in East Beirut and lift the stranglehold on the western half of the capital. Representatives of Tal al-Za'tar lobbied Arafat for help on 4 January, 1975, and the PLO made a last appeal to the Lebanese authorities, warning that it would have to consider all measures to ensure the delivery of vital supplies to the camp. Two food convoys organized by the UNWRA and the army over the next two days were prevented from reaching Tal al-Za'tar by the Maronite militias, but Arafat remained reluctant to use force. This was partly not to give a pretext for escalation to the Maronite leadership. The ultimate aim was to compel it to accept modification of the Cairo agreement and Melkart protocol, restrict its presence and activity generally, and relocate the population of the besieged refugee camps away from Maronite-held areas.
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