Founding PLO member Shafiq Al-Hout buried in Beirut

Founding member of the Palestine Liberation Organization and former aide to Yasser Arafat Shafiq Al-Hout died on Sunday in Lebanon. Hout, a prominent Palestinian politician and author, died at the age of 77 at the American University Hospital of cancer, and was buried on Monday in the Palestine Martyrs Cemetery in Beirut, Arabic newspaper Al Hayat and the Lebanese Daily Star reported on Monday. The funeral was attended by scores of people, including prominent Lebanese politicians and representatives of both Fatah and Hamas. Hout, who had resided in Lebanon since his family fled Israel in 1948, co-founded the PLO with Yasser Arafat in 1964 and served as its first representative in Lebanon. Hout also served as the PLO's delegate to the United Nations from 1974 until 1992, but resigned from the PLO's executive committee over his opposition to Arafat's recognition of the State of Israel at the Oslo interim Peace Accords, the Daily Star reported. Scores of people were present at the Imam Ali Mosque in Beirut on Monday, where prayers were held for the soul of Hout, Al Hayat reported.