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May 20, 2002
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Palestinian Terrorist killed in Beirut

The Jerusalem Post (www.jpost.com) reports that Jihad Jibril, 41, son of Ahmed Jibril, leader of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, has been killed in Beirut, Lebanon.

The PFLP is a Palestinian terrorist group based in Damascus, Syria, whose only goal is to kill as many Israelis as possible and to destroy the State of Israel. Both Ahmed Jibril and his son Jihad have been involved in dozens of terrorist attacks against unarmed civilians.

Ben-Eliezer, Israel's Minister of Defense, has denied that Israel was involved in the killing of Jibril.

"Beirut police said a two-kilogram bomb of TNT had been placed under the driver's seat. The seat was found dozens of meters away from the twisted wreck."

Israeli TV reports that exploding cars are a common way for Lebanese terrorist groups to attack each other. That said, Israel had plenty of reasons to go after Jihad Jibril as well, as reported by the following article on Ha'Aretz (www.haaretzdaily.com):

"From the start of his career, Ahmed Jibril's PFLP-GC has been considered one of the most murderous of the terrorist organizations operating against Israel. Among his debts - the murder of nine children from Kibbutz Avivim, killed on their way to school, the massacre of 16 people in Kiryat Shmona, half of them children, in what was the first of the Palestinian suicide attacks on Israel. In addition, the organization is responsible for downing a Swiss Air plane in 1970, in which 38 passengers and nine crew members were killed. The group has long been on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations."

For the Jerusalem Post article, click here.
I copy the Ha'aretz article below.

Naturally, Jibril blames Israel, which had many reasons to do it
By Ze'ev Schiff
http://news.haaretz.co.il/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=166201&contrassID=2&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y&itemNo=166201

It's only natural for Ahmed Jibril to blame Israel's Mossad for the assassination of his son Jihad, who was one of the operations officers for Jibril's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command. Ahmed Jibril knows Israel has a long account with him and that behind Jibril lies a wake of dead Israelis, including children, as well as Europeans and others his organization has killed. It's also a long account with Damascus, which gives the PFLP-GC, as well as other rejectionist groups, patronage, refuge, and encourages them to use Lebanon as a launching ground for attacks on Israel.

From the start of his career, Ahmed Jibril's PFLP-GC has been considered one of the most murderous of the terrorist organizations operating against Israel. Among his debts - the murder of nine children from Kibbutz Avivim, killed on their way to school, the massacre of 16 people in Kiryat Shmona, half of them children, in what was the first of the Palestinian suicide attacks on Israel. In addition, the organization is responsible for downing a Swiss Air plane in 1970, in which 38 passengers and nine crew members were killed. The group has long been on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations.

The assassination of his son will no doubt motivate Jibril to retaliate for what he believes was an Israeli operation. Not that he needs a reason; the PFLP-GC has been involved in attempts to kill as many Israelis as possible, and to harm Israel in whatever way it can, since it was founded. But he may choose targets outside of Israel, as he has in the past.

In many ways, the PFLP-GC is considered a Syrian organization even more than a Palestinian one. Like Islamic Jihad, it is based in Damascus, but Syria has often used the organization in its campaigns against Yasser Arafat. Among other things, Jibril joined forces with Syria in 1982 in a military campaign to drive Arafat and his fighters out of Tripoli in Lebanon. That became the reason for the PLO to evict the Damascus-based group from the Palestinian umbrella organization Arafat runs.

Jibril and his organization's involvement in the current conflict has been increasing in recent months. Among other things, it was responsible for the Santorini weapons ship intercepted by the Israeli navy last year, and for establishing cells inside the territories. Its relationship with Hezbollah has been tightened, with Jibril's men firing Katyushas into the Galilee in coordination with Hezbollah in south Lebanon.

But perhaps Jibril's most successful operation against Israel was his negotiation for the release of 1,150 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, in exchange for three Israeli soldiers in the mid-1980s.

Posted by David Melle at May 20, 2002 10:41 PM
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