Ahmed Jibril


Ahmed Jibril

Ahmed Jibril ( _ar. أحمد جبريل; born c. 1938) is the founder and leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command (PFLP-GC), part of the left-wing, secular Palestinian rejectionist front, so-called because they reject proposals for a peaceful settlement with Israel.

Since its inception in 1968, the PFLP-GC has staged numerous attacks against Israeli and other targets, both military and civilian. Jibril was alleged to have targeted Pan Am Flight 103 in December 1988, according to one alternative theory into the bombing.

Jibril's son, Jihad Ahmed Jibril, who headed the PFLP-GC's military wing and was in line to replace Jibril as leader of the group, was killed by a car bomb in Beirut on May 20, 2002. [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article675279.ece]

Early life

Jibril was born in Yazur a town near Jaffa in British Mandate of Palestine, in 1938 [http://www.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/1C1FF390-F513-4F73-B742-536264B1E254] . His family moved to Syria, where he was raised, and where he served in the army from 1956 until 1958, rising to the rank of captain before being expelled as a suspected Communist. He founded the Palestinian Liberation Front in 1959, then joined George Habash to found the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 1967, a communist armed movement opposed to the nationalism of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement.

Break from the PFLP

In 1968 Jibril broke away from the PFLP because of disputes between Habash and the Syrian government and formed the separate pro-Syrian PFLP-General Command. Jibril has not wavered in his support of Syria, and his group remains based in Damascus.

Although for decades the PFLP-GC's ideology was almost identical to the PFLP, Jibril never wavered from his belief that Palestine could only be liberated through military attrition. He joined Habash and other splinter groups in the so-called "rejectionist front," which opposed negotiations of any kind with the Israeli government. He launched a variety of inventive attacks, including the "Night of the Hang Gliders" on 25 November, 1987.

Relationship with Islamist states

Jibril was also the first old-guard Palestinian militant to embrace the aid of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad. Unlike George Habash, a Greek Orthodox Christian, Jibril was able, as a Muslim, to correlate Islamic radicalism and his Marxist ideology. By the early 1990s, with the rise of Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Jibril had ceased to be a key threat to the Israelis.

ignature

The PFLP-GC maintained cells in several European cities, which carried out anti-American or anti-Israeli operations on behalf of Syria, Libya, and Iran.

Samuel Katz's "Israel vs. Jibril" distinguishes the PFLP-GC and Jibril's strategy from the rest of the PLO by its emphasis on military training and equipment, and not on declarations and publicity stunts. This caused the group to fail to make a significant mark on the public debate. Since 1994's Oslo Accords, support for the PFLP-GC dwindled among doves, who flocked to Fatah's new Palestinian Authority, and among hawks, who mainly backed Hamas and the PFLP, which was more established in the West Bank.

On May 7, 2001, the Israeli Navy seized a Palestinian boat filled with heavy weapons in the port of Haifa. Jibril is believed to have been behind the shipment of weapons, which were bound for the Gaza Strip.

Quotes

"Can you believe they talk about historical myths, from 3,000 years ago or more, in which God promised to give Abraham the land from the Nile to the Euphrates? Just imagine, the Master of the Universe, who is absolute justice, brings these people and says to them: 'You own this land and everything on it.' Then they say that in the days of Jacob, they were given Palestine, the Promised Land. One should know, however, that history and archeology have yet to prove that a Jewish state was ever established on the land of Palestine, or that such a state survived and gave rise to civilizations, and so on... It is said that gangs controlled Jerusalem, Hebron, and Nablus, and that later, they were uprooted, just like any other gang." [ [http://www.memritv.org/clip_transcript/en/1775.htm Clip Transcript ] ]

ee also

*Kiryat Shmona massacre

Further reading

*Kushner, Harvey W. (2003). "Encyclopedia of Terrorism". Sage Publications Inc. ISBN 0-7619-2408-6, p. 194.

References

External links

* [http://www.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/1C1FF390-F513-4F73-B742-536264B1E254 A series of interviews made by Pan-arab channel Al-jazeera in 2004 (In Arabic).]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1998598.stm Ahmed Jibril and the PFLP-GC]


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