Video here. This is a great video showing fighting between the PFLP-GC and the Syrian rebels in a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus. The rebels entered the camp where the PFLP-GC has a huge presence, and the PFLP-GC, a very well-armed and well-trained force, fought the rebels. The Syrian Army unfortunately would not enter the camp to help the PFLP-GC fight the rebels. Quite a few of the Palestinians in the camp, including PFLP-GC members, joined the rebels to fight against their Palestinian brethren. However, over time, the PFLP-GC defeated the rebels and rousted them from the camp. In the meantime, much of the camp was destroyed. The Palestinians are getting dragged into this conflict despite their best efforts to stay out of it. The PFLP-GC is a pro-Syrian split from the PFLP group. The group is an old-line secular group that used to include quite a few Christian members. They strongly oppose the new radical Islamist turn that the Islamic world has been moving towards. They consider these new Islamists to be intolerant and fanatical. The PFLP-GC has high praise for the Syrian regime. It is true that Syria has treated Palestinians better than most Arab regimes. Palestinians are allowed to work in Syria, whereas they often cannot work in other places. In addition, the PFLP-GC says that Syria still stands with the Palestinians while the rest of the world has abandoned them. There is certainly quite a bit of truth to that statement. In terms of its relationship with Israel, the PFLP-GC is a pretty hardline group. Recently in the West Bank, there was a gathering of Palestinians at which both Hamas and the PFLP-GC spoke. Both groups praised each other although the PFLP-GC is about as secular as Hamas is Islamist. The reason both groups praised each other is because both of them take a very hard line against Israel. The fighting in Syria has split the Palestinian movement badly. In particular, the PFLP proper has called for the PFLP-GC to be thrown out of the PLO (the PFLP-GC, along with a number of other organizations, is part of the larger PLO) for needlessly endangering the lives of Palestinians by getting involved in the Syrian Civil War. One might argue that as the rebels entered the camp, the PFLP-GC had little choice but to fight. Some say that the PFLP-GC is fighting alongside the Syrian army in other places in Syria, but this is dubious. The PFLP-GC also has training camps and a presence in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, in particular in the south of Lebanon. This group is rather unpopular among Palestinian groups, but after reading an interview with some of their elder members who edit and write the party’s newspaper, I rather like them. Old-time secular Arab nationalists, just like the Palestinians used to be.
Please follow and like us: