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  • February 18, 2013

    WJC ANALYSIS – Fatah enters the Syrian war theater

    By Pinhas Inbari, WJC

    Zakariya al-Aga, the official in Fatah responsible for the Palestinian refugees, arrived in Damascus to conduct a series of meetings with officials of President Bashar al-Assad’s government on the plight of the Palestinian refugees caught in the crossfire between the regime and Salafist forces in various refugee camps and the Yarmuk refugee camp specifically, where al-Qaeda’s Nusra forces had taken over and turned the camp into an operations launching pad in the heart of Damascus.

    The question that worries the PLO most about the Palestinian refugees in Syria is the preservation of their right of return. The camps are slated to preserve the refugee status of Palestinians in Syria and concentrate them in one place until the day of return arrives. The events in Syria are achieving the exact opposite result. The civil war in Syria has led to the Palestinians’ dispersal around the country.

    Worse still, the refugees have joined the convoys of Syrian refugees and have become a part of the larger Syrian refugee context that may suggest a solution for their plight outside the framework of the Palestinian problem. The Palestinian Authority even refused to absorb Palestinian refugees from Syria in its territory for fear this would erase the refugees’ alleged right to return to homes in Israel proper.

    The PLO’s dilemma has deepened due to statements by Palestinians in Syria saying that they were not interested in returning to Israel and considered themselves Syrian. A Palestinian blogger from a Homs refugee camp in Yarmuk, Iyyad Hayatleh, who served as an officer in the Palestinian Liberation Army, mocked the PLO delegation and its attempts to convince the shattered refugees to return to the camp in order to keep the right of return alive. “I am not a guest in Syria,” he wrote. “I am a Syrian Palestinian that was born here, ate its food, breathed in its air, drank its water – Syria is my country!”

    To the chagrin of Arab powers like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the PLO has decided to engage with the Assad regime during a critical phase of the war in which the opposition forces are poised to shatter the regime in Damascus in order to secure the right of return. Furthermore, the PLO’s alliance with Assad put it in conflict with the Nusra forces and al-Qaeda by extension.

    Historically, inter-Arab tensions have led to attacks on Israel, as a way of distracting the Arab street. The terrorist attacks that rained on Israel after the signing of the Oslo agreement were partly couched in this context, as were Hamas’ missile barrages on southern Israel at a time when Fatah’s achievements threatened its power in Gaza.
    Accordingly, the PLO’s involvement in Assad’s regime’s showdown with the Nusra group in Yarmuk may attract al-Qaeda’s attention to the Israeli-Palestinian front, as the group’s self-dictated mandate extends to Great Syria – Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine. Thus far al-Qaeda has shown little interest in Israel and the Palestinian problem. However, the PLO’s latest move may change all that.

    Finally, the Palestinian alliance with Assad may also affect inter-Palestinian politics, which may, in turn, reverberate in Israel. It was reported last week that a Palestinian terrorist attack was aborted in Jerusalem. Israel’s Channel One attributed the attempt to a pro-Syrian faction called The Popular Front. It is early to tell whether it is linked to the Assad-PLO honeymoon. However, traditional pro-Syrian Palestinian factions may be concerned by the latest developments. So far, only the rejectionist front opposed to the Assad regime has been permitted to control the Yarmuk camp or any other refugee camp in Syria.

    The front believes Fatah has suggested to Assad it replace them as Yarmuk’s defenders. The rejectionists, who operate as an armed militia, may resort to violence in Israel as a way to distract Fatah away from Syria and bring the conflict back to their home turf.

  • Posted by Ted Belman @ 8:20 pm | 9 Comments »

    9 Comments to WJC ANALYSIS – Fatah enters the Syrian war theater

    1. Canadian Otter says:

      THEY’RE COMING TO ISRAEL – thanks to your government that rolled out the red carpet for them. Seven wounded Syrians were taken in for treatment in Israel. Under UN Refugee Convention they cannot be returned to Syria, says the UN. More refugees on the way.

      Top IDF brass bitterly divided over admission of Syrian refugees. IDF chief of staff upset he wasn’t notified in advance of decision to allow seven Syrian refugees into Israel for medical care and is concerned incident will set a dangerous precedent • Israel’s policy is not to allow Syrian refugees across the border. –

      The Arabs must be rolling on the floor with laughter. Israelis will now open their compassionate hearts and their borders to Arab “refugees”. All Arabs have to do is start a civil war and then head for the border with Israel. Is that how the Israeli-Arab conflict will end? With Jews surrendering without firing a shot, under an Arab tsunami? The issue of whether to allow a Palestinian state is now moot. As long as you keep your present government and keep genuflecting in front of the UN-US-EU Holy Trinity. ~~~~~ Think of the irony: Jewish settlers are not allowed to build in their own land, while your govt allows almost 100,000 Africans to come in, and now extends the welcome mat to your Jihadist enemies. ~~~~~ You couldn’t make this up.

    2. Canadian Otter says:

      IDF CLAIMS INNOCENCE NOW. They say that they were not told about Israel taking in Syrian refugees – But months ago IDF top chief said they were prepared for a Syrian refugee influx. The Chief later claimed his statements were taken out of context.

    3. yamit82 says:

      Canadian Otter Said:

      IDF CLAIMS INNOCENCE NOW. They say that they were not told about Israel taking in Syrian refugees – But months ago IDF top chief said they were prepared for a Syrian refugee influx. The Chief later claimed his statements were taken out of context.

      I am willing to trade these Arabs for Your Zombies. 😉

      Lets see if this comment gets zapped?

    4. Bernard Ross says:

      I”ll care about the arabs when they care about the Jews; until then not interested in their problems except to say happy arab spring :)

    5. Bernard Ross says:

      From Debka:

      The Jabhat al-Nusra, newly armed with hardware from Bosnia and Kosovo, have pushed across the border into Lebanon, our sources reveal, and are harassing Hizballah in its home bases in the Beqaa Valley. Night after night in the last ten days, small bands of Islamist fighters, weighed down by heavy loads of rockets, are attacking Hizballah strongholds and isolated guard and watch posts and ambushing military vehicles. Both are designated terrorist groups by the United States government. The Syrian conflict has indeed spilled over the border into Lebanon. It is also turning more and more into a sectarian confrontation between extremist Sunnis and radical Shiites.

      the Aha moment?(enemy of my enemy?) The Hamas/MB/ Qatari truce with Israel? Who were the target assassinations in Pillar of defense? The Sunni Shia war appears more important than the arab Israel war. Are the proxies being rearranged according to a new Focus? Is the taking down of Assad and hezbullah the prelude to the next phase for Iran? I keep in mind that wahhabi(islamist)-Saudi compact has been in alliance with the US for decades and has been a stable supplier of energy to the US. There has been no problem with relations over the decades. Apparently the chemistry is amenable to deals.

      hello Max, are you there?

    6. Dean says:

      The fact that “Palestinian” refugees in Syria consider themselves Syrian and not castaways of mythical Palestine and that they refuse to be used as pawns by Arabs, the UN and Islamists who have done this for 7 decades, shows how debauched and evil the politics of Arabs and the UN is vis-a-vis the “Palestinians.” Syrian Arabs have always rejected the notion that they are connected to Israeli territory. The “Palestinian” industry is cynically used by all and sundry, including Israel who cannot come out to clearly demarcate their own land and their own rights with regard to Israeli land. The Syrian conflict is becoming a huge internal battle between Sunni and Shiite extremists and it matters not who wins but how long they engage in battle to wipe out as much scum from that part of the ME as possible. Israel needs to stay out, not take sides and, like the other Arab states, including the PA and Hamas, not allow any more Arab refugees into Israel or Palestinian enclaves. Until the Islamists catch up with civilization, renounce their religion of terror and conquest, they pose a danger to civilized people worldwide. Isolate, isolate and isolate is the solution – keep them away and let them fight it out among themselves.

    7. scottdnok says:

      Let the Ottomans or Hasemites accomodate them.

    8. Honey Bee says:

      @ yamit82:
      @ Bernard Ross:

      Just hope they are not pregnant. Mexicanas come over our border to the ER,give birth for no cost at the taxpayer expence, gain US citizenship for the babies and collect welfare.

    9. steven l says:

      Contrary to many Jews who have done everything to assimilate and as we know have been rejected almost everywhere, the Pal “may know better” and refuse to assimilate despite the fact that the majority has no root in IL.

      @ Dean:

      In some ways, the Arabs are doing to the Palestinians what the West and the Arabs are doing to the Jews!

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