Jibril's son buried near Damascus

By THANAA IMAM   |   May 22, 2002 at 11:27 AM
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YARMOUK, Syria, May 22 (UPI) -- Jihad Jibril, son of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command leader, was buried Wednesday in a refugee camp near Damascus while thousands of mourners pledged to take revenge on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Jibril's coffin, wrapped with a Palestinian flag, was escorted from a Damascus hospital to the Yarmouk refugee camp where some 10,000 people lined the streets.

Mourners pledged to avenge Jihad's death, one saying, "We want Sharon's head so that our guerrillas play with it."

Jibril, the 41-year-old son of PFLP-GC leader Ahmed Jibril, was killed Monday in a car bomb explosion in Beirut. His father accused Israel's Mossad intelligence service of being behind the explosion. Israel denied any link with the killing.

Ahmad Jibril was taken to his son's burial place in a heavily guarded car. He was joined by officials from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian factions. Among the various flower wreaths sent to the funerals was one by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who has been staunchly denounced by the elder Jibril for concluding a peace accord with Israel in 1994.

Jihad Jibril's wife, Amal Abu Maizar, said her husband "died as a martyr like the rest of the Palestinian martyrs. His blood was spilled to defend every grain of Palestine's soil. We will be back and if not our children will surely return."

Jihad Jibril's brother, Khaled, who is in charge of the PFLP-GC special units, said: "Jihad wished martyrdom and got it. We are all on this path and ready for martyrdom for Palestine."

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, which is based in Syria, refuses to recognize any peace agreement with Israel, including the 1993 Oslo accords signed by Arafat. Unlike the similarly named PFLP -- an anti-Israel group in Arafat's coalition that claimed responsibility for assassinating Israeli minister Rehavem Zeevi last October -- the PFLP-GC has not been linked to operations within Israel since conflict re-ignited there 20 months ago.

However, PFLP-GC Assistant Secretary-General Talal Naji said Jihad Jibril had tried to send a ship loaded with weapons to Palestinians in the occupied territories. Naji was referring to the arms shipment that was seized by the Israeli off the Lebanese border coast of Naqoura last year.

Khaled Mashaal, head of the Hamas Politburo, vowed to avenge Jihad's killing, saying it was not only the responsibility of the PFLP-GC but of all Palestinian factions.

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