Thursday, 15 January 2009
The “Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command” – the quotation marks are necessary since this outfit controls at most 500 cadres – is responsible for all the tin-pot rockets fired into Israel from Lebanon this past week.
It is not the next “front”. It is not the beginning of the “northern front”. No one was injured when three rockets fired from southern Lebanon fell in open areas near the Israeli town of Kiryat Shemona yesterday. A blaze of outdated rockets on northern Israel – “about 1944, I date them”, as one Palestinian put it in Beirut – is not going to ignite another conflict for Hamas in Gaza. In Lebanon, the guns are silent – and when they are not, the world will know about it.
The Hizbollah are not behind them – though it is strange that the Iranian-supplied militia failed a second time to prevent the PFLP-GC from firing over the border – and the organisation’s preposterous attempt to ignite another conflict did little more than advertise the divisions within the Palestinian refugee community inside Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp east of Sidon.
For the West, the PFLP-GC is an unspeakable problem. Most Arabs suspect they were behind the Lockerbie bombing. Thus did most Western “analysts” believe, until the PFLP-GC’s Syrian supporters were needed after Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 – Syrian troops were sent to Saudi Arabia to help defend the kingdom – after which Libya and a certain Mr Megrahi became the culprits, and the PFLP-GC became the blameless boys of the Middle East.
The UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon should have spotted the latest attack – but, relying on Hizbollah to defend them from their “al-Qa’ida” enemies – they did not keep their eye on the ball. The Israelis know all this. Nor did they want to smear the UN yesterday (that will come later).
The Israelis do not want a second war right now. It’s not the moment to claim that the PFLP-GC, with its nests around Sidon, is the “centre of world terror”. That will be a surprise for the West’s “analysts” – and for the Obama administration – in due course. (The Independent)