August 3, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9477

Saudi Writer: Ahmad Jibril Was A Killing Machine In The Service Of The Syrian Regime; Killed More Palestinians Than Israel

August 3, 2021
Saudi Arabia, Syria, Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 9477

In a July 15 article in the Saudi daily 'Okaz, journalist Muhammad Al-Sa'd harshly criticizes Palestinian militant Ahmad Jibril, who died recently, and his movement, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP–GC). Jibril and his movement, wrote Al-Sa'd, acted as a killing machine in the service of the Syrian regime,  and  killed more Palestinians during the civil wars in Lebanon and Syria than Israel has killed since 1948. Thus, they were certainly a liability rather than an asset for the Palestinian cause.

Al-Sa'd also criticizes the head of the Hamas movement, Yahya Sinwar, for regarding Jibril as a source of inspiration, and states that Hamas acted just like Jibril when it killed Fatah members during its 2007 takeover of the Gaza Strip. He concludes by saying that the Palestinians do not understand that they are their own worst enemies and forgive themselves for their mistakes, and agrees with Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who said that the Palestinian cause is a just cause but its advocates are failures.[1]

Ahmad Jibril (Source:

For statements made by Ahmad Jibril in 2017, click below:[2]

The following are translated excerpts from Al-Sa'd's July 15 article:[3]

"Seeking to take over the Palestinian cause for their own ends, the Ba'th [regime] in Syria and Iraq and the Nasser [regime in Egypt] harnessed the revolutionary [Palestinian] leaders to serve their needs and their rivalries with other Arab governments. They used [these leaders] to promote a revolutionary popular discourse that absolved them of responsibility for the poor and negligent [handling of the Palestinian cause] and shifted the blame to the wise and prudent regimes, chiefly Saudi Arabia.

"Conspicuous in this context for many decades in the Palestinian arena was Ahmad Jibril, secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP–GC). He was not conspicuous for good reasons, but rather because he was the worst of [these Palestinian] leaders, and the one who most resembled a killing machine interested in nothing but killing. There is a video of Palestinian [leaders], in which Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Al-Sinwar says to Ahmad Jibril, who is standing beside him: 'We learned from you how to [wage the] struggle, and you were an inspiration for us in our military operations.' Has Sinwar forgotten that Jibril bombed the Palestinian refugee camps along with Syria in order to drive the fighters of the [other Palestinian] organizations out of Lebanon [during the Lebanese civil war], and that he joined Assad in killing Palestinians during the 'Arab Autumn' [i.e., Arab Spring] revolution [in Syria]?![4] Perhaps Hamas is deliberately ignoring the fact that Jibril's front bombed and killed women and children during the siege and during the [civil] wars in Syria and Lebanon, because Hamas [itself] did the same in Gaza during its coup against Fatah, when it threw its opponents from rooftops and dragged their bodies through the streets.

 "This is how the Palestinians assess each other, and forgive themselves for all [their] mistakes. There is no guilt and no blame, even though Jibril was a guillotine that spilled Palestinian blood, and his military operations against Israel were only a tactic that served Syrian politicians, and nothing more.

"Ahmad Jibril saw Palestine through the prism of the Syrian Ba'th party, or, to be more accurate, through the prism of the [ruling] Assad family. He was their trained servant and their sharp weapon, like the rest of the Palestinian faction leaders. Palestine was just a cover story for him, and a lucrative program yielding him profits and status. During the civil wars in Syria and Lebanon, in which it participated, the PFLP killed more Palestinians than the Israelis themselves have killed from 1948 until today. Jibril is no exception [in this sense]. All the [Palestinian] factions fought among themselves and slaughtered tens of thousands of their fellow Palestinians, but Ahmad Jibril was the leader of a Syrian faction [that fought] in the name of Palestine with the aim of 'taming' the [other] Palestinian factions and subjecting them to killing and torture.

"The fact that Ahmad Jibril sided with everyone who fought against his people raises questions regarding his course. In the 1970s and 1990s he made a pact with the Syrians, fought Arafat and his associates, besieged refugee camps [in Lebanon] and perpetrated grave massacres along with the Christians. In the 1980s he joined the Shi'ite Amal movement [in Lebanon] in the War of the Camps,[5] and supported the Syrians in their bid to prevent Arafat, who had been  driven out of Lebanon [in 1982], from returning there in 1983.

"Ahmad Jibril founded his militia before [the founding of] Fatah, and even before Arafat became a well-known figure. But he was not a pragmatist like Arafat, and remained completely loyal to the Syrian regime. He obeyed every eyeblink of Hafez Al-Assad's, and later of his son Bashar's. Jibril wouldn't pull out his weapon unless Syrian intelligence ordered him to do so. Arafat, on the other hand, was an old hand at politics, maneuvering between his associates and his rivals and reaching understandings with [everyone], from the right-wing forces of 'Abd Al-Nasser to the left-wing [forces] of Saddam [Hussein], while taking advantage of every opportunity and every system, sometimes with kid gloves, and sometimes using the guns of others.

"The question is: Did Ahmad Jibril and his front bring added value to the Palestinian cause, or were they a liability? Answering this question is difficult, but possible, if we pose the same question regarding all the [other] factions. Jibril, his associates and their military and political organizations were a liability for the [Palestinian] cause. They exhausted it and traded in it, until it became a lifeless corpse, and committed unforgivable mistakes in the course of their fake struggle. [Saudi] Prince Bandar [bin Sultan] was right when he said that 'Palestine is a just cause, but its advocates are failures.'"


[3] 'Okaz (Saudi Arabia), July 15, 2021.

[4]  The reference is apparently to the deadly clashes that broke out in December 2012 in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus, between the Syrian army and the PFLP–GC on the one side, and supporters of the Syrian rebels on the other. The hostilities came to a head on December 16, when the Syrian regime bombed the camp from the air.  

[5] The War of the Camps  was a conflict during the Lebanon civil war, during which many Palestinian refugee camps were destroyed and thousands of Palestinians were killed. The PFLP-GC sided in this conflict with the Shi'ite Amal movement, which besieged the camps.  

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