"Stealing Palestine: Who dragged Palestine into Syria's conflict?"

An  incredibly interesting and informative report by Sharmine  Narwani,  compiling facts during her two visits to Syria in 2012 and  2014.

As early as 2012 all Palestinian political  factions  based in Syria, namely Popular Front for the Liberation of  Palestine-General Command (PFLP-G) and  Palestine Liberation Army (PLA),  officially declared neutrality in the  Syrian conflict.  With the  passage of time as the war got more intense  and foreign terrorists  began attacking Palestinian refugee camps,  Palestinians in 14 camps  across Syria (including Yarmouk) overwhelmingly began supporting the  Syrian government and the Resistance.  It’s truly heartening to learn of  the details provided by Sharmine  Narwani on their commitment, dedication, and accurate perception on the importance of maintaining   solidarity with Syria and Iran as being vital for the Palestinian cause  and its future.

Regrettably, Hamas had been the odd one  out.  It’s difficult to guess what Hamas’ reclusive approach at  present might  indicate – neutrality or discreet continued support for  the rebels?  Probably neutrality .. or so I hope.   Khaled Meshal’s hasty decision  of shifting Hamas headquarters from Damascus to Qatar  has made  reconciliation between Hamas and the Syrian government almost  impossible.  Additionally, the decision of Hamas’ military wing to  send its fighters to join Al-Nusra  & FSA in the battle of Qusair in July 2013 was much too damaging and indeed  the final nail on relations  between Hamas and Syria.  Though according to various reports, Hamas now supposedly regrets its past  missteps, it’s perhaps too little too  late.  The best it can do at the moment is to stay neutral and silent.

The   write-up provides first hand information on the suffering of Palestinian refugees at the hands of foreign fighters and the chain of assassinations of Palestinians of various political factions carried out by terrorists in Syria.

Following are some interesting excerpts from Sharmine Narwani's the work:


Many  Palestinians I interviewed told  the story of the driver of the PLA van  – who was not a soldier himself.  Ahmad Ezz was a young man from the  Nairab camp in Aleppo. The rebels  spared him – temporarily – then  strapped him into a vehicle rigged with  massive explosives, and ordered  him to drive into a Syrian army  checkpoint.  According to multiple  Arabic news  reports, at the very last minute, Ahmad veered sharply away  from the  checkpoint. The rebels detonated the explosives and Ahmad  died, but by changing course he spared the Syrian soldiers.

At  the entrance of the (Jeramana) camp, I was greeted  by armed  Palestinians who are part of a 14-group ‘volunteer force’  formed for  the purpose of protecting Yarmouk and ejecting the rebel  fighters ..  When I ask them where they’re from, in rapid-fire, one after the other,  they tell me,“Safad, Lubya, Haifa, Tiberias, Jerusalem, Acca,” though,   of course, they’re too young to ever have been to any of these places.   That’s where their parents or grandparents hail from. That’s where  they  intend to return one day.

Further into the camp, I  spot several  dozen children in festive mode, sporting nationalist  clothing and  hoisting Palestinian and Syrian flags. One carries a large  poster of Syrian President BasharAssad. The kids are about to perform  in a  ceremony for Yom al-Ard (Land  Day) to commemorate the day in 1976  when Israel confiscated thousands of dunams of Palestinian land. .... I follow them around the corner to  their destination and am startled at  what lies ahead.  A large, colorful  tent has been erected to house a  crowd attending the Yom al-Ard  activities – but flanking the podium  inside are massive posters of  Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan  Nasrallah, the Islamic Republic of  Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali  Khamenei, his predecessor Ayatollah  Ruhollah Khomeini and Assad.

Dr. Abdul Rahman Attar, the president of Syrian Red Crescent Society  (SARC), when asked if the Syrian army ever entered Palestinian camps while civilians were still in residence -- "In my opinion, no. Everything happening in Yarmouk is in the hands of Palestinians, not Syrians. The Syrian role is only in facilitation."   The only exception to this, say  Palestinians of all backgrounds, is  when camps are entirely empty of  civilians – as in Daraa and Handarat.  Only then does the Syrian army  enter to fight rebels.

"Rebels  killed some PLA officers to  force Palestinians to help the Syrian  revolution – to intimidate them.  And they blamed the Syrian army. The  target of this crisis is the  Palestinian case. They think when they  occupy Palestinian camps in Syria  and divide them, they will forget  Palestine," - Palestine's ambassador to Syria, Anwar Abdul Hadi.

The  Syrian state continues to support  Palestinian refugees in various  ways: inside Jeramana, the Syrians have  established a supply store that  provides food basics – lentils, jam,  beans, tomato paste, yoghurt etc –  at substantial discounts for camp  residents and displaced persons. An  elderly woman sits at her makeshift  stall elsewhere in the camp,  distributing state-subsidized bread for  literally pennies. (In Yarmouk,  I had also observed government-donated  bread and jam sandwiches handed  out to refugees awaiting UNRWA food aid  boxes.)   Inside the camp’s  main marketplace, an  abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables are on  display in the narrow  street. Even though the camp’s population has  swelled to four to five  times its pre-conflict numbers, residents have  adapted to the new  realities in Jeramana.  They, at least, still have  their homes.


Here is the complete article.  If you're really interested to know the truth, don't miss it.

"Stealing Palestine:  Who dragged Palestine into Syria's conflict?"
By Sharmine Narwani