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Palestinian National Council denounces PFLP-GC leader over Syria

Dec. 18, 2012 12:32 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 18, 2012 4:57 P.M.)
Correction appended

AMMAN, Jordan (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian National Council on Tuesday denounced faction leader Ahmad Jibril over his role in involving Palestinians in the conflict in Syria.

In a message to President Mahmoud Abbas, the PNC denounced Jibril as in 1983 when he bombarded Yasser Arafat and Abu Jihad forces while they were besieged in Tripoli.

Jibril, head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command, is accused of dragging Palestinians into the conflict despite a decision by the Palestinian leadership that Palestinians must not intervene in internal Syrian affairs.

The PNC in its 1984 session suspended the membership of Jibril and other leaders of the PFLP-GC after he fought late President Yasser Arafat in Tripoli a year earlier.

Thus, the PNC will address the case of Jibril in the first future meeting in order to expel him and all others who contributed to the killing of Palestinians.

Expulsion would be based on article 73 of the PNC's internal law.

Thousands of Palestinians have fled Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus amid weeks of fighting between rebels, backed by some Palestinian fighters, and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The camp has come under heavy jet and artillery fire by the Syrian regime.

Jibril's PFLP-GC has fought alongside Assad's forces, but rebels say many PFLP-GC fighters have defected to join them. Jibril left the camp days ago, rebel sources said.

Syrian rebels said Monday they had taken full control of the camp, on the southern edge of Assad's Damascus powerbase.

"All of the camp is under the control of the (rebel) Free Syrian Army," said a Palestinian activist in Yarmouk. He said clashes had stopped and the remaining PFLP-GC fighters retreated to join Assad's forces massed on the northern edge of the camp.

The PNC said it feared government troops would storm the camp and commit massacres, and called on the UN and the international community to intervene and provide urgent assistance to refugees.

The council has written to the Arab Parliamentary Union, the Arab Parliament and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, as well as the Council of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and a number of European parliaments warning of the urgency of the situation.

Jibril's alliance with Assad has caused divisions within PFLP-GC and the resignation of several central committee members, who have criticized the group's leader for arming Palestinians.

A previous version said the PNC expelled Jibril. In fact, it condemned his role in Syria and said it would seek to expel him during its next meeting.
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