Ahmed Jibril was best known by Israelis and Palestinians alike for his role in setting up the so-called “Jibril Deal,” one of the largest prisoner exchanges in the history of the conflict. Writes Hugh Fitzgerald
Ahmad Jibril, the leader of a major Palestinian terrorist group, died in a Damascus hospital on Wednesday night, Lebanese media has reported. The story of his life as a terrorist is here: “Ahmad Jibril, head of Syria-based Palestinian terror group PFLP-GC, dead at 83,” by Aaron Boxerman, Times of Israel, July 7, 2021:
…Jibril, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine — General Command, was 83. The PFLP-GC is classified by the United States, Israel and the European Union as a terror group; attacks by Jibril’s group led to the deaths of dozens of Israelis over the years.
“Among the group’s attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians were 1970’s bombing of Swissair Flight 330 that killed 47 people; a 1970 attack on an Israeli school bus that killed 12, most of them children; 1974’s Kiryat Shmona massacre of 16 people; and 1987’s ‘Night of the Gliders,’ in which members of the group flew into an Israeli base and killed six soldiers.
Children were a favored target of Jibril’s PFLP-GC. The group’s terrorists hijacked a school bus in 1970 and murdered the children inside; in the attack on Kiryat Shmona, more than half of those killed were children. Jibril didn’t care; the Zionists had it coming.
The group has not successfully conducted terror attacks against Israelis for some time, and it is not currently considered a serious threat. It has been blamed for sporadic rocket attacks on Israel from Lebanon, though none that caused serious damage.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas paid his condolences to Jibril’s replacement as PFLP-GC leader, Talal Naji, the official PA WAFA news agency reported.
“His Eminence, in a telephone call, also provided his condolences to Badr Jibril, the son of the deceased, praying to God Almighty, to cover him with his vast mercy, that [Jibril] dwell in his vast gardens, and grant his family and relatives patience and solace,” Abbas’s office said in a statement carried by WAFA.
Senior Palestinian Authority official Hussein al-Sheikh mourned Jibril’s passing on Twitter.
“Our deepest condolences to our comrades in the General Command and to the Palestinian people on the death of the Palestinian leader Ahmed Jibril,” al-Sheikh wrote….
The terror leader was best known by Israelis and Palestinians alike for his role in setting up the so-called “Jibril Deal,” one of the largest prisoner exchanges in the history of the conflict.
Under the terms of the 1985 agreement, some 1,150 Palestinian security prisoners were released in exchange for three Israeli soldiers — Yosef Grof, Nissim Salem, and Hezi Shai — held by the PFLP-GC. Some were notorious terrorists such as Kozo Okamoto, a Japanese radical who had taken part in the 1972 Lod Airport Massacre, which claimed the lives of 26 victims.
Other prisoners released under the terms of the deal would significantly shape the future of the Israeli-Palestinian arena. Jibril Rajoub, a young Fatah activist, later became the movement’s secretary-general, a position he holds to this today. Sheikh Ahmad Yassin would go on to become the spiritual leader of the Hamas terror group. And Abdullah Nimr Darwish, then a young radical who had experienced a change of heart in prison, founded the moderate Southern Islamic Movement and the Islamist Ra’am party.
In recent years, Jibril was a staunch supporter of Iran’s ally Syrian President Bashar Assad, and PFLP-GC members reportedly fought alongside the Syrian regime during the country’s ongoing civil war.
Jibril was a moral monster, with the blood of many innocents, and not only Israelis, on his hands. He was proud of his handiwork. He threw in his lot long ago with another very like himself, Bashar al-Assad, who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Syrians, many of them civilians. But for Mahmoud Abbas, Jibril was a figure whose death was to be lamented. He expressed his condolences both to Jibril’s son Badr and to his successor as head of the PFLP-GC, Talal Naji, as the official PA WAFA news agency reported:
“His Eminence, in a telephone call, also provided his condolences to Badr Jibril, the son of the deceased, praying to God Almighty, to cover him with his vast mercy, that [Jibril] dwell in his vast gardens, and grant his family and relatives patience and solace.”
That’s quite a wish for a mass murderer: the vast mercy of Allah to cover him, the vast heavenly gardens in which he, Ahmed Jibril, may dwell — that’s what Mahmoud Abbas prays for.
By their condolences shall ye judge them. Mahmoud Abbas, in this as in so many other moral trials, has been weighed and found wanting.
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