Now They Are Slaughtering Palestinians
by Khaled Abu Toameh
What is clear is that this massacre of Palestinians has received little attention in the international media. Most of the Arab countries, as well, which treat Palestinians as second-class citizens and subject them to apartheid systems, do not seem to care about the ongoing massacres against Palestinians in particular and Syrians in general.
The world has become used to hearing and watching stories about massacres against civilians in Syria. But until recently, almost all the victims were Syrian citizens.
Last week, however, it turned out that in Syria, they are also massacring Palestinians. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians live in a number of refugee camps in and around the Syrian capital of Damascus.
Earlier this week, the bodies of 16 Palestinians whose throats had been slashed were discovered in Syria.
The victims had been kidnapped while on their way by bus to their refugee camp Nairab.
According to Palestinian sources, unidentified militiamen stopped the bus, kidnapped the Palestinian men and took them to an unknown destination. A few days later the Syrian authorities announced that they had discovered the bodies of the victims in a field.
The men had been shot in the legs and chest before they were slaughtered like cattle, the Palestinian sources said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the brutal killings.
Some Palestinians blamed radical Islamic gangs operating in Syria, while others did not rule out the possibility that the murderers belonged to President Bashar Assad's security establishment.
What is clear so far is that this new massacre against Palestinians has received little attention in the international media.
Even the Palestinian Authority leadership in the West Bank has had little to say about the massacre. This leadership is too busy promoting conspiracy theories about the mysterious death of Yasser Arafat in November 2004.
Palestinian Authority leaders are doing their utmost to hold Israel responsible for the death of Arafat.
Palestinian Authority President Abbas, who sent condolences to the families of the victims, has no time to follow up on the latest massacre against his people. The man is busy these days trying to secure financial aid to his bankrupt government.
Abbas flew to Saudi Arabia this week to beg the royal family for money to pay salaries to 160,000 Palestinian civil servants. Because of the severe financial crisis, the Palestinian government has paid its employees only half of their salaries for the past month.
Most of the Arab countries, as well, which treat Palestinians as second class citizens and subject them to apartheid systems, do not seem to care about the ongoing massacres against Palestinians in particular and Syrians in general.
Arab leaders say they do not want to give Palestinians money because they do not trust the Palestinian Authority leadership.
The slaughtering of the 16 Palestinians is seen as an attempt to drag Palestinians living in Syria into the bloody conflict between the opposition and the government. Thousands of Palestinians have already fled to Jordan, where the government of King Abdullah II does not seem keen to help them.
Many of the Palestinians have been sent back to Syria, while others, according to Palestinian and Western reports, have been placed in ghettos near the Syria-Jordan border.
Palestinians living in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon now fear another "Black September" - a reference to the massacres carried out by the Jordanians in the early 1970s.