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June 09, 2011

When Palestinians Kill Palestinians – Not Newsworthy?

Tribune Co. newspapers, including The Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Baltimore Sun reported the deaths of up to 20 Palestinian Arabs in Syria’s Yarmouk “refugee camp” in their June 8 editions. The Washington Post and New York Times did not.

Under the headline “Violence at Palestinian camp funerals in Syria leaves 20 dead” in both The Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, and “Up to 20 die in clashes at Palestinian funerals” in The Baltimore Sun, special correspondent Roula Hajjar reported on the intra-Palestinian bloodshed:

“Tension rose during a funeral procession when mourners in the camp denounced the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, alleging that the faction had persuaded the mourners’ relatives to participate in Sunday’s deadly demonstrations near the Syrian-Israeli border .... Demonstrators, holding the faction responsible for Sunday’s deaths, attacked the group’s headquarters and burned two cars .... In retaliation, faction gunmen opened fire on the mourners, killing 14 to 20 people, the Palestinian sources said.”

Hajjar referred to the PFLP-GC as a “militant Palestinian faction” and noted it “is backed by Syria and based in Damascus.” Reuters (“Pro-Syrian group kills 11 refugees - sources”) said in a June 7 dispatch that “like several other Palestinian facts in Syria, the PFLP-GC, which is headed by veteran guerrilla leader Ahmad Jibreel, is regarded as a terrorists organization by the United States.”

The Tribune report quoted an anonymous Palestine Liberation Organization official who supported charges that Syria was fomenting Palestinian demonstrations on Israel’s borders to distract attention from its bloody suppression of widespread internal unrest. “Once again, the Palestinian struggle has fallen victim to the agenda of an Arab regime,” he said.

The June 8 edition of The New York Times did include a 12-paragraph article headlined “Arsonists Damage and Deface Mosque in West Bank Village,” for which Jewish settlers were suspected. The Post published as its lead World Digest news brief a six-paragraph item headed “West Bank: Jewish settlers suspected in mosque fire. But neither edition covered the Palestinian-versus-Palestinian fighting.

Posted by ER at June 9, 2011 03:26 PM

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