Ten Palestinian Movements Promise
To Avenge PFLP Chief's Death

DAMASCUS (AFP) - A coalition of Palestinian militant groups based in Damascus, including the political wings of the hardline Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements, promised revenge Tuesday for Israel's slaying of the chief of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
"We affirm that the blood of the head of the PFLP, Abu Ali Mustapha, and all the fallen martyrs will be avenged," the groups said in a statement, a day after Israeli rockets struke Mustapha at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
"We know when and how to force the enemy to pay the price for its crimes," the movements said, adding "the Nazi Zionist enemy does not understand anything but the language of force and armed struggle."
Among other groups signing the declaration were the PFLP, the breakaway PFLP-General Command faction of Ahmed Jibril, and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which carried out a commando raid on an Israeli military post in the Gaza Strip Saturday that left three Israeli soldiers dead.
The groups also piled blame on the United States, in line with mounting Arab hostility to the policies of US President George W. Bush.
"The United States, Israel's premier ally, has encouraged the Israeli leadership to commit this odious crime," the groups said, speaking of Mustafa's death as part of Israel's "policy of assassination" of Palestinian activists.
US President George W. Bush on Friday had blamed Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for failing to stop the 11 months of unrest, while making little mention of Israel.
While the US State Department on Monday denounced Israel's killing of Mustafa, it continued to put the burden of responsibilty on the Palestinians.
In Syria, Palestinian refugee camps observed a two-hour strike Tuesday morning in honor of Mustapha, the official SANA news agency reported.
Black flags and posters of the slain leader hung from houses and shops.
In Lebanon, meanwhile, a member of the PFLP's central committee also sounded a call for revenge.
"Our riposte will be hard and strike American and Israeli interests, wherever they are found," Abu Ali Tallal, who resides in the southern Palestinian refugee camp of Ain Helweh, told AFP.
"We no longer have any any choice but to turn ourselves into human bombs and pursue the Israeli enemy everywhere inside (Israel) and abroad."


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