Lebanon: 5 Palestinian Fighters Killed in Blast

    Lebanon: 5 Palestinian Fighters Killed in Blast
    Last updated May 31, 2023
    Image credit: Flickr [via Wikimedia Commons]


    • Officials representing the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), a Syrian-backed Palestinian armed group, reported that five of its members were killed and 10 others wounded on Wednesday in the Lebanese town of Qusaya near the Syrian border.[1]
    • The PFLP-GC claimed that Israel launched airstrikes against the group's base in Qusaya, as the group reported intense air activity over its positions all night. However, Israeli sources, in turn, said that its military wasn't involved.[2]
    • Palestinian and Lebanese security sources told Reuters that the deaths were caused by the accidental detonation of explosives and ammunition as they were being moved, with another Lebanese security official saying that Israel's involvement couldn't be confirmed.[2]
    • Abu Wael Issam, a PFLP-GC official, said that the group would retaliate “at a suitable time,” and the attack wouldn't prevent it from intensifying its fight against Israel. The PFLP-GC's allies, such as the Iranian-backed armed group and political party Hezbollah, haven't commented on the incident.[3]
    • The PFLP-GC split from the PFLP in the late 1960s and gained notoriety in the 1970s and 1980s for bombing an airliner and carrying out cross-border attacks into Israel. In more recent years, the group has fought in Syria on the side of the Syrian government.[4]
    • The incident comes a month after Israel launched airstrikes against targets in Lebanon's south following a barrage of rocket fire. Israel claimed that it struck positions associated with the Palestinian armed group Hamas, wounding two and causing some material damage.[5]


    Narrative A

    Considering Israel and Iran's current military posture in the Levant, it would be unsurprising if this incident was, in fact, the result of Israeli airstrikes. The PFLP-GC's existence is predicated on support from Syria and, to some degree, Iran, thus making it a favorable target for the Israelis.

    Narrative B

    Though it's surely not a bad thing when Iranian-backed terrorists whose only goal is to destroy the Jewish state are killed, Israel had nothing to do with this. Even Lebanese and Palestinian sources admitted that the blast was caused by human error.

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