TEL AVIV – An Israeli-Arab journalist slammed the international community for remaining silent on the horrific war crimes suffered by Palestinians in Syria, while vociferously condemning Israel for the plight of Palestinians within its own borders.
“The international community seems to differentiate between a Palestinian shot by an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian shot by a Syrian soldier,” veteran journalist Khaled Abu Toameh wrote last week in article for the Gatestone Institute.
In the article entitled, “220 Airstrikes on Palestinians; World Yawns,” Abu Toameh argues that the bombing of Palestinian refugee camps in Syria is “apparently of no interest to those who pretend to champion Palestinians around the world” and neither does the UN Security Council care. Palestinian leaders, meanwhile, “are too busy lunging at each other’s throats and trying to take down Israel to pay much attention to their people’s suffering in Syria.”
Abu Toameh called out the world on its hypocrisy for focusing on the so-called March of Return riots along the Gaza border while paying no attention to what was taking place a few hundred kilometers north, where the Syrian army was engaged in the “ethnic cleansing” of a Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus.
“The war crimes committed against the Palestinians in Yarmouk camp have so far failed to prompt an ounce of outrage, much less the sort of outcry emerging from the international community over the events of the past four weeks along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel,” he wrote.
Foreign journalists have shown great interest in the Palestinian March of Return, in which, Abu Toameh writes, Hamas and other Palestinian groups have been actively encouraging Palestinians to “destroy the security fence and hurl stones and petrol bombs at Israeli troops.”
Yet how many journalists, he asks, have traveled to Syria to cover the plight of the Palestinians in that country and the several thousands of Palestinians who have died at the hands of the Syrian army? A handful at best, is his answer, and the reason for that is “because the Palestinians who are being maimed and murdered in Syria are the victims of an Arab army — nothing to do with Israel.”
According to Abu Toameh, the several hundred residents remaining at the Yarmouk refugee camp, which once housed 160,000 Palestinians, have been forced to eat dogs and cats to survive.
Quoting UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Abu Toameh said that of the estimated 438,000 Palestine refugees remaining inside Syria, more than 95% (418,000) are in critical need of sustained humanitarian assistance.
“The silence of the international community to the war crimes being committed against defenseless Palestinians in a refugee camp in Syria is an insult,” he averred.
“Dropping barrels of dynamite on houses and hospitals in a Palestinian refugee camp is apparently of no interest to those who pretend to champion Palestinians around the world. Nor does the issue seem to move the UN Security Council,” he added.
Abu Toameh blasts the Palestinian leadership for doing nothing for Palestinians facing ethnic cleansing in Syria.
“As for the leaders of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip? They are otherwise occupied. Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority and Hamas are too busy lunging at each other’s throats and trying to take down Israel to pay much attention to their people’s suffering in Syria,” he wrote.
“But when it comes to atrocities being committed against their people in an Arab country, words apparently fail Palestinian leaders. Assad and his army can slaughter Palestinians and launch airstrikes on a Palestinian camp without a whimper of protest from Hamas or the Palestinian Authority. In fact, all one hears is the silence of the dead,” he concluded.