ISIS Takes Over Palestinian Refugee Camp in Syria, Beheadings Ensue

This undated file image posted on a militant website on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 shows fighters from the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) marching in Raqqa, Syria. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf petro-powerhouses encouraged a flow of cash to Sunni rebels in Syria for years. But …
AP Photo/Militant Website, File

The incessant criticism of how Israel treats Palestinians might slow down a bit, now that the world is getting a look at how ISIS treats Palestinians.  The group has captured a refugee camp in Syria, where they have begun terrorizing residents.

There is a major Palestinian refugee camp on the road to Damascus, which the Islamic State is still marching down, despite efforts to “degrade and ultimately destroy” their war machine by Bashar Assad’s de facto allies in the U.S. coalition. ISIS is now in control of the Yarmouk camp, which had already suffered from the Syrian civil war. There has been collateral damage from fighting, plus complaints by the Palestinians that various warring factions raid them for food and supplies. Syrian Palestinians have taken both pro- and anti-Assad stances, which leaves them with enemies on all sides, especially since alliances among the anti-Assad rebels tend to be fluid.

The New York Times reports that ISIS recently had a falling-out with a Hamas-affiliated militia in the area of the Yarmouk camp, leading to an escalating conflict that drew in the local al-Qaeda franchise, the Nusra Front. Although generally seen as rivals to ISIS, the Nusra Front seems to be either helping them isolate Hamas in this particular theater, or actively collaborating with them.

The end result was ISIS taking over Yarmouk, according to both Palestinian and U.N. officials. “The officials called for quick action by international organizations, the Syrian government and all armed groups to head off an unfolding catastrophe,” writes the New York Times. “Reports of killings and even beheadings were beginning to circulate on Saturday, worsening what is already a longstanding humanitarian nightmare for the 18,000 residents of the Yarmouk refugee camp.”

Of course, the Palestinians use all this as part of their “right of return” argument (i.e. they flood back into Israel and take over a large amount of its territory.) Israel will be blamed for putting Palestinians in Syria for ISIS to behead. A civil war that looks more like a perpetual rumble between heavily-armed street gangs will grind on. Humanitarians seeking to bring relief to starving civilians will be seized as hostages. None of the people actually responsible for this chaos, or for the decades of bloody history leading up to it, will be held accountable by most of the “world community.”