Palestinian Rulers Are Indifferent to Their People’s Suffering in Syria

January 11, 2019 | Khaled Abu Toameh

In 2018, at least 82 Palestinians were tortured to death in Bashar al-Assad’s prisons; 556 have reportedly died thus in recent years. An additional 1,711 Palestinians are known to remain in Syrian custody. Yet the usual outrage from the media, politicians, and activists has not been forthcoming. Khaled Abu Toameh comments:

A Palestinian who is shot by Israeli soldiers during a demonstration in the West Bank or Gaza Strip . . . will attract the instant ferocious attention of the international media. Many reporters prefer a story where they can point an accusatory finger at Israel than one that blames an Arab government or president. . . .

One can make excuses for the apathy of the international community toward the atrocities the Palestinians are facing in Syria. But the indifference of Palestinian leaders to the suffering of their own people is harder to justify. . . . The Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank simply does not care about the Palestinians living in Syria. Palestinian leaders do not even seem to care about their people in the Gaza Strip. The PA’s President Mahmoud Abbas has imposed a series of punitive measures against the coastal territory that have further aggravated the economic crisis there. These measures include halting payment of salaries to thousands of Palestinian employees and needy families.

The Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip care only about keeping themselves in power. Their main objective is to maintain a tight grip on the Gaza Strip and prevent Abbas and his PA from ever returning there. The 3,911 Palestinians who died in Syria in the past eight years were no more to Hamas than a blip on the radar—if that. . . .

While Palestinians were being killed and tortured in Syria, Abbas and Hamas were busy hurling insults at each other. . . . All the while, Palestinians in Syria are dying daily. Will Abbas and Hamas ever utter critical words about the Syrian leadership or any other Arabs who mistreat and murder Palestinians? Not likely. Abbas and Hamas remain silent about the suffering of their people, while the world also yawns.

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