Mid-East Realitieswww.middleeast.org


August 30, 2001

By Paul Holmes

(PARIS - Reuters - 29 August 2001) - Aging guerrilla leader Carlos the Jackal called from his French jail cell Wednesday for worldwide attacks on Israel and the United States in support of the Palestinian uprising.

In an open letter responding to Israel's assassination on Monday of radical Palestinian leader Abu Ali Mustafa, a former comrade-in-arms, he said ``protracted people's war, without boundaries, is the way to follow.

``The killers of Abu Ali Mustafa came from Tel Aviv, the orders came from Washington,'' the Venezuelan-born Carlos, whose real name is Illich Ramirez Sanchez, wrote.

``The Yankee should beware, we know,'' he said.

Mustafa, 64, a founder member of the Palestine Liberation Organization and leader of the radical Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was killed in an Israeli missile attack on his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Israel accused him of masterminding a wave of bombings during the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip that broke out last September after peace talks stalled.

The United States said in response that Israel's killings of Palestinian leaders were inflaming the conflict.

The Carlos letter, handwritten in English, was dated the day of Mustafa's killing and addressed to George Habash, the Damascus-based historic head of the PFLP whom Mustafa succeeded in July last year.

It was signed off using the Jackal's two noms de guerre -- Carlos and the Arabic Salim -- and with the words ``Allahu Akhbar!'' (God is Greater) and ``Yours in Revolution.''

Lawyers for the aging revolutionary, held responsible for some 80 killings in a campaign of attacks in the 1970s and 1980s in support of the Palestinian cause, distributed it to media on Wednesday and confirmed its authenticity.

Carlos, now graying, portly and in his early 50s, led a six-strong squad of Palestinians and foreigners that burst into an OPEC meeting in Vienna in December 1975 and took about 70 people, including 11 oil ministers, hostage.

Three people were killed in the raid and the Carlos gang later flew on to Algiers with 33 of the hostages, whom they released in stages there and in Tripoli before disappearing.

France spirited Carlos out of Sudan in 1994 and he was jailed for life in 1997 for the 1975 murder of two French secret agents. Held in solitary confinement in the grim Sante prison in Paris, he makes occasional court appearances under heavy guard.

It was not immediately clear whether the contents of the letter could expose Carlos to further charges in France.

``Thirty minutes after hearing on radio...about the assassination, I wept bitter tears of rage,'' Carlos wrote.

``The deceitful 'peace process' has come to a pitiful demise. People's resistance in Palestine, armed operations worldwide, are the alternative to surrender,'' he declared.

He said Mustafa had been among few Palestinian leaders he truly respected and had ``led us heroically in unequal battle'' in Jordan in 1970, when the late King Hussein sent in his army to crush Palestinian forces on Jordanian territory.

The letter also called for an Arab boycott of Israel, Arab League sanctions on countries that trade with or support Israel and a solidarity fund for the Palestinians from Arab oil receipts for use in their conflict with the Israelis.

Founder and Former Head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

27 August 2001 - Damascus

To the Palestinian people To the Arab masses

Today I received with great sadness the news about the assassination of the leader Abu Ali Mustafa by Sharon and his Zionist gang. This heinous crime that has robbed us of our long-standing comrade for over half a century, reaffirms that the Zionist enemy is determined to annihilate the leaders of our revolution and its cadres in order to force us to surrender.

This enemy has apparently not learned the lessons of history. The enemy has not yet learned that the Palestinian people, who have offered hundreds of leaders and thousands of fighters, will not kneel in surrender. On the contrary, we will persevere in the struggle no matter how long it takes to regain our rights and the rights of our nation. We will remain steadfast in the struggle until the Zionist, colonialist project is defeated.

On this day we remember Ghassan Kanafani, Guevara Gaza, Al Amassi, Abu Jihad, Abu Iyad, Faisal Husseini; and before them we remember Al-Qassam and Abd al-Qader Al-Husseini, and countless others who have fallen in the battle for Palestine. Their sacrifice and their memory motivates us to persevere.

As I convey to our people and to the Arab Nation the loss of Abu Ali Mustafa whose determination, courage, and strength distinguished him over so many years, I assure you that the shedding of his blood will not be in vain. His comrades and his people will inhale the strength of his soul and become stronger and more determined to continue the struggle for freedom and independence.

We are proud to remember that until his death, Abu Ali Mustafa proclaimed loudly and clearly that the foul war of Sharon will not frighten us. Neither will it subdue us or force us to deviate the path of revolution -- the path to freedom and victory.

Our people, who have lost a teacher and a leader, know that Abu Ali Mustafa was an exceptional man who had the charism of a great leader. Our people will continue to learn from him and from his spirit of resistance -- his patience, his determination, his strong will to force out the occupier and fulfill the dream of the right to return and the establishment of an independent, sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

On this sad and painful occasion, I turn to all brave comrades of the PFLP and all members of the Palestinian revolution at home and abroad: I call on them to remain faithful, not only to Abu Ali Mustafa but also to all those who have sacrificed their blood for the sake of Palestine and for the Arab Cause. We promise you, dear Abu Ali, that the Popular Front that you helped to establish on the foundation of a spirit of resistance will continue to march on the same road, no matter how long and treacherous it is, no matter how much we will have to sacrifice. The destructive tactics of the enemy will never kill our steadfastness or our will to resist.

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Source: http://www.middleeast.org/articles/2001/8/367.htm