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Did Abu Nidal attempt to provoke an Israeli invasion of Damascus?

In a new interview with Al Arabiya News Channel, former Palestinian Ambassador Atef Abu Bakr reveals more

Published: Updated:

Al Arabiya News reveals more information as the former Palestinian Ambassador Atef Abu Bakr said that the reason behind the attempt to blow up an Israeli airliner in Heathrow airport in 1986 was in retaliation to Israelis previously hijacking a private plane carrying Abdullah al-Ahmar and other Syrian leaders on its way back from Libya.

Abu Bakr gave his version of events by saying that Tel Aviv thought that the Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Dr. George Habash, was on board the plane.

It released the hostages later on but the Syrians felt greatly humiliated and wanted to “restore their dignity.” The Air Force Intelligence plotted an act of revenge and the Secretary-General of Fateh Revolutionary Council, Sabri al-Banna (also known as Abu Nidal) proposed to carry out the operation.

It was agreed that the Abu Nidal group would take responsibility for the operation whether it succeeded or failed.

Ex-ambassador Abu Bakr believes that the operation failed because Nizar al-Hindawi leaked information about it and questions a relationship between al-Hindawi and the Mossad. He said that Nizar was a “multi-loyal person who worked with Syrians and others and even with the “enemy”… His father was a cook at the Jordanian embassy and was revealed as a Mossad agent.”

Had Heathrow’s operation succeeded, it would have lead to serious consequences between Damascus and Tel Aviv. It could have even caused an Israeli invasion of the Syrian capital, according to the former ambassafor.

In his interview on Al Arabiya News Channel’s “Political memoirs”, Abu Bakr further revealed that one of the members in Fateh Revolutionary Council heard Abu Nidal saying: “We will accomplish a mission that will prompt an immediate reaction from the Israelis. They may even invade Damascus.”