By Aaron Klein, www.worldnetdaily.com
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of mourning following the death of an infamous terrorist leader whose career included leading the hijacking of airliners in the U.S. and vehemently opposing peace agreements with Israel.
According to Palestinian diplomatic sources, Abbas personally received lines of mourners for George Habash, who was the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group.
Habash, 81, died of a heart attack and was buried January 28th in Amman, Jordan. His PFLP gained notoriety in 1970 for hijacking four Western airliners over the U.S., Europe, the Far East and the Persian Gulf. The aircraft were blown up in the Middle East after passengers and crews disembarked. The PFLP in 1972 then gunned down 27 people at Israel’s Lod airport.
The PFLP continues operating from Syria, Jordan and the West Bank. More recent attacks include scores of deadly shootings against Israelis, the 2001 assassination of Rechavam Zeevi, Israel’s tourism minister, and suicide bombings on an Israeli highway and in Tel Aviv’s well-known Karmel Market.
According to Israeli security officials, the PFLP is the Palestinian terror group most proficient in carrying out successful drive-by shooting attacks.
Habash also led the second-largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization; the largest faction was led by Yasser Arafat. Habash strongly opposed interim agreements with Israel and, throughout his life, advocated terror attacks against the Jewish state.
Abbas’s official PA television ran continuous mourning coverage remembering Habash as a national hero.
Abbas, regarded by U.S. policymakers as a moderate, received a line of mourners at his office, interrupted only by a meeting with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during which the two discussed the peace process and Hamas’s recent breach of the border between Egypt and Gaza.
The Olmert and Abbas meeting was aimed at furthering negotiations started at November’s U.S.-sponsored Annapolis conference. The talks are focused on creating a Palestinian state by the end of the year.