Tuesday, January 19, 2010

1978: Operation of the Martyr Kamal Adwan


Khalil al-Wazir "Abu Jihad", a founder of the Palestine Liberation Organization "Fateh", started planning for the operation in 1977 and instantly after Zbigniew Brzezinski's, US National Security Advisor, important slogan "Bye-bye PLO". Abu Jihad chose the name of Kamal Adwan, who was killed by the Mossad in 1973 in Beirut, to be the name of the operation. Kamal Adwan was a PLO chief of operations, responsible for armed militant activities against Israel in the Palestinian occupied territories. As an act of revenge, Abu Jihad's plan was to imitate the Mossad style in murdering Kamal Adwan by sending a group of Fedayeen to Tel Aviv by sea. This group, called Deir Yassin, was consisted of 13 Fedayeen and their plan was to seize a luxury hotel on the coast of Tel Aviv and take tourists and foreign ambassadors hostage in order to exchange them for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. During the time of the operation, Yassir Arafat "Abu Ammar", the President of the PLO, was in a visit to Moscow where he met with Andrei Gromyko, the Minister for Foreign Affairs for the Soviet Union. The Russians were hesitating about the arms deal with the Palestinians and therefore, Abu Ammar was hoping for the Kamal Adwan operation to occur before his visit to the Soviet Union for the purpose of showing the Russians the real Palestinian need for the weapons.

The Group of Deir Yassin consisted of 13 Fedayeen, most notably Dalal Mughrabi (20), who was the Political Commissar and the only woman in the group. Most of the Fedayeen were Palestinians except for Hussein "Osama" Murad (15) and Amer "Tariq ibn Ziyad" Amireya (25) who were Lebanese and Mohammed "Abu Hussein" al-Shammari (18) and Abdel Raouf "Abu Ahmed" Ali (22) who were Yemeni. The Group leader was Mahmoud "Abu Hazza" Ali (19) but the group was actually led by Hussein Fayad (18). Other group members were Yahya "Abu Jalal" Skaf (18) who was the Deputy Commander, Abu al-Ramz (18), Kaled "Abu Salah" Ibrahim (18), Khaled "Abdel Salam" Yousef (18), Mohamed "Fakher el-Nahal" Musameh (19) and Mohammed "Wael" Shara'an (17).

The Group of Deir Yassin departed on March 9, 1978 taking a ship from Tyre, Lebanon heading to Tel-Aviv. Approximately 4 hours away from their destination, the group continued heading to Tel-Aviv using two inflatable boats. Because of the bad weather and navigation errors, the inflatable boats were deviated from their direction, and the group was lost in the Mediterranean Sea and was unable to reach Tel Aviv in the time agreed upon. In March 11 and After two days of fighting with the waves, the Fedayeen managed to reach land, but with a dire situation in which both Abdel Salam and Abu Ahmed drowned and died in the sea and Wael became unconscious.

While the group was resting and gathering its strengths, Dalal was able to discover that they were on the Palestinian land and somehow close to Tel-Aviv. The unit was now ready to start the operation and they started heading toward the main street. While getting closer, the team took cover when they found a car heading toward the beach. Abu Hussein, Abu Hazza and Abu al-Ramz entrusted Dalal to talk to the female driver and obtain information. After the discussion, Dalal discovered that they were on a military zone and they were only 90 km away from Tel-Aviv. Regardless of the team instructions, Dalal had to kill the American tourist to avoid revealing the identity of the team, or to be arrested before capturing any hostages.

The main priority of the Fedayeen now is to capture hostages. Therefore, the team suggested an alternative plan in which Abu Jalal and Abu Salah were both chosen to stop a bus on the main road to take them to Tel-Aviv. Being unable to stop any car, Abu al-Ramz opened fire on an Israeli soldiers carrier and forced it to stop. The team took control over the bus and ordered the driver to head to Tel-Aviv. On the way to Tel-Aviv, the team opened fire on another bus and forced it to stop and all the new hostages were taken to the first bus. The bus now have more than 90 hostages. At this point the Israeli police and army started pursuing and opening fire aiming randomly at the bus in an attempt to stop it. Wael, who was unconscious, suddenly wakes up and stand on his feet taking a fighting position and singing revolutionary Palestinian songs. The Israeli bus driver skillfully managed to pass through the Israeli barriers but he stopped the bus at the last barrier on the borders of Tel-Aviv and wasn't able to get in. After a long combat and exchanging fire between the Palestinian Fedayeen and the Israeli Army, the bus caught fire and many were killed including five on the Fedayeen; Abu Hazza, Abu Hussein, Fakher el-Nahal, Wael and Tariq ibn Ziyad. From the remaining six Fedayeen Dalal, Abu Jalal, Osama and Abu al-Ramz died in a combat outside of the bus. Abu Salah and Fayad were the only survivors of the Fedayeen.

According to official statistics, the Operation resulted in 37 Israeli deaths and 78 injuries. However, many sources claim that theses numbers only counts Israeli civilians, and that the actual deaths and injuries would much more exceed these numbers if the deaths and injuries resulted in the Israeli Army were added.