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Arab vs. Arab: PLO Denounces Assad for ‘Crimes against Humanity’

PLO: Assad committed “crimes against humanity’, herding 10,000 into a stadium. Spain offers asylum. “He is detached from reality.”
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 8/16/2011, 1:56 PM

The PLO has denounced Syrian President Bashar Assad for “crimes against humanity’ after he herded masses of Arabs into a soccer stadium.

Assad’s security forces  rounded up over 10,000 Arabs and took away their mobile phones and identification cards while forcing them into a stadium, according to opposition leaders.

Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo said the roundup was “part of the crimes against humanity.”

The focus of Assad’s latest vengeance is the al-Ramel neighborhood in the port city of Latakia, whose population consists of Arabs who are still classified by the United Nations as “refugees” several generations after their forebears left Israel. They, as well as the rest of the millions of descendants of 'refugees' who live in the Arab countries bordering Israel, have been denied citizenship by host countries.

The Arab world has been campaigning for years to force Israel to allow them to immigrate to the Jewish state, with no justification, hoping thereby to succeed in reducing the Jewish population of Israel to a minority.

Reports from various sources indicate deaths and casualties among the 'refugee' population, although poor communications make it impossible to confirm the exact number of dead and injured," UNRWA said.

Assad apparently has not seriously considered an offer of asylum by Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. A senior aide secretly visited Syria, but a Spanish diplomat said that Assad’s regime is “detached from reality.”

Although increasingly ostracized by the international community, Assad has taken even more extreme measures as the daily murder of civilians has brought the death toll in Syria's Arab Spring uprising to approximately 2,500.

Human rights activists have all but lost count of the daily casualties, but at least five people were killed in Latakia on Monday after more than two dozen were gunned down during the previous two days in the assault on the city.

As usual, the government’s official SANA news agency accused rebels of attacking citizens, a charge that would posit civilians possessing huge amounts of automatic weapons.  

SANA denied widespread reports that Syrian gunboats attacked the port city, but smuggled videos show tanks roaming the streets. U.S. State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland confirmed that tanks were rolling through Latakia and shooting at civilians, but she said there is no evidence proving opposition claims of shelling from gunboats.

The United States, Turkey and other countries continue to denounce Syria verbally but without any apparent effect.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu recently told reporters, "This is our final word to the Syrian authorities. Our first expectation is that these [military] operations stop immediately and unconditionally. If these operations do not stop, there will be nothing left to say about the steps that would be taken.” However, he did not outline what actions could be taken.