Palestinians Complain: U.S. Marines training in guerilla warfare in Jenin

The Jerusalem Post

26 March 2003

Two Palestinian Web sites claimed Tuesday that US troops are training in guerilla warfare in the Jenin refugee camp. According to the Palestine Information Center, which is affiliated with Hamas, the training is aimed at preparing the Marines for the invasion of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. It said that for the past 48 hours US marines and IDF soldiers have stormed the camp as part of the exercise.

Another Web site, Arabs48, which is affiliated with MK Azmi Bishara's party, said Tuesday that Palestinian security "sources" in the camp quoted witnesses as reporting that they saw American and Israeli soldiers in the camp over the past two days. The sources said they believe the Marines came to the narrow alleyways of the camp to learn from the IDF's fighting tactics as part of the US-led coalition preparations to enter Baghdad.

This is not the first time that Palestinians claim seeing Marines in the West Bank. Last month residents of the Old City of Nablus told Palestinian journalists that American soldiers and officers were participating in the fighting alongside the IDF.

Meanwhile, representatives of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on Monday night handed out more checks to Palestinian families in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian sources told The Jerusalem Post that 21 families received $10,000 each from officials of the pro-Iraqi Arab Liberation Front.

The families are all from the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. Khan Yunis Governor Hosni Zu'rub, who personally delivered the checks to the families, praised Saddam for continuing to support the Palestinians financially "even after the US and British aggression on Iraq."

He said the Palestinian and Iraqi people are "in the same trench, facing American and Israeli terror."

ALF representative Naji Sa'di told the families that Saddam insisted on delivering the checks even under the worst conditions, pledging to continue distributing money to families whose beloved ones were killed in clashes with the IDF or those who carried out suicide attacks against Israel.