The three Palestinian commandos killed in the raid on the Israeli town of Ma'alot were honored at a symbolic funeral in Damascus, the Syrian capital, on Monday (20 May).
The three Palestinian commandos killed in the raid on the Israeli town of Ma'alot were honored at a symbolic funeral in Damascus, the Syrian capital, on Monday (20 May). The guerrillas held a group of Israeli children hostage in the Ma'alot school building. And in the ensuing shoot-out with Israeli troops, they died along with 21 so their hostages.
Thousands of mourners attended Monday's service, which was held at the Martyrs' Cemetery, scene of a number of similar ceremonies in the cast. Many of those present were Palestinian refugees.
Boys in military uniform carried wreaths in the funeral procession to the cemetery. Other mourners held banners and photographs of the dead men. Three symbolic empty coffins were also borne through the streets of Damascus in the procession, which followed prayers at a city mosque.
Hundreds of guerrillas were in the procession and, according to witnesses, many of them were armed with sub machine-guns and other firearms. The Palestinian news agency reported after the funeral that shooting had broken out. It was blamed on dissident elements. Eyewitnesses said shooting and scuffles broke out during a speech by a Palestinian guerrilla leader.