End of an era: Ahmed Jibril, head of 'Popular Front', dies at hospital in Damascus 

The majority of the terrorist attacks initiated by Jibril were carried out in the 1970s and 1980s, including the hijacking of a Swissair plane and the Avivim school bus massacre in Israel

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah/File Photo

Ahmed Jibril, a mass murderer and planner of deadly terrorist attacks against Israel who established and headed the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, died Wednesday at a hospital in Damascus.

The Popular Front that Jibril established was a secular, non-religious, socialist organization that rejected any possibility of peace with Israel. He was born in the town of Yazur in 1938 and was initially a partner of Arafat, but broke away and established his own terror organization, which was small but deadly. The "Jibril Deal" in which Israel freed more than 1,000 terrorists in exchange for three IDF soldiers was named after him.    

Most of the terrorist attacks initiated by Jibril were carried out in the 1970s and 1980s, including the hijacking of a Swissair plane and the Avivim school bus massacre in Israel. On April 11, 1974, terrorists from the Popular Front entered a building in Kiryat Shmona and killed 16 citizens including eight children and two soldiers.    

On November 25, 1987, in what is called the "night of the hang-gliders", a terrorist crossed the Lebanese border using a hang-glider, and then murdered six soldiers and wounded seven others before he was killed. Jibril was also behind the attempted smuggling of weapons from Lebanon to Gaza on the ship Santorini, which was captured by the Israeli Navy.   

Jibril's son, Jihad Ahmed, was seen as his father's successor but he was killed in a car bomb explosion in Beirut about two years ago. 

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