Israeli source denies involvement in the attack on a PFLP-GC base near the Syrian border.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command has blamed Israel for the killing of five of its members in a blast in eastern Lebanon, near the Syrian border.

Anwar Raja, a PFLP-GC official, said an Israeli strike on Wednesdat hit positions in the Lebanese eastern town of Qusaya. He said 10 were wounded, with two in a critical condition.

However, an Israeli source told Reuters that Israel had not been involved in the attack. There has been no official comment from Israel, nor from the Lebanese army or the Iran-backed Hezbollah group.

There were conflicting reports from Lebanese and Palestinian sources that the blast was a result of an old rocket going off in an arms depot or mines exploding while they were being moved.

Another PFLP-GC official, the Lebanon-based Abu Wael Issam, said that his group will retaliate “at the suitable time”. He added that the strike would not deter his group from “escalating the fight against the Israeli enemy”.

The PFLP-GC has positions along the Lebanon-Syria border as well as military presence in both countries. The group had carried out attacks against Israel in the past.

The PFLP-GC is a left-wing group that broke off from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 1968 and has backed the Syrian government. Its forces have fought alongside government troops in the war in Syria.

Based in both Syria and Lebanon, the group has a presence in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, as well as Burj al-Barajneh in Beirut.

The group became known for major attacks against Israel, including the hijacking an El Al jetliner in 1968 and the machine gunning of another airliner at Zurich airport in 1969. In 1970, it planted a bomb on a Swissair jet that blew up on a flight from Zurich to Tel Aviv, killing all 47 passengers on aboard.

During Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1985, the PFLP-GC captured three Israeli soldiers and negotiated their release in exchange for more than 1,100 mostly Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian prisoners. — NewsAgencies

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