Kuwaiti resistance fighters have begun to seek violent revenge on Palestinians in their country who supported Iraq, according to information received by Kuwaiti exile groups in Egypt.
"Clashes have already started," said one Kuwaiti living in Cairo, who has maintained communication links with the resistance movement inside his country since the Iraqi invasion Aug. 2."We're talking about serious revenge," he said. "This is quite dangerous."
No details on the confrontations were available, but the sources said some Palestinians may have been killed, despite policing efforts by the Kuwaiti military and allied troops.
The reports - and threats of economic reprisals against countries that sided with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein - represent the darker side of liberated Kuwait.
"I'm very concerned Kuwaitis may generalize and blame all Palestinians, even though some fought and stood beside us," said Khalid al-Tarrah, head of the Kuwaiti Association for People's Work, an exile support group in Cairo.
"But it's useless to try and explain this to ordinary Kuwaitis until things calm down," Tarrah said. "They don't want Palestinians in Kuwait. I'm very concerned that this may lead to tragedy and disaster."
This bitterness toward Palestinians was voiced Wednesday by Kuwaiti exile Faisal al-Shaalan, "Our government gave the Palestinians everything, sometimes even our jobs. Then look what they did to us."
On a political level, Kuwait's trauma has rekindled a desire for democratic reform, including a restoration of the parliament dissolved by the ruling family in 1985.
"All Kuwaiti people will ask for the return of the paliament," said Faisal al-Shaalan, an importer and professional soccer player now living in a Cairo hotel. "But we also want (the Sabahs) to stay."
The Kuwaiti government in exile announced in November that parliament would be restored. "But there is conflict and questions over when this is going to happen," Tarrah said. "In most Arab societies, (rulers) are not open-minded about criticism." The Sabahs "also don't accept this."
Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service