Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). By: Daniel Alejandro Brandon Halsey Renee Lavoie Ivan Sanchez. History of PFLP.
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At one time affiliated with the PLO, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) is a Marxist-Leninist group founded in 1967 by George Habash.
The PFLP joined the Alliance of Palestinian Forces (APF) to oppose the Declaration of Principles signed in 1993 and suspended participation in the PLO.
The PFLP broke away from the APF, along with the DFLP, in 1996 over ideological differences. PFLP officers took part in meetings with Arafat's Fatah party and PLO representatives in 1999 to discuss national unity and the reinvigoration of the PLO but the PFLP continues to oppose currentnegotiations with Israel.
Ahmad Saadat then became head of the PFLP; he was associated with the assassination of Rehavam Zeevi, Israel's tourism minister, and in April 2002 was sentenced to one year in prison for taking part in the assassination.
Although the courts later ruled in favor of his release, continued PFLP attacks have prevented this.
Haddad was born to Greek Orthodox parents in Safad, in what is today northern Israel, in 1927.
He studied medicine at The American University of Beirut, where he met fellow Palestinian refugee George Habash. Together they helped found the Arab Nationalist Movement (ANM), a Pan Arab and Arab Socialist grouping aiming to reestablish Palestine in the place of Israel and unite the Arab world.
After graduating, he relocated with Habash (a paediatrician) to Amman, Jordan, where they established a clinic.
Leila Khaled long-time activist and Central Committee member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was born on 9 April 1944 in Haifa, Palestine.
Khaled joined a Lebanese cell of the Arab Nationalists Movement (ANM) in 1958. She was a student and activist at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in 1962 to 1963, but left because of financial difficulties and was employed as a teacher in Kuwait for a number of years.
Khaled became infamous when she and a male colleague hijacked a TWA airplane headed for Tel Aviv on 29 August 1969, forcing the flight to land in Damascus, where they blew it up after emptying it of passengers.
Financial and military support are said to come from Syria and Libya, and in 1999, Iranian president Mohammad Khatami promised to continue Iran's support of not only the PFLP, but also the PFLP-GC, Islamic Jihad, and HAMAS.
In addition to outside support, the PFLP has financed its activities from front companies as well as legitimate business activities.
The PFLP committed numerous international terrorist attacks during the 1970’s.
Since 1978, the group has conducted attacks against Israeli and moderate Arab targets, including the killing of an Israeli settler and her son in December 1996.
The PFLP has stepped up its operational activity since the start of the current intifada, highlighted by at least two suicide bombings since 2003, multiple joint operations with other Palestinian terrorist groups, and the assassination of the Israeli Tourism Minster in 2001 to avenge Israel’s killing of the PFLP Secretary General earlier that year.
On September 6, 1970, the PFLP (including Leila Khaled) hijacked four passenger aircraft from Pan Am, TWA and Swissair on flights to New York from Brussels, Frankfurt and Zürich; and on September 9, 1970, hijacked a BOAC flight from Bahrain to London via Beirut.
The Pan Am flight was diverted to Cairo; the TWA, Swissair and BOAC flights were diverted to Dawson's Field in Zarqa, Jordan.
The TWA, Swissair and BOAC aircraft were subsequently blown up by the PFLP on September 12, in front of the world media, after all passengers had been taken off the planes.
The event is significant, as it was cited as a reason for to the Black September clashes between Palestinian and Jordanian forces.
Attack on a bus containing El Al passengers at Munich airport, killing one passenger and wounding 11 on February 10, 1970;
The killing of Meir Lixenberg, councillor and head of security in four settlements, who was shot while travelling in his car in the West Bank on August 27, 2001. PFLP claimed that this was a retaliation for the killing of Abu Ali Mustafa.
October 21, 2001 Israeli Minister for Tourism Rehavam Zeevi was assassinated. He was the only Israeli politician to have been assassinated in the current intifada.
A suicide bombing in the bus station at Geha Junction in Petah Tikva on 25 December, 2003 which killed 4 Israelis.
In Tel Aviv on November 1, 2004. PFLP set off a car bomb in the Carmel Market