Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

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The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) is a Marxist-Leninist terrorist organization and one of the main groups of the Palestine Liberation Organization. It is designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.[1] On its website the organization openly celebrates Hezbollah and calls for Gaza Strip to be turned into an Israeli "graveyard." It also declares that it won't respect any PLO agreements with Israel.[2]

History

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was established in 1967 by George Habash. It was originally backed by Egyptian dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser. The PFLP perpetrated hijackings of airplanes and other terrorist attacks on civilians from its beginnings.[3] Throughout its history some factions splitted from the organization such as the PFLP-General Command. Habash retired from his post and was succeeded by Abū ʿAlī Muṣṭafā, who was killed by Israeli forces in 2001.[4]

In February 2010 a joint meeting with members of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad was held in the offices of the PFLP in order to fight Israel as a unified force.[1]

Its founder, George Habash, already as student, was founding a series of radical student organizations that called for unifying the Arabs’ military might to annihilate Israel [5].


In a July 1970 interview with LIFE magazine, [6] meeting at night in the suburbs of Amman, in a building attached to a refugee camp, Habash "explained"[7] his targeting:

Let me explain: the attacks of the Popular Front are based on quality, not quantity. We believe that to kill a Jew far from the battleground has more of an effect than killing 100 of them in battle; it attracts more attention. And when we set fire to a store in London, those few flames are worth the burning down of two kibbutzim...

Aftet it was published. There was an attempt to deny Habash's words by the propaganda wing from PFLP  the time. But journalist Oriana F. replied: ... interview with Dr. Habash was recorded on such a machine. The tape is at his disposal to refresh his memory if he has forgotten, or wants to forget. I would like to believe that Dr. Habash is not informed about this letter of his associates or he would have prevented them from writing so many useless idiocies...[8] In the aftermath of 1970 published admission of (racist) targeting Jews internationally, in 1975, an Arab author M. Hussain has still quoted Habash as the original quote . Yet, by 1991, another one, J.R. Nassar has conveniently replaced the word 'Jew' with 'zionist'. Nevertheless, an 'expert' on Arab-Palestinians, Abu-Lughod clearly acknowledged that Habash had been accurately transcribed by Fallaci.[9] After Habash's death in Jan. 2008, a pro-Hezbollah propagandist professor tried to rewrite his history[10].

On G. Habash's, PFLP's hard-wired anti-Semitism, B. Cohen writes:

...the rescue operation mounted by Israel to free around 100 hostages from an Air France plane that had been hijacked seven days earlier by Palestinian terrorists and diverted to Uganda, then under the boot of the brutal dictator Idi Amin. After a week of sheer hell, during which the German leftist hijackers separated the Jewish from the non-Jewish passenger... If the Entebbe episode failed to convince outside observers of the PFLP's hard-wired anti-Semitism, then its bombing of the Rue Copernic synagogue in Paris in October 1980 should have set aside any lingering doubts[11].

Lion Cubs - Palestinian-Arabs

PFLP's G. Habash was in founding and boasting about as an "achievement" is the Ashbal, 'lion cubs'[12], "Baby tigers"[13], child soldiers. Leading with Yasir Arafat. The young boys of Ashbal were taught to use ammunition and: During training the boys chant l, ' Oh Zionists!, do you think you are safe ? Drinking blood is a habit of our men.' They undergo a Mau Mau - like hardening course in which each boy is required to tear apart a live chicken to develop a lust for killing[14]

Terrorist attacks

His first known attack, is  hijacking of El Al Flight 426 from Rome to Lod airport in Israel on 23 July 1968 [15]. On July 22, 1968, the PFLP hijacked its first plane, an El Al flight from Rome to Tel Aviv[16].

In 1969, it planted a bomb in a Jerusalem supermarket that killed 2 youths and wounded 20 other people. Also that year, Habash took responsibility for blowing up Tapline, a pipeline owned by the Arab-American Oil Co. that carried oil from Saudi Arabia[17].

Hijacking of various airlines: September 6, 1970 by PFLP and other joined groups[18][19][20][21] Some 2 weeks later, Reuters, NYTimes reported: Habash was reported to have been in North Korea on an unexplained mission before his men succeeded in hijacking four Western air liners two weeks ago. The Popular Front is still holding 54 or 55 airliner hostages somewhere in Jordan[22].

In 1976, the PFLP along with the German terrorist Revolutionary Cells hijacked an Air France flight to Entebbe, Uganda, where they singled out the Jewish passengers in a plot to murder them.[23]

On February 16, 2002 it perpetrated a suicide bombing attack in a village in the West Bank which killed three Israeli civilians and wounded 25 more. On December 25, 2003 three Israeli civilians were murdered because of a suicide attack at a bus station in Tel Aviv.[3]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Kaufman, Joe (February 23, 2010). THE “PEACE PARTNERS” WHO NEVER WERE. FrontpageMag. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  2. Americans Against Hate
  3. 3.0 3.1 Palestinian Terror Groups: Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  4. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  5. Arab nationalist planned hijackings - Los Angeles Times By Kim Murphy, Jan. 27, 2008. He studied medicine at the American University of Beirut, founding a series of radical student organizations that called for unifying the Arabs’ military might to annihilate Israel.
  6. LIFE Jun 12, 1970, p.32
  7. LIFE Jun 12, 1970, p.33
  8. LIFE - Jul 17, 1970, p.19Life - Volume 69, Issues 1-5, p.98 Oriana Fallaci replies:  "The PFLP's so-called Department of Information (I say 'so-called' because it never showed up during my stay with the fedayeen) evidently ignores the existence of a machine known as a tape recorder. My interview with Dr. Habash was recorded on such a machine. The tape is at his disposal to refresh his memory if he has forgotten, or wants to forget. I would like to believe that Dr. Habash is not informed about this letter of his associates or he would have prevented them from writing so many useless idiocies and senseless insults. Dr. Habash knows .very well that what I wrote was said by him into a microphone.  The word "terrorism" might not have been used often by me. This was out of politeness which I now regret. But J did use the word, and I even commented that when we Europeans were fighting for our freedom we did not kill children or civilians. Dr. Habash did not react in anger; he explained his theory. "I obviously edit my interviews. But I did not need to edit much in this one because it was good as it was. It opens as it opened. It ends as it ended and it reports faithfully, all that Habash said in a 90 minute interview in English.  The words on the tape are clear, the sound excellent. Mistakes are impossible, except for the pronunciation of the year 1957, which I might have understood as 1967, due to his slight lips. The only thing that the tape did not record is Dr. Habash's tears and his mouth's trembling , a human reaction that helped me to like him a lot. In this I might have been wrong. "The PFLP's so-called Department of Information also insinuates that I am a fascist. To such vulgarity I will only answer that when Dr. Habash was doing nothing against fascism, and his people were getting along very well with the Nazis, I was a little girl with pigtails fighting fascism in the resistance in Italy. I recall that there were no Palestinian journalists to interview us or to sympathize with us at the risk of their lives."
  9. 'The Protocols of the Euphemisms of Zion. What anti-Semites really mean when they complain about “Zionists.” ' Sreven Lubet, July 15, 2019 ...The discrepancy between the actual quote and Nassar’s version was jarring, especially given some other passages in the interview. Remarking on the PLFP skyjacking of a flight from Rome, for example, Habash said, "The Arabs have a right to use Italy as a base against the Jews.... which Abu-Lughod clearly acknowledged had been accurately transcribed by Fallaci."
  10. As'ad Abukhalil attempt to deny Habash's TRUE 1970 quote Aug 2, 2020.
  11. Overlooked Palestinian terror group returns with a vengeance, Ben Cohen, JNS.org Sun Sentinel, Nov. 24, 2014
  12. The New York Times Biographical Service, Vol.1, p. 1347. 1970 June 13, 1970. George Habash His hard-bitten, ill-paid commandos call him “Hakim” —a term of honor that means both “doctor,” ... One of the achievements Dr. Habash is proudest of is the beginning of the “ashbal,” or groups of young commandos, which he says will carry on the main fight in the future.
  13. Arab Commando Attacks, by Henry J Taylor, Lewiston Evening Journal, Apr 28, 1969,3 ...The Palestine Arabs can be mobilized only around the issue of fighting. Baby Tigers. The State Department finds that such leaders as Arafat, Shukairy and Habeche talk of "fighting for 20 or so years." They even have training camps for 12-year-old youths, a expanding cadre called Baby Tigers
  14. Fedayeen; the Arab-Israeli Dilemma, John Laffin, Free Press, 1973, pp.96-97 Propaganda And Indictrination.. leader told me in Lebanon 'This is a morale - building and educational movement to prepare the well - rounded citizen of Palestine - equipped and trained to defend his nation but also to be a good, productive citizen.'  During training the boys chant l, ' Oh Zionists!, do you think you are safe ? Drinking blood is a habit of our men.' They undergo a Mau Mau - like hardening course in which each boy is required to tear apart a live chicken to develop a lust for killing. After their daily lessons in refugee camp schools the Ashbal run to parade and for several minutes their instructors drill them . The movements are simple but like everything else about Ashbal , highly political .  When ordered to stand at ease , they shout ' Asifa ! ' ( Storm ) . When they stamp to attention they bellow ' Fatah ! The instructors are either former school - teachers or wounded guerrillas , men who are almost deified. Part of the training ritual is the frequent morale - building talk by a fedayeen supposedly just back from a mission. The boys are taught to dismantle, clean and reassemble rifles, pistols and machine guns and are allowed to fire live ammunition ...
  15. Arab nationalist planned hijackings - Los Angeles Times By Kim Murphy, Jan. 27, 2008. He studied medicine at the American University of Beirut, founding a series of radical student organizations that called for unifying the Arabs’ military might to annihilate Israel. After Israeli forces crushed an Arab assault and moved into the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and Syria’s Golan Heights in the 1967 Middle East War, Habash formed the PFLP to continue operations against Israelis. It became the second-largest faction within the PLO, after Arafat’s Fatah organization. In one of its first operations, an Israeli El Al airliner was hijacked to Algiers in July 1968, forcing the Israelis to free 16 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of the plane and its passengers.
  16. PFLP, DFLP, PFLP-GC, Palestinian leftists. Last updated October 31, 2005 What terrorist activities has the PFLP undertaken? In its early years, the PFLP conducted hundreds of terrorist attacks. It is best known for pioneering the technique of international airplane hijackings in the late 1960s and 1970s—with consequences that rattled the Middle East: -On July 22, 1968, the PFLP hijacked its first plane, an El Al flight from Rome to Tel Aviv. -In September 1970, the PFLP hijacked three passenger planes and took them to airfields in Jordan, where the PLO was then based; after the planes were emptied, the hijackers blew them up. In response, King Hussein of Jordan decided that Palestinian radicals had gone too far and drove the PLO out of his kingdom. -In 1972, PFLP and Japanese Red Army gunmen murdered two dozen passengers at Israel’s international airport in Lod. -In 1976, breaking a PLO agreement to end terrorism outside Israeli-held territory, PFLP members joined with West German radical leftists from the Baader-Meinhof Gang to hijack an Air France flight bound for Tel Aviv and landed the plane in Entebbe, Uganda. In a now-famous raid, Israeli commandos stormed the plane on the Entebbe tarmac and freed the hostages. -During the Platestinian intifada, PFLP gunmen shot dead Ze’evi, Israel’s rightist tourism minister, in a Jerusalem hotel—the first assassination of an Israeli minister. The group has also claimed responsibility for several recent car bombings and shootings in Israel and the West Bank. -In April 2002, Israeli officials foiled a PFLP attempt to blow up a Tel Aviv skyscraper with a car bomb—which could have caused massive casualties and would have marked a dramatic escalation in Palestinian terrorism. -The group was responsible for a suicide bombing Christmas Day 2003, in which four people were killed and more than twenty were wounded. -The PFLP and its current leader, Ahmed Jibril, were mentioned in the 2005 United Nations report into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, for allegedly assisting senior Lebanese security officials who were implicated in the 2004 car bombing that killed Hariri.
  17. George Habash, 82, founder of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. By Edmund L. Andrews and John Kifner. Jan. 27, 2008. The New York Times
  18. Terrorist Hijacking. CIA.gov
  19. 1970 Hijackings, Simultaneous Hijackings, September 6, 1970 - American Experience, PBS
  20. The People Involved and Affected, September 6, 1970 - American Experience, PBS
  21. Between Two Septembers: From the bargaining chip of Sept. 1970 to a strategic agent of Sept. 2001. 11/06/2006 | by Avihai, Hillel (Dr.) - ICT
  22. Jordanians Put a Price On the Head of Habash. Sept. 23, 1970, The New York Times
  23. Stephen E. Atkins, Encyclopedia of modern worldwide extremists and extremist groups (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004) ISBN 0313324859, p. 277