(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)
August 27, 2001
Israeli security forces in Ramllah today (August 27) carried out an initiated attack against the headquarters of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The PFLP is responsible for dozens of terrorist attacks against Israelis, the latest of which was the attempted detonation of a car bomb in the Russian Compound in Jerusalem last week.
Since the beginning of the current wave of violence, the PFLP has been behind a long sequence of car bombs, which miraculously caused no deaths. Among the more prominent of these:
In addition, the cells of the PFLP have been responsible for a long series of attacks using explosive devices: in Jerusalem (Jan 2001), in Mevasseret Zion (June 2001), in Atarot (June 2001), and, in July of this year, inside a watermelon placed in a bus near the Malcha shopping mall in Jerusalem.
The PFLP commander in the territories is Haj Ali Zabri, alias Abu Ali Mustafa. He was active in the organization since its inception, and was considered the right-hand-man and heir to George Habash, leader of the organization.
Zabri returned to the Palestinian Authority territory in September 1999, after the PA guaranteed that it would restrain his activities. Despite this, he has not ceased attacking the political process and used every opportunity to call for a continuation of the armed conflict against Israel. Thus, for example, in July of last year, in an interview with the Reuters News Agency, he stressed the commitment of the PFLP to the path of a military struggle and made clear that a political agreement could serve at most as one step in a multi-tiered plan against Israel.
In addition to this, Zabri is actively engaged in the recruitment of underground military cells for the PFLP throughout the territories and in instructing their leaders to prepare to carry out the organization’s agenda of terrorist attacks.
Security organs in Israel have watched with concern the cleverness and boldness of the PFLP cells in the territories under the command of Abu Ali Mustafa during the current wave of violence, especially the use of car bombs, a new hallmark of the organization’s activities which he introduced in order to maximize the number of victims claimed by the organization. In addition, the organization has worked to use the citizens of East Jerusalem for terrorist activities and has established a groundwork of abettors among the citizens of East Jerusalem with the intent of utilizing the unrestricted freedom of movement enjoyed by the residents of East Jerusalem and their knowledge of potential target sites in Israel, and specifically in Jerusalem.
In the last few days Abu Ali Mustafa has been engaged, together with other prominent leaders of the military wing of the PFLP, in the planning and preparation of additional bombing attacks, intended to be carried out within the immediate future.