(Communicated by Israeli security sources)
The Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was established on December 11 , 1967, led by George Habash and Wadi Haddad. Habash was appointed General Secretary of the PFLP. The PFLP focused on carrying out terror attacks widely covered by the world media, such as airplane hijackings. These included the July 23, 1968 hijacking to Algeria of an El-Al airplane en route from Rome to Tel Aviv, and the September 1970 hijackings of four foreign airplanes, which were detonated after the passengers were evacuated, as well as an additional unsuccessful attempt to hijack an El-Al airplane..
In May 2000, George Habash left his leading position in the organization due to his physical condition. He was replaced by Abu Ali Mustafa. Mustafa was a key figure in directing terror activity from September 2000. He was killed in Ramallah on August 2001. Mustafa was replaced by Ahmed Sadat, who dispatched the terrorist cell which assassinated Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evy on October 17, 2001.
The PFLP’s headquarters are based in Syria and in the West Bank. The PFLP is among the organizations which refused to take part in the ‘hudna’ cease-fire launched by then Palestinian prime minister Abu Mazen in June 2003.
Following is a partial list of recent terror attacks for which the PFLP was responsible:
- December 25, 2003 – Suicide bombing at the Geha junction, in which four people were killed and over 20 wounded.
- June 20, 2002 – Terrorist infiltration of Itamar, in which five were killed – including a mother and her three sons – and eight wounded.
- May 19, 2002 – Suicide bombing at Netanya outdoor market, in which three people were killed and about 60 wounded.
- February 16, 2002 – Suicide bombing at Karnei Shomron pizzeria, in which three people were killed and 30 wounded.