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Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)


Marxist-Leninist group founded in 1967 by George Habash—as a member of the PLO—when it broke away from the Arab Nationalist Movement. The PFLP does not view the Palestinian struggle as a religious one, seeing it instead as a broader revolution against Western imperialism. The group earned a reputation for spectacular international attacks, including airline hijackings that have killed at least 20 US citizens. The PFLP is opposed to the Oslo process.


Committed numerous international terrorist attacks during the 1970s. Since 1978 has conducted attacks against Israeli or moderate Arab targets, including killing a settler and her son in December 1996. The PFLP has stepped up its operational activity since the start of the current intifadh highlighted by its assassination of the Israeli Tourism Minster in October 2001 to avenge Israel’s killing of the PFLP Secretary General earlier that year.



Location/Area of Operation

Syria, Lebanon, Israel, West Bank, and Gaza.

External Aid

Receives safehaven and some logistical assistance from Syria.

Sources and Resources

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Created by John Pike
Maintained by Steven Aftergood
Updated May 21, 2004