Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine

Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine

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The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) (Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

: 'الجبهة الديموقراطية لتحرير فلسطين', transliterated Al-Jabha al-Dimuqratiya Li-Tahrir Filastin) is a Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 Marxist-Leninist
Marxism-Leninism
Marxism–Leninism is a communist ideology, officially based upon the theories of Marxism and Vladimir Lenin, that promotes the development and creation of a international communist society through the leadership of a vanguard party over a revolutionary socialist state that represents a dictatorship...

, secular political and military organization. It is also frequently referred to as the Democratic Front, or al-Jabha al-Dimuqratiyah (الجبهة الديموقراطية). It is a member organization of the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

.

Formation as the PDFLP


In 1969, a faction of the left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is a Palestinian Marxist-Leninist organisation founded in 1967. It has consistently been the second-largest of the groups forming the Palestine Liberation Organization , the largest being Fatah...

 (PFLP) broke away from the main organization to form the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PDFLP). The PDFLP was headed by Secretary-General Nayef Hawatmeh
Nayef Hawatmeh
Nayef Hawatmeh , Jordanian-Palestinian Christian politician. His name can be transliterated from the Arabic in many ways; variants include Naif Hawatma, Niaf Hawathme, etc....

, who had been referred to as a leader of the PFLP's Maoist
Maoism
Maoism, also known as the Mao Zedong Thought , is claimed by Maoists as an anti-Revisionist form of Marxist communist theory, derived from the teachings of the Chinese political leader Mao Zedong . Developed during the 1950s and 1960s, it was widely applied as the political and military guiding...

 tendency. He believed that the PFLP had become, under the guidance of George Habash
George Habash
George Habash also known by his laqab "al-Hakim" was a Palestinian nationalist. Habash, a Palestinian Christian, founded the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which pioneered the hijacking of airplanes as a Middle East militant tactic...

, too focused on military matters, and wanted to make the PDFLP a more grassroots
Grassroots
A grassroots movement is one driven by the politics of a community. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures...

 and more ideologically focused organization.

By contrast, Ahmad Jibril's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), which split away from Habash's organization in 1968, wanted to focus more on the tactical implementation of armed struggle.

In May–June 1969, the Palestinian Revolutionary Left League
Palestinian Revolutionary Left League
The Palestinian Revolutionary Left League was a Palestinian movement. In 1969 the organization merged into the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.-External links:...

 and the Palestine Popular Liberation Organization
Palestine Popular Liberation Organization
Palestine Popular Liberation Organization was a Palestinian political organization. It was founded in 1964, on the eve of the first session of the Palestinian National Council....

 merged into PDFLP.

The PDFLP soon gained a reputation as the most intellectual of the Palestinian fedayeen
Fedayeen
Fedayeen is a term used to describe several distinct militant groups and individuals in West Asia at different times in history. It is sometimes used colloquially to refer to suicide squads, especially those who are not bombers.-Overview:...

 groups, and drew heavily on Marxist-Leninist theory to explain the situation in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

. Its other leaders included Yasser Abd Rabbo
Yasser Abd Rabbo
Yasser Abd Rabbo is a Palestinian politician and a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee. He holds an M.A...

.

Early years and ideological moderation


The DFLP declared that its goal was to ‘’create a people’s democratic
People's Democracy
People's Democracy was a political organisation that, while supporting the campaign for civil rights for Northern Ireland's Catholic minority, stated that such rights could only be achieved through the establishment of a socialist republic for all of Ireland...

 Palestine, where Arabs and Jews would live without discrimination, a state without classes
Classless society
Classless society refers to a society in which no one is born into a social class. Such distinctions of wealth, income, education, culture, or social network might arise and would only be determined by individual experience and achievement in such a society.Since these distinctions are difficult to...

 and national oppression, a state which allows Arabs and Jews to develop their national culture.’’

The PDFLP's original political orientation was based on the view that Palestinian national goals could be achieved only through revolution
Revolution
A revolution is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.Aristotle described two types of political revolution:...

 of the masses and "people's war". However, it would soon come around to a more moderate standpoint and while preserving a hard-line attitude to armed struggle, the party began theorizing on various compromise solutions.

DFLP was badly hit by the 1970 September crack-down in Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 (Black September
Black September in Jordan
September 1970 is known as the Black September in Arab history and sometimes is referred to as the "era of regrettable events." It was a month when Hashemite King Hussein of Jordan moved to quash the militancy of Palestinian organizations and restore his monarchy's rule over the country. The...

). The offices of its Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

-based publication Al-Charar was bombed and burned by Jordanian tanks.

From the mid-1970s, the group occupied a political stance midway between Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

 and the PLO hardliners. The DFLP condemned attacks outside Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 (such as the aircraft hijacking
Aircraft hijacking
Aircraft hijacking is the unlawful seizure of an aircraft by an individual or a group. In most cases, the pilot is forced to fly according to the orders of the hijackers. Occasionally, however, the hijackers have flown the aircraft themselves, such as the September 11 attacks of 2001...

s for which the Habash PFLP gained notoriety) and was essential in making the binational state
Binational solution
The one-state solution and the similar binational solution are proposed approaches to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Proponents of a binational solution to the conflict advocate either a single state in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, or a single state in Israel and the West...

 the goal of the PLO in the 1970s, insisting on the need for cooperation between Arabs and Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

. Still, while pioneering Palestinian-Israeli peace talks through making early contact with Jewish and Israeli peace campaigners, including Matzpen
Matzpen
Matzpen is the name of an anti-capitalist and anti-Zionist organisation, founded in Israel in 1962 which was active until the 1980s. Its official name was the Israeli Socialist Organisation, but it became better known as Matzpen after its monthly publication....

, the DFLP simultaneously conducted numerous small bombings and minor assaults against Israeli targets, refusing to give up the armed struggle. The Ma'alot massacre
Ma'alot massacre
The Ma'alot massacre was a terrorist attack which included a two-day hostage-taking of 115 people which ended in the deaths of over 25 hostages. It began when three armed Palestinian terrorists of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine entered Israel from Lebanon...

 of 1974, an attack on Israeli school in which 27 people were killed, was the group's largest attack.

Between Fatah and the Rejectionists


In 1974, the same year as the PDFLP changed its name into the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), it acted as a strong supporter of the 1974 Ten Point Program. This document, which was accepted by the Palestinian National Council (PNC) after lobbying by Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 and DFLP, cautiously introduced the concept of a two-state solution
Two-state solution
The two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the consensus solution that is currently under discussion by the key parties to the conflict, most recently at the Annapolis Conference in November 2007...

 in the PLO, and caused a split in the organization leading to the formation of the Rejectionist Front
Rejectionist Front
The Rejectionist Front or Front of the Palestinian Forces Rejecting Solutions of Surrender was a political coalition formed in 1974 by radical Palestinian factions who rejected the Ten Point Program adopted by the Palestine Liberation Organization in its 12th Palestinian National Congress ...

, where radical organizations such as the PFLP, PFLP-GC, Palestine Liberation Front
Palestine Liberation Front
The Palestine Liberation Front is a Palestinian militant group, which is designated as a terrorist organization by Canada, the European Union and the USA. It is presently led by Dr. Wasel Abu Yousef.-Origins:...

 and others gathered with the backing of Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

 and Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 to oppose Arafat and the mainstream PLO stance.

In 1974 the organization perpetrated a major terror attack in Israel, when attacking a local elementary school
Ma'alot massacre
The Ma'alot massacre was a terrorist attack which included a two-day hostage-taking of 115 people which ended in the deaths of over 25 hostages. It began when three armed Palestinian terrorists of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine entered Israel from Lebanon...

 in the village of Ma'alot. Taking the school-kids for hostage, 22 children aged 14–16 years-old were killed when an army commando engaged them.

In 1978 the DFLP temporarily switched sides and joined the Rejectionist Front after clashing with Arafat on several issues, but it would continue to serve as a mediator in the factional disputes of the PLO. In the tense situation leading up to the 1983 Fatah rebellion, during the Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

, the DFLP offered mediation to prevent the Syrian-backed formation of a rival Fatah leadership under Said al-Muragha
Said al-Muragha
Col. Sa'eed Musa al-Muragha is a Palestinian militant better known as Abu Musa.-Early years:A Palestinian refugee, Abu Musa joined the Jordanian Army in 1948 and rose to become commander of an artillery battalion in 1969. During this period he was sent to receive a military education at the...

 (Abu Musa), the Fatah al-Intifada
Fatah al-Intifada
Fatah al-Intifada is a Palestinian militant faction founded by Col. Said al-Muragha, better known as 'Abu Musa'. The group is often referred to as the 'Abu Musa Faction'...

 faction. Its efforts ultimately failed, and the PLO became embroiled what was in effect a Palestinian civil war.

Stagnation in the 1980s


From the early 1980s the DFLP was seen as the most pro-Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and pro-Chinese
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 of the PLO member organisations. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the growing Islamist trend in Palestinian society during the 1990s sapped the party of much of its popularity and resources. The Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

 also began to reduce the PRC's support for revolutionary struggles abroad throughout this period so as to reduce the damage it caused to trade relations with the West. The DFLP continued to cautiously support Arafat's attempts to open negotiations with Israel, but this was not uncontroversial within the membership.

The First Intifada (1987–93) provoked a shift in Palestinian politics towards the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which proved a severe handicap for the largely diaspora
Diaspora
A diaspora is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland" or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location", or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands".The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of...

-based DFLP. With the swift rise of Islamism
Islamism
Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

 and religious groups such as Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 in the 1980s, the DFLP faded among the Palestinian youth, and internal confusion over the future path of the organization paralysed political decision-making.

1991 split


In 1991 the DFLP split, with a minority faction led by Yasser Abd Rabbo
Yasser Abd Rabbo
Yasser Abd Rabbo is a Palestinian politician and a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee. He holds an M.A...

 (who had become increasingly close to Yasser Arafat) favouring the Madrid negotiations
Madrid Conference of 1991
The Madrid Conference was hosted by the government of Spain and co-sponsored by the USA and the USSR. It convened on October 30, 1991 and lasted for three days. It was an early attempt by the international community to start a peace process through negotiations involving Israel and the Palestinians...

 that led initially to limited Palestinian autonomy
Self-governance
Self-governance is an abstract concept that refers to several scales of organization.It may refer to personal conduct or family units but more commonly refers to larger scale activities, i.e., professions, industry bodies, religions and political units , up to and including autonomous regions and...

 in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

. Inspired by the USSR's Glasnost
Glasnost
Glasnost was the policy of maximal publicity, openness, and transparency in the activities of all government institutions in the Soviet Union, together with freedom of information, introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev in the second half of the 1980s...

 and the fall of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

, this group also favored a new political orientation, focused less on Marxism and armed struggle, and more on the democratisation of Palestinian society. It reconstituted itself as the Palestine Democratic Union
Palestine Democratic Union
The Palestinian Democratic Union is a small Palestinian political party active in the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian National Authority .- Background :...

 (FIDA), and Abed Rabbo was officially made an advisor of Arafat.

There were reports of armed clashes between the factions in Syria during the split. Essentially the Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

-headquartered DFLP under Hawatmeh was able to retain its external branches, whereas the majority of the organization within Palestine, mainly on the West Bank, was taken over by FIDA.

The Oslo period


The DFLP, under Hawatmeh, joined the rejectionist groups to form the Alliance of Palestinian Forces (APF) to oppose the Declaration of Principles
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

 signed in 1993. The group argued that the Oslo negotiations were undemocratic, excluded the PLO from decision-making and deprived the Palestinians of their legitimate rights, but in contrast to most other Alliance members they did not oppose a two-state solution as such. Along with the PFLP, it then broke from the APF over ideological differences, and has made limited moves toward merging with the PFLP since the mid-1990s.

In 1999, at a meeting in Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

, the DFLP and the PFLP agreed to cooperate with the PLO leadership in final status negotiations with Israel. In October 1999, the group was dropped form the United States' list of terror organizations. The DFLP was subsequently represented in the Palestinian delegation at the unsuccessful Camp David negotiations
Camp David 2000 Summit
The Middle East Peace Summit at Camp David of July 2000 took place between United States President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat...

 of July 2000.

Second Intifada (2000–)


The DFLP has been largely unable to make its presence felt during the al-Aqsa Intifada, which began in 2000. The leadership is stationed in Damascus, and most of the DFLP organization on the Occupied Territories unraveled in the FIDA split. Its military capacity has been fading fast since the 1993 cease-fire between the PLO and Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, which the DFLP respected despite its objections to the Oslo Accords.

Since the beginning of the second Intifada
Al-Aqsa Intifada
The Second Intifada, also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada and the Oslo War, was the second Palestinian uprising, a period of intensified Palestinian-Israeli violence, which began in late September 2000...

 the DFLP has carried out a number of shooting attacks against Israeli targets, such as the 25 August 2001 attack on a military base in Gaza that killed three Israeli soldiers and wounded seven others. However, its military capabilities in the Occupied Territories remain limited, and the refocusing on armed struggle during the Intifada has further weakened the organization.

On September 11, 2001, an anonymous caller claimed responsibility for the September 11 attacks in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 on behalf of the DFLP. This was immediately denied by Nayef Hawatmeh
Nayef Hawatmeh
Nayef Hawatmeh , Jordanian-Palestinian Christian politician. His name can be transliterated from the Arabic in many ways; variants include Naif Hawatma, Niaf Hawathme, etc....

, who strongly condemned the attacks. Although the accusations gained some attention in the days following the attacks, they are now universally regarded as false.

Political influence


The DFLP ran a candidate, Taysir Khalid
Taysir Khalid
Taysir Khalid is a member and Politburo member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine , who was a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization until 1993, when he resigned in protest against the Oslo Accords. He was the party's candidate for...

, in the Palestinian Authority presidential election
Palestinian presidential election, 2005
The 2005 Palestinian presidential election — the first to be held since 1996 — took place on January 9, 2005 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Voters elected PLO chairman Mahmoud Abbas as the new President of the Palestinian Authority to replace Yasser Arafat, who died on November 11,...

 in 2005. He gained 3.35% of the vote. The party had initially participated in discussions with the PFLP and the Palestinian People's Party
Palestinian People's Party
The Palestinian People's Party , founded in 1982 as the Palestinian Communist Party, is a socialist political party in the Palestinian territories and among the Palestinian diaspora....

 on running a joint left-wing candidate, but these were unsuccessful. It won one seat in the 2005 PA municipal elections.

In the 2006 elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council
Palestinian Legislative Council
The Palestinian Legislative Council, the legislature of the Palestinian Authority, is a unicameral body with 132 members, elected from 16 electoral districts in the West Bank and Gaza...

, the Front formed a joint list called al-Badeel
The Alternative (Palestine)
The Alternative was an electoral alliance of several socialist Palestinian groups:*Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine *Palestinian People's Party...

(The Alternative) with Palestine Democratic Union
Palestine Democratic Union
The Palestinian Democratic Union is a small Palestinian political party active in the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian National Authority .- Background :...

 (FIDA), the Palestinian People's Party
Palestinian People's Party
The Palestinian People's Party , founded in 1982 as the Palestinian Communist Party, is a socialist political party in the Palestinian territories and among the Palestinian diaspora....

 and independents. The list was led by the historic DFLP leader Qais Abd al-Karim
Qais Abd al-Karim
Qais Abd al-Karim, also known as Abu Layla or Qays Samarra’i, is a leading Palestinian activist.He is a leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council....

 (Abou Leila). It received 2.8% of the popular vote and won two of the Council's 132 seats.

The DFLP retains important influence within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). It was traditionally the third-largest group within the PLO, after Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 and the PFLP, and since no new elections have been held to the PNC
Palestinian National Council
The Palestinian National Council is the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization and elects its Executive Committee, which assumes leadership of the organization between its sessions. The Council normally meets every two years. Resolutions are passed by a simple majority with a...

 or the Executive Committee
PLO Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is the highest executive body of the Palestine Liberation Organization .Its 18 members are elected by the PLO Parliament, the Palestinian National Council , often as representatives of the PLO member factions...

 since 1988, the DFLP still commands important sectors within the organization. The PLO's role has admittedly diminished in later years, in favor of the Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

 (PNA), but it is still the recognized representative of the Palestinian people, and a reactivation of the PLO's constitutional supremacy over the PNA in connection with power struggles in Palestinian society is a distinct possibility.

Organization and leadership


The DFLP held its 5th national general congress during a time-span from February to August 2007. The congress was divided into three parallel circle: West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

, Gaza strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 and the Palestinian exiles. The congress elected a Central Committee
Central Committee
Central Committee was the common designation of a standing administrative body of communist parties, analogous to a board of directors, whether ruling or non-ruling in the twentieth century and of the surviving, mostly Trotskyist, states in the early twenty first. In such party organizations the...

, with 81 full members and 21 alternate members.

Subsequently after the closure of the 5th national general congress, the Central Committee re-elected Hawatmeh as Secretary-General of the DFLP. The Central Committee also elected a 13-member political bureau:
  • Qais Abd al-Karim
    Qais Abd al-Karim
    Qais Abd al-Karim, also known as Abu Layla or Qays Samarra’i, is a leading Palestinian activist.He is a leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council....

  • Fahed Suleiman
  • Taysir Khalid
    Taysir Khalid
    Taysir Khalid is a member and Politburo member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine , who was a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization until 1993, when he resigned in protest against the Oslo Accords. He was the party's candidate for...

  • Saleh Zeidan
  • Ramzi Rabah
  • Hisham Abu Ghosh
  • Ali Faisal
  • Abdel-Ghani Hellu
  • Moutasem Hamadeh
  • Majida Al-Masri
    Majida Al-Masri
    Majida al-Masri is a Palestinian politician. She is a politburo member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. and a leader of the DFLP in the Nablus area....

  • Mohammad Khalil
  • Abd al-Hamid Abu Jib
  • Ibrahim Abu Hijleh

Support base


The DFLP is primarily active among Palestinians in Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, with a smaller presence in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

. Its Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 branch has been converted into a separate political party, the Jordanian Democratic People's Party
Jordanian Democratic People's Party
Jordanian Democratic People's Party , is a political party in Jordan...

 (JDPP or Hashd), and the DFLP is no longer active on the political arena there.

The DFLP mainly attracts Palestinians with a more socially liberal and secular lifestyle, as well as Palestinian Christians
Palestinian Christians
Palestinian Christians are Arabic-speaking Christians descended from the people of the geographical area of Palestine. Within Palestine, there are churches and believers from many Christian denominations, including Oriental Orthodoxy, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholic , Protestant, and others...

, primarily in cites like Nablus
Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately north of Jerusalem, with a population of 126,132. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center.Founded by the...

, and Bethlehem.

The party publishes a weekly newspaper in several Arab countries, al-Hurriya
Al-Hurriya (DFLP)
Al-Hurriya , variously transcribed as al-Hourriya, al-Hurriyeh, etc) is a Palestinian political newspaper affiliated with the Marxist-Leninist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine...

(Liberty).

External Relations


The DFLP is believed to receive limited financial and military aid from Syria, where it is active in the Palestinian
Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugees or Palestine refugees are the people and their descendants, predominantly Palestinian Arabic-speakers, who fled or were expelled from their homes during and after the 1948 Palestine War, within that part of the British Mandate of Palestine, that after that war became the...

 refugee camps. The DFLP's leader, Niaf Hawatmeh lives in Syria.

The DFLP is not listed as a terrorist
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

 organization by the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 government or the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. It was dropped from the U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations
U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations
"Foreign Terrorist Organization" is a designation of non-United States-based organizations declared terrorist by the United States Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act...

 in 1999, "primarily because of the absence of terrorist activity, as defined by relevant law...during the past two years."

See also

  • Jordanian Democratic People's Party
    Jordanian Democratic People's Party
    Jordanian Democratic People's Party , is a political party in Jordan...

  • Palestinian territories
    Palestinian territories
    The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

  • Palestine Democratic Union
    Palestine Democratic Union
    The Palestinian Democratic Union is a small Palestinian political party active in the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian National Authority .- Background :...

  • List of political parties in the Palestinian National Authority
  • Jordanian National Liberation Movement
    Jordanian National Liberation Movement
    Jordanian National Liberation Movement was a clandestine Jordanian political movement, connected to the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The group considered the Jordanian government as fascist...

  • PFLP
  • Hamas
    Hamas
    Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

  • Palestinian Islamic Jihad
  • Black September
    Black September
    The expression Black September may refer to:* Black September in Jordan, the conflict between Palestinian guerrilla organizations and King Hussein of Jordan that began in September 1970 and ended in July 1971 with the expulsion of the PLO to Lebanon....


External links