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Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine

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Description Marxist-Leninist organization founded in 1969 when it split from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Member of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Believes Palestinian national goals can be achieved only through revolution of the masses. In early 1980s, occupied political stance midway between Yasser Arafat and the rejectionists. Split into two factions in 1991; Nayif Hawatmah leads the majority and more hard-line faction, which continue to dominate the group. Joined with other rejectionist groups to form the Alliance of Palestinian Forces (APF) to oppose the Declaration of Principals signed in 1993. Broke from the APF - along with the PFLP - over ideological differences. Has made limited moves toward merging with the PFLP since the mid-1990s.

Activities In the 1970s, conducted numerous small bombings and minor assaults and some more spectacular operations in Israel and the occupied territories, concentrating on Israeli targets. Was involved only in border raids in the years 1988-2000 (during which it continued to oppose the Israel-PLO peace agreement), however since the beginning of the latest intifada carried out several shooting attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers.

Strength Estimated at 500 (total for both factions).

Location/Area of Operation Syria, Lebanon, and the Israeli-occupied territories; terrorist attacks have taken place entirely in Israel and the occupied territories. Conducts occasional guerrilla operations in Southern Lebanon.

External Aid Receives limited financial and military aid from Syria.

From: Patterns of Global Terrorism, 1998. United States Department of State, April 1999.

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