Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command

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The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين - القيادة العامة) is a Palestinian nationalist organization, backed by Syria and Iran. It is considered a terrorist organization by more than 30 countries including the U.S., European Union, Australia and Canada.



The PFLP-GC was founded in 1968 as a Syrian-backed splinter group from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). It was - and still is - headed by Secretary-General Ahmed Jibril, also known by the kunya "Abu Jihad" (not to be confused with Khalil al-Wazir, the head of Fatah's armed wing who used the same nom de guerre), a former military officer in the Syrian Army who had been one of the PFLP's early leaders. The PFLP-GC declared that its primary focus would be military, not political, complaining that the PFLP had been devoting too much time and resources to Marxist philosophizing.

Although the group was initially a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), it always opposed Yassir Arafat and opposes any political settlement with Israel; for this reason, it has never participated in the peace process. The PFLP-GC left the PLO in 1974 to join the Rejectionist Front, protesting what they saw as the PLO's move towards an accommodation with Israel in the Arafat-backed Ten Point Program of the Palestinian National Council (PNC). Unlike most of the organizations involved in the Rejectionist Front, the PFLP-GC never resumed its role within the PLO.

Relations to the PLO

PFLP-GC is considered very close to Syria, and has in effect acted as a Syrian proxy force in Lebanon both during the Lebanese Civil War (1975–90), and after the Syrian occupation of Lebanon after the war. In 1976, after the PFLP-GC supported Syrian attacks on the PLO, an anti-Jibril faction defected from the organization, and created the Palestinian Liberation Front (PLF).

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