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Israel Assassinates PFLP general secretary

In a severe escalation of the occupation, Israeli helicopter gunships killed Abu Ali Mustafa, the 63 year old leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
On August 28, Israeli occupation forces assassinated Mustafa Zabri, the 63-year-old leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Known by his nom de guerre, Abu Ali Mustafa, he was the highest ranking political leader killed since the Intifada re-ignited 11 months ago. Over 60 Palestinian leaders have been assassinated as part of official Israeli strategy in crushing the popular resistance to the occupation.

50,000 mourners attended his funeral in Ramallah despite an Israeli blocade of the town. Memorials were also held in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Brooklyn.

“Abu Ali represented a politics of liberation, not compromise at a time when our people had few clear paths to victory,” said a New York based activist with Al-Awda, the Palestinian Right to Return Coalition. “Unlike other prominent leaders, he was working to gain victory for Palestine, not himself. He was critical of the Arab dictatorships and sought solidarity with other oppressed peoples throughout the region and the world.”

A founding member of the PFLP, Abu Ali served on the PLO’s executive committee from 1987 to 1991 and was the most prominent leader to oppose the Oslo Accords which granted the Palestinian Authority nomianl control in parts of the West Bank and Gaza. Oslo attempted to force Palestinians to “recognize” Israel’s permance.

The assassination has brought forth a new unity among Palestinians from across the political spectrum with calls to increase armed actions against the Zionists ranging from Islamicists to the secular, socialist and nationalist forces. The PFLP gained noteriety in the 1970’s after a series of dramatic hijackings and embassy attacks in Europe , as well as a larger international vision which called for a secular, democratic revolution throughout the Arab world.

During the 1980’s, the PFLP cooperated closely with Soviet and East German intelligence services. This, combined with severe losses on the ground in Jordan, Lebanon and the Occupied Territories diminished the PFLP’s capacities and character.

While they are the second largest organization in the PLO, after Arafat’s Fateh group, their support is estimated at between 4 and 8% in the Palestinian Authority. The PFLP claimed in a press release that a recent spike in membership and combat readiness led the Israelis to kill their leader.

“Abu Ali understood clearly his role and the PFLP in expressing a radical, humanistic vision for the Middle East problem. He defended the Palestinian cause and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, foremost among them, the right of refugees to return and the right to establish a sovereign and independent state with Jerusalem as its capital. He called for the dismantling of all Israeli settlements and for continuing the Palestinian resistance movement until the Israeli occupation is brought to an end.” said the PFLP’s official statement

“We all are targeted as soon as we begin to be mobilized. We do our best to avoid their guns, but we are living under the brutal Zionist occupation of our lands, and its army is only a few meters away from us. Of course we must be cautious, but we hve work to do, and nothing will stop us,” said Abu Ali shortly before his death.



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