Members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestinian (PFLP) take part in a military show in Gaza City September 2, 2014. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to cut off PLO funds to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a leader of the PFLP said on Monday.
The Marxist PFLP is the second-largest group in the PLO after Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction. Like other PLO factions, the PFLP has been receiving monthly funds from the PLO’s Palestinian National Fund.
Abbas’s decision came in response to the PFLP’s recent criticism of his policies, especially with regard to security coordination with Israel
, Palestinian sources in Ramallah said.
A senior PFLP leader recently called on Abbas to resign or face being fired by the PLO leadership. The PFLP has also strongly condemned Abbas’s decision to dispatch a delegation to offer condolences over the death of Brig.-General Munir Amar, the head of the civil administration in the West Bank, who was killed in a plane crash in the Galilee last month.
Rabah Muhanna, a top PFLP official, said that his group learned about Abbas’s decision a few days ago. He claimed that Abbas did not consult with other PLO factions before he decided to suspend funds to the PFLP.
“This is an individual decision,” Muhanna said. “We will bring it before the PLO Executive Committee for discussion. We will also raise the issue before Abbas himself.”
Tensions between the PFLP and Abbas reached their peak recently following the death of PFLP member Omar al-Nayef inside the Palestinian Embassy in Bulgaria.
Nayef, who was wanted by Israel for his role in the murder of a yeshiva student in the Old City of Jerusalem in 1986, was hiding inside the embassy in the past few months to avoid being extradited to Israel.
His body was discovered where it had fallen to the ground from an upper floor inside the compound a few weeks ago.
The PFLP and other Palestinian factions claim that he was assassinated by Israel and have called for the resignation of PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki.
The PFLP and Nayef’s family have also refused to cooperate with a commission of inquiry formed by Abbas to investigate the death of the fugitive. They claim that the commission of inquiry was trying to cover up for the PA’s alleged role in the death of Nayef.
A senior PLO official in Ramallah rejected the allegations. He told The Jerusalem Post
that Nayef committed suicide and had left a letter explaining his motives.