PFLP leader Maher Taher 390 (R).
(photo credit: Khaled Al Hariri / Reuters)
In the first visit of its kind, one of the leaders of the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine [PFLP] arrived in the Gaza Strip Sunday.
Taher, who has been living in Syria and Lebanon for the past four decades,
entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.
is not clear whether Taher, 63, was planning to move to the Gaza Strip
In the past few weeks, some senior Hamas officials who used
to live in Syria moved together with their families to the Gaza
The move came after Hamas refused to support
Bashar Assad in his confrontation with anti-government
Last Friday, Hamas became the first Damascus-based
Palestinian group to declare its support for the Syrian uprising against
The PFLP has thus far refrained from taking sides in the
The PFLP is one of several Palestinian groups that are members
of the PLO. Fatah is the largest faction in the PLO.
The PFLP has offices
in Damascus and Beirut, as well as the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
group’s Secretary-General, Ahmed Sa’dat, has been in Israeli prison since 2002
for his role in the assassination of tourism minister Rehavam Ze’evi a year
Like Hamas, the PFLP is opposed to the Oslo Accords and supports
the use of violence against Israel.
Upon his arrival in the Gaza Strip,
Taher called for unity between Fatah and Hamas “so that we can confront
occupation and attempts to Judaize Jerusalem.”
He also voiced support for
“resistance” against Israel.
“I can’t believe that I’m in the land of
beloved Palestine,” Taher told Palestinian reporters. “I have long been dreaming
of this historic moment.”
The PFLP leader urged the Palestinian Authority
to abandon the peace process “because Israel wants to control everything.”