New media outlet may have ties to Palestinian terrorist group

Al Falasteniyeh Media Network has connections to Samidoun and Masar Badil, NGOs allegedly affiliated with the PFLP terrorist group.

 PFLP SUPPORTERS rally in Gaza City, 2019. (photo credit: HASSAN JEDI/FLASH90)
PFLP SUPPORTERS rally in Gaza City, 2019.
(photo credit: HASSAN JEDI/FLASH90)

A new Palestinian media outlet announced on July 8 has close ties to NGOs that are allegedly fronts for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a recent review of the outlet's announcement materials shows.

Al Falasteniyeh Media Network is allegedly connected to the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network and the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement (Masar Badil), both accused of PFLP affiliation. According to Al Akhbar, US-based executive director and creative director Rumzi Taji Farooqi is close to Masar Badil.

“The channel will be a voice for the resistance movements in the region, conveying and explaining to public opinion the positions of Hezbollah, Jihad, the Popular Front, Hamas and Arab popular movements."

Al Falasteniyeh employee to Al Akhbar

Connections to suspected PFLP-affiliated NGOs

The announcement of the creation of Al Falasteniyeh was made simultaneously by both Samidoun and Masar Badil on the 50th anniversary of former PFLP leader Ghassan Kanafani, who is venerated by the NGOs. 

“On the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Ghassan Kanafani, in honor of his legacy, and in honor of all Palestinians and Arabs who have sacrificed so much to tell our stories, we announce; Al Falasteniyeh Media Network,” Al Falasteniyeh's official announcement said. 

“The reason why Ghassan Kanafani’s memory was chosen to announce this effort is not only because of the symbolism, significance and importance of the memory, but also to emphasize the revolutionary school to which the working group belongs in this new media network," an anonymous source within Al Falasteniyeh told Al Akhbar.

A graffiti image of PFLP terrorist Ghassan Kanafani on the security barrier in the West Bank (credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/JUSTIN MCINTOSH)A graffiti image of PFLP terrorist Ghassan Kanafani on the security barrier in the West Bank (credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/JUSTIN MCINTOSH)

“It is telling that the activists behind the fledgling Al Falasteniyeh Media Network chose to launch their initiative on the anniversary of the death of Ghassan Kanafani," said president and CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) Shimon Koffler Fogel. "Kanafani was a leading member of the PFLP, a violent terrorist group. Kanafani was the PFLP’s spokesperson when it perpetrated the 1972 Lod Airport Massacre, in which 26 people - including a Canadian - were murdered."

The launch of the outlet is also projected to be on a date of significance to the NGOs. According to Samidoun, Al Falasteniyeh will be launching on October 29 at the March for Return and Liberation — a rally at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, organized by Masar Badil. The rally seeks to affirm the right of armed resistance, call for the expulsion of Israel from the United Nations, and the dismantling of the Jewish state altogether. 

Outlet to represent narratives of terrorist organizations

The slogan of Al Falasteniyeh is “from the river to the sea to the world,” as it seeks to share Palestinian narratives with global audiences and address "Western public opinion” — And accordingly will be in both English and Arabic, Al Akhbar reported.

“The channel will be a voice for the resistance movements in the region, conveying and explaining to public opinion the positions of Hezbollah, Jihad, the Popular Front, Hamas and Arab popular movements that resist normalization and reject defeat or settlements with the Zionist entity," the Al Falasteniyeh employee told Al Akhbar. "It will also participate in building the boycott movement, isolating the Zionist entity, and not separating its media role from its political role and its association with the national liberation struggle movement of the Palestinian people.”

Samidoun, Masar Badil, and Khaled Barakat

Samidoun is officially designated by the Israeli government as an arm of the PFLP. The NGO campaigns for the release of PFLP operatives. For the anniversary of Ghassan Kanafani’s death, the NGO published the full PFLP commemoration statement on its website.

“The links between the PFLP, a listed terrorist entity in Canada, and Samidoun are clear," CIJA said in May. 

Masar Badil is a new organization led by  Khaled Barakat, who is allegedly a leader of the PFLP. Barakat, who resides in Vancouver, has been named by Israeli intelligence services as a leader of the PFLP, and has also been described as such by Palestinian news outlets, and at times, on the PFLP website. 

“There is no secret as to the affiliation and activities of Khaled Barakat," the Israeli Embassy in Canada told the National Post on June 8. "Over the years, his close ties and even leadership roles in the PFLP were not hidden or disguised."

Barakat's wife, Charlotte Kates, is a senior official in Samidoun, and Barakat himself has been described as a leader and founder of Samidoun by CIJA. The Canadian Senate has debated expelling Barakat from the country.

"Based on publicly available information, including their noted goal of being ‘a voice’ for four Canadian-designated terrorist entities, their mission to resist ‘the racist oppressive narratives of Western and Zionist media,’ and the endorsement of groups like the Path Movement and Samidoun — a Canadian not-for-profit with known links to the PFLP — we anticipate this network will manufacture lies, misinformation, and rage to the detriment of anyone who strives for peace,” said Koffler Fogel.