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Arab Liberation Front

The Arab Liberation Front (Jabhat al-Tahrir al-'Arabiyya) was established as a guerrilla group on 6/11 April 1969 by Iraqi Ba'thists. It was constitued as an alliance between Fatah, Egypt & Syria developed, and after Sa'iqa was formed it continued to be sponsored by Iraq. It was Pan-Arabist in orientation, and initially aimed at reversing the 'Palestinianization' of the conflict. But the ALF joined the PLO nevertheless in July 1969). It was led initially by Zayd Haydar (Secretary General in 1970), Munif al-Razzaz (a Jordanian; 60s/70s), 'Abd al-Wahhab al-Kayyali (at least 72-74), 'Abd al-Rahim Ahmad (at least from 1975-91), Mahmud Isma'il (93). Current Secretary-General is Rakad Salem (b.1944); Husayn Rahhal also prominent.

In the 1970s, the ALF played an important role in the Rejection Front, a loose affiliation of groups that vocally opposed the PLO's peace efforts. The ALF was opposed to Oslo, but maintained participation in PLO (eg in 1984 Amman PNC), and participates in NIF. It shares an office floor in Ramallah with the PLF, and also has offices in Lebanon & Iraq.

The Arab Liberation Front also publishes a monthly journal (on high-quality paper) called "the Voice of the Masses" ( Sawt al-Jamahir ). The chief editor is (naturally) Rakad Salem. The editorial offices are in the Ramun building, Ramallah (where the Arab Liberation Front and Ba'ath leadership bureau is located).

The ALF remained a small, marginalized group, lacking either the secular support base of al-Fatah and the Islamist support base of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. By 2002 much of its work was distributing grants from the Iraqi government to families of "martyrs" in Palestine.

An archive consisting of documents, video cassettes and computer disks was captured by the IDF in the "Arab Liberation Front" (an organization under Iraqi patronage) and the Iraqi Ba'ath organization HQ in Ramallah. Other documents and videocassettes were captured during Operation Defensive Shield. The captured materials shed light on the Iraqi aid to the Palestinian confrontation in the PA, with emphasis on the encouragement of terrorist attacks.

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