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March 9, 1971

Untitled report about the Palestinian Organizations

This document was made possible with support from Youmna and Tony Asseily

67G/8, 1971


1- Various types of influence that opposition groups are under.


2- Capabilities of these groups to conduct secret activities.


3- Their relations with the Arab World, Western World, Third World and communist countries and the extent of support they get from these worlds.


4- Number of fighters, commando and militia and the amounts of weapons in their possession and sources of financing and the sources that supply them with weapons and ammunition and how they get them.


5- Future openness for Palestinians working in opposition groups in case a political solution is reached.  The outside influence that these groups are under some of it Arab and some foreign.  The Arab influence is Egyptian, under which falls Fatah and the Syrians.


As for the foreign influence, it is Soviet communist, under which falls the Popular Front; Sa’iqa Wing under [George] Habash, and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine; [Nayef] Hawatma Wang. Likewise, Fatah and the Sa’iqa Organization are under their influence with the communist Ansar Forces being completely influenced by them.


There is also the Chinese communist influence under which falls the Fatah, Popular Front, [George] Habash wing, and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, [Nayef] Hawatma wing.  As for the Ansar, they are not influenced by it seeing that it committed to the People’s China.


As for the Arab Liberation Front, they are under Iraqi influence as they are loyal to the Iraqi Baath.


As for the Liberation Front forces as part of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, most of their members are leftist and are somewhat influenced by the communists.


For the remainder of the organizations, like the Working Committee for the Liberation of Palestine, the Arab Palestine Organization and the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, these are small organizations and have little significance in the Palestinian resistance movement.


The Working Committee is influenced by the Iraqis, the Arab Palestine by the Egyptians, and the Struggle Front by the Baath Party.


The organization that are effective in secret resistance are:


First: Fatah


Second: Sa’iqa


Third: The Popular Front (The General Command), Ahmad Jibril’s wing


Fourth: Popular Liberation Forces


Fifth: the Popular Front, Habash’s wing


Fatah: has connections to Egypt, Saudi, Libya, and Algeria and in a smaller scale to Kuwait, Morocco, Tunisia and Sudan.  As for the west, it has ties to the Soviet Union.


The Popular Front, Habash’s Wing: has connections to People’s China and also with the Soviet Union, Egypt and South People’s Yemen.


The Democratic Front: has limited ties to the Soviet Union and more ties to People’s China.


The Popular Front (General Command): has limited ties to Kuwait and Libya.


Ansar Brigades: has limited ties to the Soviet Union.


As for the Fedayeen Organizations’ ties to the Third World, it is almost non-existent.  Regarding the aid they receive, little is known about it but they get military and financial assistance some from People’s China and some from the Soviet Union.  Others get assistance from Egypt, Syria, Saudi, Libya and Kuwait.  Each according to its political and party direction.  The PLO gets financial support from Arab countries, which it in turn distributes a portion to other resistance organizations.


As for the arms supplies, they mainly come from People’s China and from the Soviet Union, Egypt and Algeria.  They also buy arms from Czechoslovakia, Spain, Greece and Yugoslavia, from companies that deal with arms.


As for the number of fighters, it is not set for organization because for some the fighters move around from on to the other.  The number of Fatah fighters is estimated at a few thousands ranging between armed men or militia.  The Sa’iqa have three thousand fighters, the Popular Front’s General Command has 500, the Popular Front’s Habash’s wing 250, the Popular Liberation Force 1000, the Arab Liberation Front 200 and the Popular Front’s Hawatma’s wing 50.


The number of fighters for the Working Committee, the Popular Struggle, Arab Palestine and the Ansar Brigades does not exceed 100 for each.


As for the way they get their weapons, they are many.  People’s China sends arms via Syrian ports to Fatah and Algeria sends them to Fatah via Egypt on by sea or air to Syria or Lebanon and from there to Syria by cargo trucks.


China sends arms to the Popular Front, Habash’s wing, by sea to South Yemen then they are shipped on Iraqi flights from there to be received by the Popular Front.


As for the Soviet Union, they send them through Syria, Egypt, Algeria or Czechoslovakia…


Most Palestinian organizations reject the political solution except for one or two of the smaller ones, which have responded to the Egyptian Peaceful solution.  This rejection has been supported at the Palestinian conference held a few days ago in Cairo, for which a resolution was issued unanimously by the conference.


Still, this is the trend these resistance organizations and Palestinian political bodies are taking.  It is not expected that the Palestinians, neither the organizations nor any other important Palestinian group, will open up to any part of the political solution in the near future.

Account of Palestinian opposition groups and their relations to the Arab, Western, and Third worlds.


Document Information


Emir Farid Chehab Collection, GB165-0384, Box 8, File 67G/8, Middle East Centre Archive, St Antony’s College, Oxford.


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Youmna and Tony Asseily