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The Palestenian Front

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The Palestinian Liberation Front
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AbstractThe following paper is focused on critically disseminating the history of the Palestinian Liberation Front (PLF). From its beginning, to its leadership as from its past to its current state. Additionally in this paper, the movement’s use of tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP’S) as well as shining light on its main patrons active in its day to day activities will be analyzed. This comprehensive documentation will also define the circumstances surrounding the movement and how it touches on the PLF and how HUMINT will function in contrast to organization in question under these functioning factors: Political, Military, Economy, Social, Information, Infrastructure, Physical environment and Time. Moreover, this research sprouted from a number of online journals, websites and books published that express their standpoint and involvement based opinions on the PLF. At the very end of this paper you will have a clear comprehension into how the PLF was formed as a supplementary of the Palestinian Liberation Organization PLO, how it dictated and directed politics in their region and how HUMINT would respond in terms of operations to the effects of those underlying factors.

The Palestinian Liberation FrontThe actuality of the Palestinian Liberation Front cannot be vehemently depicted in history without including the past activities of the Palestinian Liberation Organization PLO. How the movement got a slot in the political field of Arab-Israeli relations remains a mystery up to present date. Their methods and philosophies are still seen as ferocious and dangerous by most refined and broad-minded societal settings. How will these limitations impede HUMINT activities? Looking into the circumstances in which they live and how it touches on their subsistence will also be included in this paper to help isolate an approach for HUMINT to thrive in the prevailing environment. This documentation will also be out to shed light on how HUMINT will retaliate to the prevailing surroundings under the key perspectives of Political, society, Economy, Infrastructure, Information, Physical Environment and military.
The History of the PLF
The Israeli-Arab civil conflict arose in response due to the coming up of the United Nations tenacity of the division of the Palestinian state to embrace three separate annexation zones, one most notably for the Jewish state. Rigidities had already been escalated amid Arabs and Israelis due to Britain’s ostracized colonization rules and other cultural variances so Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Syria invaded Jewish settlements and confronted Israeli forces because of the United Nation decrees.
The Palestinian Liberation Front came to be on April 24th of 1977. It was established by Muhammad Zaidan, popularly known as Abu Abbas and Talat Yaakub. Initially the PLF was the principal partisan and military unit in Palestine. Disagreements over how the group should be run resulted to the rupture of the organization. The Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), now a secondary section of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the PLF shared the status of representing the Palestinian People and their conquest. Despite these groups having splintered, they are still under the guidance of the PLO. The PLO was began 1964 in reaction to amplified tussles between Arab blocs in the region and with Israel over water distribution initiatives and other cultural matters. The PLO is the solitary guardian of the people of Palestine and is renowned by over 100 overseas states. The PLO had been affirmed as a terrorist movement by Israel and the United States until the Madrid Peace Conference held in 1991. It was here where the United States and the Soviet Union headed over peace talks between Israel and the Arab nations of Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria and convinced these nations to come to an agreement to identify Israel’s right to thrive in peace. The PLO acknowledged the resolves and to deter violence and terrorism and in turn Israel accepted the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people. (Gelvin, 2014)
Goals and Objectives
Despite the various segments now encompassed within the PLO and their recognition of the Israeli state, Israel’s historical infringement of settlements onto Palestinian terrain disconcerted relations. Israel’s disrespect for the regional lines and economic restraints that will be discussed further in this report has led to the worsening of easiness. As the PLO has legitimately deplored terrorism, the groups within the council implement the same intentions and goals. The formation of a Palestinian state and the annihilation of Israel’s power.
Nation State Supporters This dogma is collective with that of Libya and also that of Iraq which sustained the give refuge to Abu Abbas in their country after the Achille Lauro episode. The Achille Lauro instance involved a section of the PLO, which comprised Abu Abbas and others, taking captive the Italian ship and killing a physically challenged American Jewish tourist and throwing his body overboard. Following the occurrence and Abu Abbas’s association with it, Saddam Hussein harbored him in his country. As Abu Abbas went on with his vacation, it was recounted that the PLF was able to get entry in the country of Iraq and was given guerrilla training, funding and logistical assistance. The Palestinian Authority (PA), Palestine’s principal institution headed by Yasser Arafat is suspected by Israeli Secret Service and the Jordanian Intelligence of backing the PLF. As per the statement of one of the seized documents, during Operation Defensive Shield, the PA pays $12,000 a month for funding their goings-on, whereas the residual budget comes from the Iraqi government, Abu al-Abbas and the PLF leadership, which have investments in real estate in Iraq. (Arnon-Ohanna, 1981)
Tactics, Techniques and Procedures It is while in Iraq that the movement refined their TTP’S which include abduction of noncombatant and military personnel as well as the previously mentioned paramilitary influenced terrorist strategies like making of bomb and emplacement, anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) expertise and the use of rocket propelled grenades. The PLF would secretly get into Israel from the boundaries of Jordan, Syria and as well as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, using these weapons in combination with guerrilla warfare maneuvers to dishearten and weaken the Israelis. In some of the most famous occurrences of terror, eleven Israeli athletes and coaches, along with one German security guard, were executed at the 1972 Munich Olympics. In 1974 there was a killing of 21 school children at Ma’a lot. Thirty-five people were killed and 85 seriously wounded while traveling in tourist buses along the Haifa-Tel Aviv coastal highway in 1978. (League, 2015)
Abu Abbas, original name Muhammad Zaidan, was born in a refugee camp in Syria in 1948. He studied at Damascus University when he gained entry into the pro-Syrian popular gruop for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command in 1968. As of the group’s Syrian background and the participation in the Lebanese War, Abu Abbas created his own pro-Iraqi clique that would not take part. Even though his faction was responsible for many brutal attacks on Israeli citizens, he maintained his position in the peace talks with Israel and condemned terrorism affirming that he had a change in perspective. While hiding in Iraq for the Archille Lauro attack, he was apprehended by U.S. forces near Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Abu Abbas consequently died in 2004 of natural causes while in U.S. custody awaiting trial. (John Pike, 2015)
Given that the PLF was under direct influence of the PLO, when Yasser Arafat assumed the role of chairman of the PLO in 1969, he structured and directed all the subdivisions that incorporated the Palestinian tussle. His philosophy and mission statement of holding an olive branch in one hand and a weapon in the other, don’t let me drop the branch should have been an indicator to the Israelis in his proclivity for peace. All through his tenure, while his delegations for peace, terror attacks on Israel were widespread. During his tenure, he still supported the eradication of Israel.
After Yasser Arafat renounced leadership of the PLO in 2003 and his subsequent death in 2004, Mahmoud Abbas, came in as the new Chairperson of the PLO and was subsequently elected President of the Palestinian Authority. (Gelvin, 2014)
Mahmoud Abbas was born in the Arab-Jewish town of Zefat in 1935 escaped to Syria with his family during the Arab-Israeli war. He attained a law degree while going to the University of Damascus and was instrumental in establishment of the Fatah, another bloc which took advantage and supported the Palestinian front. His reign has not gone without some indignity. He has been accused of misappropriation of Foreign Aid which has been connected to his two son’s promising business activities. Even though Abbas continued to back contentious factions within the PLO, he still recognized the significance of peace talks with Israel for the good of Palestine. Abbas took part in direct peace talks with Israel in 2010. These gatherings delayed due to Israel’s recurring construction of Israeli settlements across the borders, most notably the West Bank. Abbas then fixated on international acceptance of a Palestinian statehood. In September 2015 Abbas proclaimed to the UN General Assembly that the directives for peace that were agreed upon during the Oslo consensuses were no longer in play due to Israel repeated desecrations. He never mentioned specifics actions that the PLO would take. (Jewish Virtual Library, 2015)
Support Structure and Resources
The PLO created legal and illegal profitable activities that produce noteworthy income. Their legal undertakings involved manufacturing of goods and monies in airlines just to name a few. But it was their illegal activities that gained the most profit. The PLO is stated to be involved in drug trafficking, training of foreign terrorist, robberies and hijacking. Proceeds from drugs, the most profitable source, are estimated to be around 300 million annually. How the PLO really financed their setups and government is through foreign aid. The PLO receives annually $100 million from the Arab state partnerships. It has also been reported that Saudi Arabia contributed $855 million and Kuwait being the largest donor with $2 billion to be paid in augmentations over 26 years. The British Intelligence Service reported in 2000 that the PLO has a net worth close to $10 billion with an annual income of about $2 billion from illegal ventures. This income is envisioned to finance the PLO and its operations and government, even with reports of suspected misappropriation by public officials, and there are still sufficient finances to fund their underground activities like purchasing of weapons to provoke Israel or supporting their smuggling operations. (Pipes, 1991)
The PLO enjoys the remunerations of government sponsorship because it is the national government of Palestine. The Palestinian National Council sets and fosters laws and policies. It assigns and monitors the Executive Committee which represents the PLO at the international level. It epitomizes the will of the people as well as its beliefs.
The PLO directs the Palestinian Liberation Army. There are three brigades. One is in Iraq with another located in Syria. These host nations command the brigades. The third is located in the Gaza Strip and is in charge of protection against Israeli settlement intrusion. In summary, the PLO is a broad incorporating organization made up of political parties, financial initiatives and most famously resistance movements entities that support each other only for the common goal of undoing and the destruction of Israel.
Conditions. The international acknowledgement of Palestine has been the main goal of the PLO since its freedom from British rule. Israel, the United States and a few other countries do not view Palestine as a state. They will only recognize their statehood through direct parlance and negotiations between their governing authority, the Palestinian National Authority and Israel. The key matters causing impediment are the disagreements of border lines, civilian safety, water privileges, admission to religious sites and the most contentious divergence over development of Israeli settlement in contested areas of the West Bank. Currently, Israel governs oversees most of the West Bank while the Palestinian Authority rules about 42 percent. The Gaza Strip is administered by Hamas, an organization supported by the United States as a terrorist organization. (The World Factbook, n.d.)
Effects. The political state of Palestine has always been unbalanced due the present authority’s incapacity to control the terrorist organizations within their configuration that on one hand advocate for the people’s predicament for recognition and respect while at the same time, because of their tactics, prevent any progress and reliability. The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine has killed and wounded many people. It is said that Israel’s land-grabbing program is the source of Middle East unpredictability and America is loathed because American money and weapons are what empower Israel to steal Palestine from Palestinians. Because of the PLF’s success, the Palestinian people are less willing to cooperate and work with the U.S. military which may encumber a successful flow of information. This may suppress HUMINT’s capability to collect report and publish information about potential targets to U.S. forces. Along with the likelihood of corrupt political officials in this situation, this may open the likelihood of them to be bribed for important intelligence to be circulated to reprehensible organizations.
Response. With the guidance from the S2X, HUMINT will necessitate ascertaining precise source profiles that will ease fruitful spotting and evaluating for probable sources that may be used in category II and III operations. This approach may help identify and enable targeting of individuals having no gush towards the PLF. With the probability of intelligence information shared with the host nation being conceded by corrupt officials, category I operations may have to be initiated. HUMINT will emphasize on recognizing outlying areas that are accommodating for U.S. presence to estimate the impact of the PLF in their area and identify prospective sources.
Conditions. All Palestinian military and paramilitary forces are under the direct control of the PLO. But the PLO lacks operational control. Each PLO member group’s or organization’s armed personnel are accountable to the leadership of that group or organization. The Palestinian Authority has established as many as 12 security agencies, with unclear and overlapping jurisdictions. Hamas is in control of the Gaza Strip while the Palestinian Authority governs the West Bank. Hamas, a much larger and financially superior terror organization has dwarfed the PLF. After the Oslo agreement that banned all weapons except light weapons, the Hamas’ forces are reported to possess mortars, rocket propelled grenades and shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles. From the late 1990s, the CIA played the central role in building up PA security forces, in close co-operation with the Israeli military and intelligence. (Jewish Virtual Library, 2015)
Effects. The military force in the West Bank is pro-Israeli in the sense where they share the goal of curbing violence for the betterment of peace and stability. Palestinian forces will release a captured individual and tip off Israel to his whereabouts. This practice alleviates the negative public view of them turning over Palestinian citizens to Israeli forces. With Israel and Palestine allowing the CIA to train and assist with both countries to battle extremists, the Palestinian forces welcome greater U.S. intervention to counterbalance what they see as Israel’s greater negotiating leverage. Because of the complexities of working in the Israeli and Palestinian relationship, HUMINT will have to be very aware of the potential insider threat capabilities while working within these partnership operations.
Response. As a response to this potential threat, HUMINT will coordinate with counter-intelligence (CI) personnel to conduct screenings of recruited sources to determine if any deception is likely intended. Also during these partnerships, HUMINT, embedded with the C.I.A., can implement liaison programs to garner trust as well as collect intelligence information. HUMINT can employ a train the trainer program that will instill confidence in the host nation’s capabilities while still allowing us to debrief them and collect information.
Conditions. Israeli imposed border closures, destruction of water wells in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which became more restrictive after Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, has resulted in high unemployment. Almost 1 out of 4 Palestinians are unemployed in both occupied territories. The West Bank relied heavily on agriculture for sustenance and export income. Most Palestinians work on construction projects funded by aid groups. These closures disrupt trade flow and basic commerce. It is dismal in the Gaza strip. Palestinians there relied on illegal imports from Egypt by way of tunnels. When Hamas was suspected of using those same tunnels to import weapons, Egypt located and destroyed them. Corruption is rampant within many of Palestine’s institutes. Any businesses operating within the territories are paying some form of kickbacks to a government official. It is reported that bribes are common in return for work contracts. The Palestinian Authority relies on foreign aid for economic and budgetary needs and will continue to in the projected future. (The World Factbook, 2015)
Effects. The PLO retains the ability to finance their operations despite the inability of the government to sustain its people. The amount of foreign aid that is received is able to adequately provide for employment thru infrastructure projects and other developments but due to the blockades, Israel controls who and what is able to enter and exit the borders. The PLO’s inability to organize and control the actions of its subsidiary units is counter-productive to cohabitation with Israel. Pharmaceutical companies and their agents have been accused of distributing expired food and medicine. Palestinians had used various forms of bribery to receive a certain public service. (Palestinian Economy-Foundation of a state or common burden, 2009)
Response. HUMINT will spot and assess for sources relying on these services and recruit using category II MSO to identify and target these businesses. These businesses will include transportation, goods delivery, construction materials manufactures, and most susceptible to corruption, construction companies. HUMINT will coordinate with assets to identify and target those individuals that have ties to the PLF.

Conditions. Palestinians are primarily Sunni Muslim with various Christian minorities enveloped within their borders. There are two main ethnic groups: Arabs and Jews. Palestine is held sacred by Christians, Jews and Muslims; some of the most important events in each religion have taken place in the city of Jerusalem. The languages of the two groups are similar. Palestinians speak primarily Arabic and Jews speak Hebrew. The languages have some of the same words and sound similar to people unfamiliar with the languages. Palestinian society is conservative. Male to female relations are culturally sensitive. It is important to respect your parent’s beliefs and not offend them. (Griffin, 2007)
Effects. Because of the frustration of the Palestinian people towards Israel caused by the disreputable elements within their government, Israel employs understandably harsh and desperate controlling measures to thwart aggression aimed at their citizens. In the Gaza Strip, these conditions together with unemployment foster a hostile environment. In the West Bank matters aren’t as desperate. The wealthy Palestinians are able to travel without restrictions.
Response. For HUMINT to engage in MSO in the Gaza Strip will undisputedly be category II and I operations. The population there is suspicious and wrathful to western influence so clandestine operations will be imperative. HUMINT will collaborate with Psychological Operations assets along with other civil assets to counter the systemic unemployment and create a message that could sway perceptions to allow HUMINT to operate within their borders clandestinely. HUMINT could also engage in Key Leader Engagements in the unstable areas to support that same message.

Conditions. The Gaza Strip has one television and 10 radio stations. There are over one million internet users totaling aboutIPT 34 percent of the population. Telephone land lines are still being repaired after the fighting with Israel in 2009. The West Bank has 400 thousand land line subscriptions, 31 television stations with satellite access and the same amount of internet users. All of these stations are privately owned with the exception of one radio and one television station that is run by the Palestinian Authority. (The Strategy Page,2015)
Effects. Hamas, in the Gaza Strip, continually run propaganda through its state run media to bolster all achievements against Israel. They also sent messages via cell phones to Israeli citizens warning them of imminent rocket attacks meant to frighten and demoralize the public. Even Fatah in the West Bank has openly praised and publicized Palestinian suicide bombers or over a decade. Response. It is safe to assume that the West Bank embraces non-government controlled media thereby enabling HUMINT teams to capitalize on a propaganda campaign to swing attitudes and perceptions in our favor. By using SIGINT assets to monitor adversary’s local television and radios broadcasts, HUMINT can gauge the population’s mindset to assist with targeting profiles. HUMINT could also establish a hotline combined with a monetary incentive to motivate reluctant sources and establish a walk-in source pool.
Conditions. Substandard housing conditions in the occupied territories exist. Overcrowding and poor facilities affect the lives of many people. Over 80 percent of the houses are without bathrooms, 76 percent without electricity or potable water. The existing road system serving the Palestinian population has not been developed. Road maintenance is at minimal levels, and repairs are affected only when roads deteriorate drastically. Predominately in Gaza, the water treatment plants do not have the capability to treat the amount of raw sewage produced. This situation is causing severe water pollution and is generating water-borne illnesses. (Hazboun, 2012) Effects. Road construction or repair is not a high priority for the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip. They recognize that only 1 in every 1000 actually own a vehicle therefore have conceded the priority to Israel’s settlement expansion in the West Bank. With a lack of viable transportation, personnel are restricted to occupying urban areas. Overcrowding is rampant. Because of the blockade, construction materials are obstructed. Smuggling operations and the black market, controlled by Hamas, are imperative for necessities but are also advantageous for radical groups to acquire weapons. Conducting MSO in these urban areas may be inhibiting source safety. Because of the blockade medical supplies are limited to what world relief organizations can provide, which is always in short supply given the amount of people that are forced to live in these infected areas.
Response. The use of medical screening clinics as a cover for HUMINT would benefit operations with minimal suspicion. HUMINT could spot and assess for sources from the profiles that the S2X deemed priority. Collection or recruitment combined with an incentive could be useful in these impoverished areas. The S2X can obtain historical data on smuggling operations to identify probable routes. HUMINT in combination with ISR platforms can detect, identify and target smugglers for capture to facilitate further intelligence collection. Through the train the trainer programs, HUMINT will be able to collect information under this guise. While foiling attacks and capturing foot soldiers remains important, the only way to hobble and finally put an end to PLO terrorist operations is to hit it where it counts most, in their wallets.

Physical Environment
Conditions. Israel occupies and controls the two Palestinian territories within their borders. The West Bank is a rugged and mostly barren section of land within Israel, about the size of the state of Delaware. It shares a border with Jordan and is flanked by the Dead Sea. The area is comprised of mostly north-south oriented limestone hills. It is the most agriculturally developed area of the Palestinian territories. The West Bank is fertile in the north and mostly barren in the south. The Gaza Strip is located at the southern most western corner of Israel and is flanked by the Mediterranean Sea and shares a border with Egypt. It has an arid climate with mild winters and a hot dry summer that is prone to drought. It is mostly flat and sandy with very little fertile soil. Thousands of Palestinians live in refugee camps that have gradually become permanent settlements. Because Palestine has been plagued with war, much of the lands and infrastructure have become uninhabitable. Palestinians are in dire need to organize and repair their infrastructure as well as their natural ecosystem. (Britannica, 2015)
Effects. Members of radical organizations intermingle with the population. Because they are familiar with the terrain, they can travel easily within the territories and move about undetected. Targeting key leaders is complicated by the fact that the wealthy are able to bypass scrutiny at the borders. With neighboring countries sympathetic to their cause because of the Arab connection and the unanimous hate of Israel, operating in this environment has proven an advantage for these groups.
Response. HUMINT will utilize ISR assets organically or in partnership with the host nation to focus reconnaissance on key smuggling routes in the AO. By doing so, key players can be identified and targeted for detention thereby crippling their ability to finance their operations as well as suffocate their arms procurement. Hindering their financial support, may also expose the organizations vulnerabilities as they seek aid. During partnership missions with the host nation, HUMINT may collect information that will answer PIR’s while performing field interrogations.
Conditions. Palestine has been at war with Israel since 1967. After the six-day war and during the war of 1973, the united States logistically back Israel and the Soviet Union provided for Egypt. The PLF obtained training in Iraq. During the Intifada of 1987 to 1993, the Palestinians rose up against Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. In the year 2000, over a contested religious site in Jerusalem, Palestinians again rioted in the territories against Israeli’s contempt of their religious identity. Palestinians, while embroiled in conflict with hostilities from both sides, still reserve time for celebrations. Ramadan is still observed during the months of June thru July. Throughout the month, from sunrise to sunset, Muslims abstain from food, drink and intimacy. Families and friends gather each evening at sunset to break their fast together. Attacks against Israel are usually withheld until after the observance.
Effects. During this period of conflict, new and competitive radical organizations have appeared. Abu Abbas and his PLF organization while in Iraq, gained paramilitary training, financial and logistical support. With this experience he was able to develop his military capabilities that would be most effective for his group. As fierce as these fighters claim to be, they still find time to practice and observe religious holidays. Forgoing operations during celebrations may potentially delay reporting. U.S. forces operating in foreign countries are sensitive to local customs and traditions and may not want to offend the local populace.
Response. HUMINT will assertively target key leaders of radical organizations operating within the borders of the AO. Thru the use of MSO category II operations and tactical site exploitation, HUMINT will effectively collect data to target these individuals. Eliminating these key leaders will wreak havoc within these organizations and ultimately interrupt their surge of operations. With ISR capabilities, HUMINT will be able to collect information about smuggling routes during Muslim or host nation celebrations undetected.

Conclusion Palestine has been at war with Israel since 1967. Amoral and unscrupulous zealots have the podium. The ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has killed and wounded many people. Throughout the conflict and still today, Palestine has operated without the comfort of a corrupt free government. Government officials and wealthy businessmen have enjoyed a corrupt relationship that benefited both monetarily. During this period of conflict, new and competitive radical organizations have appeared. Because of these power struggles, Palestine and Israel have experienced a long and drawn out war that has violated human rights and damaged infrastructure to the point of causing unnecessary catastrophic human suffering. This paper discussed the operational variables of Palestine in which a HUMINT team must overcome to successfully function. With the capabilities that are available to U.S. forces: MSO categories I, II and III, organic and partnered ISR platforms, train the trainer and liaison programs, HUMINT will inflict serious financial damage to the PLO terrorist operations where it counts the most, in their wallet.

Becker, J. (2014). The PLO: the rise and fall of the Palestine Liberation Organization. AuthorHouse.
Chamberlin, P. T. (2012). The Global Offensive: The United States, the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the Making of the Post-Cold War Order. Oxford University Press.
Baracskay, D. (2011). The Palestine Liberation Organization: terrorism and prospects for peace in the Holy Land. ABC-CLIO.
Salehyan, I. (2010). The delegation of war to rebel organizations. Journal of Conflict Resolution.

Palestinian Economy-Foundation of a state or common burden. (2009, Jan 27). Retrieved from Electronic Intifada:
Pipes, D. (1991, February). Daniel Pipes-Middle East Forum. Retrieved from
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