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Report: DFLP chief Nayif Hawatmah to return to Palestine

Jan. 24, 2013 11:34 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 27, 2013 10:15 A.M.)
BEIRUT (Ma'an) -- The secretary-general of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine Nayif Hawatmah will return from Syria to the West Bank soon, the al-Liwaa newspaper reported Thursday.

Hawatmah is the last veteran PLO leader still in exile. The 84-year-old co-founded the Arab Nationalist Movement and played a major role in initiating the Palestinian revolution. He founded the DFLP in 1969 and was known as the "philosopher of the Palestinian revolution."

Palestinian sources told the Beirut-based al-Liwaa newspaper Hawatmah would soon return to the West Bank. President Mahmoud Abbas, secretary-general of Fatah, told the Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen satellite channel on Monday that efforts were ongoing to bring Hawatmah back to Palestine.

The DFLP leader is the only secretary-general of a PLO faction living in the diaspora.

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine secretary-general Ahmad Saadat is serving a life sentence in an Israeli jail. He succeeded Abu Ali Mustafa, who was assassinated by a Israeli missile that hit his office in Ramallah in August 2001.

Ahmad Majdalani, secretary-general of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, Wasil Abu Yousif, secretary-general of the Palestinian Liberation Front and Jamil Shehada, Arab Palestinian Front secretary-general, are all based in the West Bank.

Arab Liberation Front secretary-general Rakad Salim, Palestinian People's Party secretary-general Bassam Salihi and secretary-general of the Palestinian Democratic Union Fida, Zahira Kamal, are also in the West Bank. Kamal is the only female leader of a PLO faction.

The secretary-generals of PFLP-General Command and Vanguards for the Popular Liberation War, Ahmad Jibril and Farhan Abu al-Hayja, are based in Syria. These factions are affiliated to the PLO but both are inactive in the organization's bodies.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian National Initiative were established after the PLO was founded, but they are expected to join once an agreement is reached to restructure the organization.

Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal is living in exile in Doha, after leaving Damascus in 2012. Islamic Jihad secretary-general Ramadan Abdullah Shallah is still based in Syria.

Mustafa Barghouti, PNI leader, is based in Ramallah in the West Bank.

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