Alliance of Palestinian Forces (APF)

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ALLIANCE OF PALESTINIAN FORCES (APF)

: This Palestinian organization, founded in October 1993, united the Palestinian movements opposed to the Israeli-Palestinian accord signed on 13 September 1993. The APF, supported by Syria and based in Damascus, replaced de facto the Group of Ten and included the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), HAMAS, Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian Liberation Front's Yaʿqub faction, the PFLP-GC (General Command), al-Fatah-Intifada, Saʿiqa, the PPSF–Abdul Majid faction, and the RPCP. The APF thereby became the successor of the Palestinian National Salvation Front (PNSF). Confronted with the political divergences among its members and personnel, the APF proposed no program that could represent an alternative to the political program of Yasir Arafat. On 24 May 1995, this organization called in vain for a reinforcement and extension of the newly founded Palestine Unity Party in the hope of creating a movement of opposition in the Occupied Territories. On 3 November 1996, to spark the APF, HAMAS and Islamic Jihad proposed creating a new organization, the Front for Palestinian National Independence, or National Democratic and Islamic Front, that would exclude the DFLP and the PFLP, against which the two Islamic movements were in ideological opposition.

APF unity was shaken in February 1997, when HAMAS, PFLP, and DFLP announced their decision to accept participation in the "national dialogue" proposed by Arafat, which resulted, nevertheless, in no agreement. In early June 1998, the APF leadership rejected Arafat's proposal inviting some of its members into the Palestine Authority (PA). On 13 December 1998, following the Wye Plantation Accords, which it denounced, the APF called a congress in Damascus in the course of which members officially called for the election of a new Palestine National Council (PNC), as well as for the election of a new executive committee and a new Central Council of the PLO. Differences between the leaders of the DFLP and those of the PFLP-GC became apparent during the meeting. On 9 August the APF declared that it rejected all dialogue with the PA, which, in its view, had lost all legitimacy by renouncing the Palestinian National Charter. The APF has been largely unsuccessful in crafting a coordinated political strategy, and its support from Syria is largely rhetorical.

SEE ALSO Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine; Group of Ten; HAMAS; Islamic Jihad; Oslo Accords II; Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.