DAMASCUS - In a rare public statement, the founder of the radical Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), George Habash, on Wednesday called on Palestinian militants to step up attacks on Israel and wreck security deals to avenge the death of Mohammed Sa'adat - the brother of PFLP leader Ahmed Sa'adat - who was killed by an undercover IDF unit in Ramallah on Tuesday.
Habash said the killing proved the need to escalate armed struggle against the Jewish state and block Israeli-Palestinian security deals. "We call all the Palestinian forces... to freeze out security cooperation with the Zionist enemy and boost armed and popular struggle against the army of occupation and its settlers in response to this crime," Habash said in a statement.
"The submission of the Palestinian Authority to Zionist dictates and conditions is another factor encouraging the Israeli occupation to continue with its criminal practices against our people and the leaders of the resistance," he said.
Habash was referring to the 'Gaza-Bethlehem First' plan to ease the IDF's presence in the West Bank and Gaza in exchange for a crackdown by the Palestinian Authority on militants.
The remarks were a rare public statement from Habash, who brought the PLFP to international notoriety with a series of spectacular hijackings, but has kept himself out of the public eye in recent years due to failing health.
The group claimed responsibility for assassinating Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi last year in a Jerusalem hotel, to avenge Israel's killing of a previous PFLP head, Abu Ali Mustaffa.
Ahmed Sa'adat is presently serving time - under international supervision - in a Jericho jail for his role in masterminding the assassination.