George Habash, an Orthodox Christian from Lod, Palestine founded the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a secular left-wing Palestinian organization founded in 1967 and consistently in the vanguard of Palestinian politics through the 70’s. The organization is still active today, despite arrest by Fatah authorities and assassinations from Israeli forces. Recently, the PFLP has rejuvenated by conducting protests, operations, and negotiating closer ties to Tehran.
The military assistance is partly a result of the stance Hamas has taken against the Syrian government since the outbreak of the insurgency (note: political leader Khaled Mashal of Hamas received sanctuary by the Syrian government, and the Syrian government has never renounced that decision. In fact when Mashal in the last decade, speaking to Bashar Assad said he would willingly depart, Assad replied “you will never leave” and the friendship continued).
The friendship between Syria and Palestine go far back, built in resistance to an occupying force. George Habash made it clear why this relationship was necessary at the 1983 National Palestinian Council in Algeria.
Let me be honest with you. With the martyrs of Shatila massacre in my mind, to tell you, that we need and that we are strengthening our relationship with Syria! The power of Syria! A power for the Palestinian revolution. We have the same enemy and we are in need of such a power for our crisis.