For decades George Habash was one of the most important Palestinian militant leaders. In 1967 he founded the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – at one time the most notorious of the many Palestinian factions. The group and its leader pioneered the tactic of hijacking aeroplanes, to try to achieve political objectives. For many years the PFLP was very influential within the PLO, second only to Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement. George Habash was born into a Christian family in Lydda (present-day Lod) in Palestine around 1926. His family fled their home in 1948, when Israel was founded.