Palestinian People's Party

For the party founded in 1922, see Palestinian Communist Party (1922).
Palestinian People's Party
حزب الشعب الفلسطيني
Leader Bassam Al-Salhi
Founder Bashir Barghouti
Founded February 1982
Ideology Socialism,
Palestinian nationalism[1]
Political position Far-left
National affiliation Palestine Liberation Organization,
Democratic Alliance List
International affiliation International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties
Legislative Council
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The Palestinian People's Party (PPP, in Arabic حزب الشعب الفلسطيني Hizb al-Sha'b al-Filastini), founded in 1982 as the Palestinian Communist Party, is a socialist political party in the Palestinian territories and among the Palestinian diaspora.


The original-named Palestine Communist Party had been founded in 1919. After the foundation of the state of Israel and the Jordanian annexation of the West Bank, the West Bank communists joined as the Jordanian Communist Party, which gained considerable support among Palestinians. It established a strong position in the Palestinian trade union movement and retained considerable popularity in the West Bank during the 1970s, but its support subsequently declined. In the Gaza strip a separate Palestinian communist organization was established.

In February, 1982, prominent Palestinian communists held a conference and re-established the Palestinian Communist Party. The new party established relations with the Palestine Liberation Organization, and joined the PLO in 1987. A PCP member was included in the Executive Committee of the PLO in April that year.[2] PCP was the sole PLO member not based amongst the fedayeen organizations.

The PCP was one of the four components of the Unified National Leadership of the First Intifada, and played an important role in mobilizing grassroots support for the uprising.

The party, under the leadership of Bashir Barghouti, played an important role in reevaluating Marxism-Leninism as a political philosophy earlier than many other communist organisations in the region. It was renamed in 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, to the Palestinian People's Party, arguing that the class struggle in Palestine should be postponed as the Palestinian people are still waging a struggle of national liberation in which elements of all classes should unite.[3] The renaming also reflected a move by the party to distance itself from the image of communism, an ideology perceived as antagonistic to religion in the Muslim world; however, party members still identify with Marxism.[3]

The party was an enthusiastic advocate of the Oslo Accords; however, it now criticises the "failure" of the peace process, while still defending the goal of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.[3]

In 2002, the party's then general secretary, Mustafa Barghouti left it with some supporters to found the Palestinian National Initiative.

In the January 2005 presidential election, the party's candidate Bassam as-Salhi received 2.67% of the vote.[4]

At the Palestinian legislative election, 2006 PPP formed a joint list called Al-badeel for the left wing parties with Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Palestine Democratic Union and independents. It received 2.8% of the popular vote and won two of the Council's 132 seats.

Party leaders

Other notable members

See also


  2. Gresh, Alain. Review: Palestinian Communists and the Intifadah. Middle East Report, No. 157, Israel Faces the Uprising. (Mar - Apr., 1989), pp. 34-36. Gresh argues that the inclusion of PCP into the PLO leadership indicated an increased influence of the Soviet Union in intra-Palestinian politics.
  3. 1 2 3 "Interview with Palestinian People's Party" The Terminator Line
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