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Radical Palestinian Group Previously Had Kept Low Profile in Clashes - 2001-08-25

The Palestinian group that claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack on an Israeli army base had previously kept a low profile in the 11 months of violence in the region.

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said its armed wing, the Palestinian National Resistance Brigades, carried out the assault to retaliate for Israeli attacks on Palestinians.

The Democratic Front is a Marxist group founded in 1969 and based in the Syrian capital, Damascus. The leader of the radical organization is Nayef Hawatmeh. The group was responsible for a notorious attack in 1974, in which its members stormed a school in Galilee in northern Israel and killed 27 Israelis.

The two militants who carried out Saturday's attack were identified as former members of the Palestinian security forces, 26-year-old Amin Abu Hatab and 24-year-old Hisham Abu Jamus.

The mother of Amin Abu Hatab told the Associated Press she was proud of her son and that he had long wanted to be a martyr.