Fatah

Fatah

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Fataḥ (also known as Fateh) is a major Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 (PLO), a multi-party confederation
Confederation
A confederation in modern political terms is a permanent union of political units for common action in relation to other units. Usually created by treaty but often later adopting a common constitution, confederations tend to be established for dealing with critical issues such as defense, foreign...

. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found in articles 12–16 of the Fatah constitution:
12. Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.
13. Establishing an independent democratic state with complete sovereignty on all Palestinian lands, and Jerusalem is its capital city, and protecting the citizens' legal and equal rights without any racial or religious discrimination.
14. Setting up a progressive society that warrants people's rights and their public freedom.
15. Active participation in achieving the Arab Nation's goals in liberation and building an independent, progressive and united Arab society.
16. Backing up all oppressed people in their struggle for liberation and self-determination in order to build a just, international peace.


In August 2009 at Fatah's Sixth General Conference in Bethlehem, Fatah delegates drew up an internal charter. According to Zionist Organization of America
Zionist Organization of America
The Zionist Organization of America , founded in 1897, was one of the first official Zionist organizations in the United States, and, especially early in the 20th century, the primary representative of Jewish Americans to the World Zionist Organization, espousing primarily Political Zionism.Today,...

 President Morton Klein, this internal charter only deals with procedural issues, not goals, and thus does not replace the Fatah Constitution, which has never been rescinded.

Fatah is generally considered to have had a strong involvement in revolutionary struggle in the past and has maintained a number of militant/terrorist groups, although, unlike its rival Islamist faction Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

, Fatah is not currently regarded as a terrorist organization by any government.

In the January 25, 2006 parliamentary election
Palestinian legislative election, 2006
On January 25, 2006, elections were held for the Palestinian Legislative Council , the legislature of the Palestinian National Authority . Notwithstanding the 2005 municipal elections and the January 9, 2005 presidential election, this was the first election to the PLC since 1996; subsequent...

, the party lost its majority in the Palestinian parliament to Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

, and resigned all cabinet positions, instead of assuming the role as the main opposition
Opposition (politics)
In politics, the opposition comprises one or more political parties or other organized groups that are opposed to the government , party or group in political control of a city, region, state or country...

 party. Fatah's size is estimated at 6,000-8,000 fighters with 45-300 politicians.

On April 27, 2011, officials from both Fatah and Hamas announced the two organizations had reached an initial deal to unify the two parties into one government, with plans for elections to be held in 2012.

Etymology



The full name of the movement is حركة التحرير الوطني الفلسطيني ḥarakat al-taḥrīr al-waṭanī al-filasṭīnī, meaning the "Palestinian National Liberation Movement". From this was crafted the reverse acronym Fatḥ (or Fatah), meaning "opening", "conquering", or "victory". The word Fatah is used in religious discourse to signify the Islamic expansion in the first centuries of Islamic history—as in Fath al-Sham, the "opening of the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

" -- and so has positive connotations for Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s. The term "Fatah" also has religious significance in that it is the name of the 48th sura, or chapter, of the Qu'ran, which according to major Muslim commentators details the story of the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah. During the peaceful two years after the Hudaybiyyah treaty, many converted to Islam increasing the strength of the Muslim side. It was the breach of this treaty by the Quraish that triggered the conquest of Mecca. This Islamic precedent was cited by Yasser Arafat as justification for his signing the Oslo Accords with Israel.

Structure


Two most important decision-making bodies is Central Committee of Fatah
Central Committee of Fatah
The Fatah Central Committee is the highest decision-making body of the Palestinian organization and political party, Fatah.-History:The first Fatah Central Committee was formed in February 1963, consisting of ten members, including Yasser Arafat, Khalil al-Wazir, Salah Khalaf, and Khaled al-Hassan...

 and the Fatah Revolutionary Council. Central Committee is mainly an executive body, while the Revolutionary Council is Fatah's legislative body.

Establishment



The Fatah movement, which espoused a Palestinian nationalist ideology
Ideology
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...

 in which Palestinian Arabs would be liberated by the actions of Palestinian Arabs, was founded in 1959 by members of the Palestinian diaspora — principally professionals working in the Persian Gulf States
Persian Gulf States
Persian Gulf States can refer to:* Countries in the Middle East bordering the Persian Gulf and sometimes known as the Gulf States: Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates....

 who had been refugees in Gaza
Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

 and had gone on to study in Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

 or Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

. The founders included Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

 who was head of the General Union of Palestinian Students
General Union of Palestinian Students
The General Union of Palestinian Students is an organization run by Palestinian students since the early 1920s. It is generally considered one of the first Palestinian institutions started. It was officially launched in Cairo in 1959....

 (GUPS) (1952–56) in Cairo University
Cairo University
Cairo University is a public university located in Giza, Egypt.The university was founded on December 21, 1908, as the result of an effort to establish a national center for educational thought...

, Salah Khalaf
Salah Khalaf
Salah Mesbah Khalaf , also known as Abu Iyad was deputy chief and head of intelligence for the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the second most senior official of Fatah after Yasser Arafat....

, Khalil al-Wazir, Khaled Yashruti
Khaled Yashruti
Khaled Yashruti was a Palestinian political activist and a leading member of the PLO.- The Right wing of Fatah:...

 was head of the GUPS in Beirut (1958–62).

Fatah became the dominant force in Palestinian politics after the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 in 1967. It dealt the coup de grâce
Coup de grâce
The expression coup de grâce means a death blow intended to end the suffering of a wounded creature. The phrase can refer to the killing of civilians or soldiers, friends or enemies, with or without the consent of the sufferer...

 to the pre-Baathist Arab nationalism
Arab nationalism
Arab nationalism is a nationalist ideology celebrating the glories of Arab civilization, the language and literature of the Arabs, calling for rejuvenation and political union in the Arab world...

 that had inspired George Habash
George Habash
George Habash also known by his laqab "al-Hakim" was a Palestinian nationalist. Habash, a Palestinian Christian, founded the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which pioneered the hijacking of airplanes as a Middle East militant tactic...

's Arab Nationalist Movement
Arab Nationalist Movement
The Arab Nationalist Movement , also known as the Movement of Arab Nationalists and the Harakiyyin, was a pan-Arab nationalist organization influential in much of the Arab world, most famously so within the Palestinian movement.-Origins & Ideology:The Arab Nationalist Movement had its origins in a...

, the former dominant mainly Palestinian political party. The November 1959 edition of Fatah's underground journal, Filastinuna Nida al-Hayat, indicated that the movement was motivated by the status of the Palestinian refugees in the Arab world:

The youth of the catastrophe (shibab al-nakba) are dispersed... Life in the tent has become as miserable as death... [T]o die for our beloved Motherland is better and more honorable than life, which forces us to eat our daily bread under humiliations or to receive it as charity at the cost of our honour... We, the sons of the catastrophe, are no longer willing to live this dirty, despicable life, this life which has destroyed our cultural, moral and political existence and destroyed our human dignity.


From the beginning the armed struggle, as manifested in the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine and the military role of Palestinian fighters under the leadership of Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni
Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni
Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni was a Palestinian Arab nationalist and fighter who in late 1933 founded the secret militant group known as the Organization for Holy Struggle, , which he and Hasan Salama commanded as the Army of the Holy War during the 1936-1939 Arab Revolt and during the 1948...

 in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

, was central to Fatah's ideology of liberating Palestine by a Palestinian armed struggle.

Fatah joined the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 (PLO) in 1967. It was immediately allocated 33 of 105 seats in the PLO Executive Committee
PLO Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is the highest executive body of the Palestine Liberation Organization .Its 18 members are elected by the PLO Parliament, the Palestinian National Council , often as representatives of the PLO member factions...

. Founder Yasser Arafat became Chairman of the PLO in 1969, after the position was ceded to him by Yahya Hammuda
Yahya Hammuda
Yahya Hammuda was the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee from 24 December 1967 to 2 February 1969 Following the resignation of Ahmad Shukeiri. He was succeeded by Yasser Arafat....

. According to the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

, "Mr Arafat took over as chairman of the executive committee of the PLO in 1969, a year that Fatah is recorded to have carried out 2,432 guerrilla
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 attacks on Israel."

Battle of Karameh



Throughout 1968, Fatah and other Palestinian armed groups were the target of a major Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) operation in the Jordanian village of Karameh
Karameh
al-Karameh is a town in Jordan, near the Allenby Bridge which spans the Jordan River. The river defines the border between Israel and Jordan....

, where the Fatah headquarters – as well as a mid-sized Palestinian refugee camp
Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugees or Palestine refugees are the people and their descendants, predominantly Palestinian Arabic-speakers, who fled or were expelled from their homes during and after the 1948 Palestine War, within that part of the British Mandate of Palestine, that after that war became the...

 – were located. The town's name is the Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 word for "dignity," which elevated its symbol
Symbol
A symbol is something which represents an idea, a physical entity or a process but is distinct from it. The purpose of a symbol is to communicate meaning. For example, a red octagon may be a symbol for "STOP". On a map, a picture of a tent might represent a campsite. Numerals are symbols for...

ism to the Arab people, especially after the Arab defeat in 1967. The operation was in response to attacks against Israel, including rockets strikes from Fatah and other Palestinian militias into the occupied West Bank. Knowledge of the operation was available well ahead of time, and the government of Jordan (as well as a number of Fatah commandos) informed Arafat of Israel's large-scale military preparations. Upon hearing the news, many guerrilla groups in the area, including George Habash's newly formed group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is a Palestinian Marxist-Leninist organisation founded in 1967. It has consistently been the second-largest of the groups forming the Palestine Liberation Organization , the largest being Fatah...

 (PFLP) and Nayef Hawatmeh
Nayef Hawatmeh
Nayef Hawatmeh , Jordanian-Palestinian Christian politician. His name can be transliterated from the Arabic in many ways; variants include Naif Hawatma, Niaf Hawathme, etc....

's breakaway organization the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine is a Palestinian Marxist-Leninist, secular political and military organization. It is also frequently referred to as the Democratic Front, or al-Jabha al-Dimuqratiyah...

 (DFLP), withdrew their forces from the town. Fatah leaders were advised by a pro-Fatah Jordanian divisional commander to withdraw their men and headquarters to nearby hills, but on Arafat's orders, Fatah remained, and the Jordanian Army
Royal Jordanian Land Force
The Royal Jordanian Land Force is part of the Jordanian Armed Forces . It draws its origins from units first formed in the British Mandate of Transjordan in the 1920s. It has seen combat against Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973...

 agreed to back them if heavy fighting ensued.

On the night of March 21, the IDF attacked Karameh with heavy weaponry, armored vehicles and fighter jets. Fatah held its ground, surprising the Israeli military. As Israel's forces intensified their campaign, the Jordanian Army became involved, causing the Israelis to retreat in order to avoid a full-scale war. By the end of the battle, nearly 150 Fatah militants had been killed, as well as twenty Jordanian soldiers and twenty-eight Israeli soldiers. Despite the higher Arab death toll, Fatah considered themselves victorious because of the Israeli army's rapid withdrawal.

Black September



In the late 1960s, tensions between Palestinians and the Jordanian government increased greatly; heavily armed Arab resistance elements had created a virtual "state within a state" in Jordan, eventually controlling several strategic positions in that country. After their victory in the Battle of Karameh, Fatah and other Palestinian militias began taking control of civil life in Jordan. They set up roadblocks, publicly humiliated Jordanian police forces, molested women and levied illegal taxes – all of which Arafat either condoned or ignored.

In 1970, the Jordanian government moved to regain control over its territory, and the next day, King Hussein declared martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

. By September 25, the Jordanian army achieved dominance in the fighting, and two days later Arafat and Hussein agreed to a series of ceasefires. The Jordanian army inflicted heavy casualties upon the Palestinians – including civilians – who suffered approximately 3,500 fatalities. Two thousand Fatah fighters managed to enter Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

. They crossed the border into Lebanon to join Fatah forces in that country, where they set up their new headquarters. A large group of guerrilla fighters led by Fatah field commander Abu Ali Iyad
Abu Ali Iyad
Walid Ahmad Nimer Al-Naser better known by his nom de guerre Abu Ali Iyad was a senior Palestinian field commander based in Syria and Jordan during the 1960s and early 1970s....

 held out the Jordanian Army's offensive in the northern city of Ajlun until they were decisively defeated in July 1971. Abu Ali Iyad was executed and surviving members of his commando force formed the Black September Organization
Black September (group)
The Black September Organization was a Palestinian paramilitary group, founded in 1970. It was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of eleven Israeli athletes and officials, and fatal shooting of a West German policeman, during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, their most publicized event...

, a splinter group of Fatah. In November 1971, the group assassinated Jordanian prime minister Wasfi al-Tal
Wasfi al-Tal
Wasfi al-Tal was Prime Minister of Jordan for three separate terms. He was assassinated by the Black September unit of the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1971....

 as retaliation to Abu Ali Iyad's execution.

In the 1960s and the 1970s, Fatah provided training to a wide range of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an, Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

ern, Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

n, and Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

n militant and insurgent groups, and carried out numerous attacks against Israeli targets in Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

 and the Middle East during the 1970s. Some militant groups that affiliated themselves to Fatah, and some of the fedayeen within Fatah itself, carried out civilian plane hijacking
Aircraft hijacking
Aircraft hijacking is the unlawful seizure of an aircraft by an individual or a group. In most cases, the pilot is forced to fly according to the orders of the hijackers. Occasionally, however, the hijackers have flown the aircraft themselves, such as the September 11 attacks of 2001...

s and terrorist
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

 attacks, attributing them to Black September, Abu Nidal
Abu Nidal
Abu Nidal , born Sabri Khalil al-Banna , was the founder of Fatah–The Revolutionary Council , a militant Palestinian group more commonly known as the Abu Nidal Organization...

's Fatah-Revolutionary Council, Abu Musa
Said al-Muragha
Col. Sa'eed Musa al-Muragha is a Palestinian militant better known as Abu Musa.-Early years:A Palestinian refugee, Abu Musa joined the Jordanian Army in 1948 and rose to become commander of an artillery battalion in 1969. During this period he was sent to receive a military education at the...

's group, the PFLP, and the PFLP-GC. Fatah received weapons, explosives and training from the USSR
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and some Communist regimes of East European states. The People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 also provided munitions.

Lebanon


Since the death of Eljamal in 1968, the Palestinian cause had a large base of supporters in Lebanon.
Although hesitant at first to take sides in the conflict, Arafat and Fatah played an important role in the Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

. Succumbing to pressure from PLO sub-groups such as the PFLP, DFLP and the Palestine Liberation Front
Palestine Liberation Front
The Palestine Liberation Front is a Palestinian militant group, which is designated as a terrorist organization by Canada, the European Union and the USA. It is presently led by Dr. Wasel Abu Yousef.-Origins:...

 (PLF), Fatah aligned itself with the Communist
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 and Nasserist
Nasserism
Nasserism is an Arab nationalist political ideology based on the thinking of the former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. It was a major influence on pan-Arab politics in the 1950s and 1960s, and continues to have significant resonance throughout the Arab World to this day. It also...

 Lebanese National Movement
Lebanese National Movement
The Lebanese National Movement or Mouvement National Libanais in French, was a front of parties and organizations active during the early years of the Lebanese Civil War...

 (LNM). Although originally aligned with Fatah, Syrian President Hafez al-Assad
Hafez al-Assad
Hafez ibn 'Ali ibn Sulayman al-Assad or more commonly Hafez al-Assad was the President of Syria for three decades. Assad's rule consolidated the power of the central government after decades of coups and counter-coups, such as Operation Wappen in 1957 conducted by the Eisenhower administration and...

 feared a loss of influence in Lebanon and switched sides. He sent his army, along with the Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

n-backed Palestinian factions of as-Sa'iqa
As-Sa'iqa
As-Sa'iqa is a Palestinian Baathist political and military faction created and controlled by Syria...

 and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command is a Palestinian nationalist organization, backed by Syria and Iran...

 (PFLP-GC) led by Ahmad Jibril to fight alongside the radical right-wing Christian forces against the PLO and the LNM. The primary component of the Christian militias was the Maronite
Maronite Church
The Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See of Rome . It traces its heritage back to the community founded by Maron, a 4th-century Syriac monk venerated as a saint. The first Maronite Patriarch, John Maron, was elected in the late 7th...

 Phalangists.

Phalangist forces killed twenty-six Fatah trainees on a bus in April 1975, marking the official start of the 15 year long Lebanese civil war. Later that year, an alliance of Christian militias overran the Palestinian refugee camp of Quarantina. The PLO and LNM retaliated by attacking the town of Damour
Damour massacre
The Damour massacre took place on January 20, 1976 during the 1975–1990 Lebanese Civil War. Damour, a Christian town on the main highway south of Beirut, was attacked by the Palestine Liberation Organisation units...

, a Phalangist stronghold. Over 330 people were killed and many more wounded. As the civil war progressed over 2 years of urban warfare, both parties resorted to massive artillery duels and heavy use of sniper nests, while atrocities and war crimes were committed by both sides.

In 1976, with strategic planning help from the Lebanese Army, the alliance of Christian militias, spearheaded by the National Liberal Party of former President Cammille Chamoun militant branch, the noumour el ahrar (NLP Tigers), took a pivotal refugee camp in the Eastern part of Beirut, the Tel al-Zaatar camp, after a six-month siege, also known as Tel al-Zaatar massacre
Tel al-Zaatar Massacre
The Tel al-Zaatar massacre took place during the Lebanese Civil War on August 12, 1976. Tel al-Zaatar was a UNRWA administered Palestinian Refugee camp housing approximately 50,000-60,000 refugees in northeast Beirut.-Background:...

 in which hundreds perished. Arafat and Abu Jihad blamed themselves for not successfully organizing a rescue effort.

PLO cross-border raids against Israel grew somewhat during the late 1970s. One of the most severe - known as the Coastal Road Massacre
Coastal Road massacre
The Coastal Road massacre of 1978 was an attack involving the hijacking of a bus on Israel's Coastal Highway in which 38 Israeli civilians, including 13 children, were killed, and 71 were wounded. The attack was planned by Abu Jihad and carried out by the PLO faction Fatah...

 - occurred on March 11, 1978. A force of nearly a dozen Fatah fighters landed their boats near a major coastal road connecting the city of Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

 with Tel Aviv-Yafo. There they hijacked a bus and sprayed gunfire inside and at passing vehicles, killing thirty-seven civilians. In response, the IDF launched Operation Litani three days later, with the goal of taking control of Southern Lebanon up to the Litani River
Litani River
The Litani River is an important water resource in southern Lebanon. The river rises in the fertile Beqaa Valley valley, west of Baalbek, and empties into the Mediterranean Sea north of Tyre. Exceeding 140 km in length, the Litani River is the longest river in Lebanon and provides an average...

. The IDF achieved this goal, and Fatah withdrew to the north into Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

.

Israel invaded Lebanon again
1982 Lebanon War
The 1982 Lebanon War , , called Operation Peace for Galilee by Israel, and later known in Israel as the Lebanon War and First Lebanon War, began on 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon...

 in 1982. Beirut was soon besieged and bombarded by the IDF; To end the siege, the US and Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an governments brokered an agreement guaranteeing safe passage for Arafat and Fatah – guarded by a multinational force – to exile in Tunis
Tunis
Tunis is the capital of both the Tunisian Republic and the Tunis Governorate. It is Tunisia's largest city, with a population of 728,453 as of 2004; the greater metropolitan area holds some 2,412,500 inhabitants....

. Despite the exile many Fatah commanders and fighters remained in Lebanon.

When Israel invaded Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 in 1982, the faction was dispersed to several Middle Eastern countries with the help of US and other Western governments: Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

, Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

, Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and others. In the period 1982–1993, Fatah's leadership resided in Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

.

Presidential and legislative elections


Until his death, Arafat was the head of the Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

 - the provisional entity that was created as a result of Oslo. Farouk Kaddoumi
Farouk Kaddoumi
Farouk al-Kaddoumi , also known as Abu al-Lutf, born in 1931. Secretary-general of Fatah's central committee and PLO's political department in Tunisia.-Early life:...

 is the current Fatah chairman, elected to the post soon after Arafat's death in 2004.

Fatah has "Observer Party" status at the Socialist International
Socialist International
The Socialist International is a worldwide organization of democratic socialist, social democratic and labour political parties. It was formed in 1951.- History :...

.

Since 2000, the group has been a member of the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces
Palestinian National and Islamic Forces
The Palestinian National and Islamic Forces is a coalition formed shortly after the outbreak of the second Intifada with the authorization of Yasser Arafat and led by Marwan Barghouti. The coalition coordinates the agenda of its members and helps plan and execute joint attacks against Israel...

, which includes both PLO and non-PLO factions, including Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, both listed as terrorist organizations in the West.

Fatah endorsed Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

 in the Palestinian presidential election of 2005
Palestinian presidential election, 2005
The 2005 Palestinian presidential election — the first to be held since 1996 — took place on January 9, 2005 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Voters elected PLO chairman Mahmoud Abbas as the new President of the Palestinian Authority to replace Yasser Arafat, who died on November 11,...

.

In 2005, Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 won in nearly all the municipalities it contested
Palestinian municipal election, 2005
Municipal elections were held to elect members of local councils in the Palestinian Territories between December 2004 and December 2005. They were the first local elections held in Palestinian areas in almost thirty years....

. Political analyst Salah Abdel-Shafi
Salah Abdel-Shafi
Salah Abdel-Shafi is a Palestinian economist, and the Palestinian ambassador to Germany, holding the position since August 2010. From 2006 to 2010 he was the Palestinian envoy to Sweden. Formerly General Director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, a consultant, and advisor to the World...

 told BBC about the difficulties of Fatah leadership: "I think it's very, very serious - it's becoming obvious that they can't agree on anything." Fatah is "widely seen as being in desperate need of reform", as "the PA's performance has been a story of corruption and incompetence - and Fatah has been tainted."

Internal dissension


On 14, 2005, jailed Intifada leader Marwan Barghouti
Marwan Barghouti
Marwan Hasib Ibrahim Barghouti is a Palestinian political figure. He is regarded as a leader of the First and Second Intifadas. Barghouti at one time supported the peace process, but later became disillusioned, and after 2000 went on to become the main figure behind the Al-Aqsa Intifada in the...

 announced that he had formed a new political list to run in the elections, al-Mustaqbal ("The Future"), mainly composed of members of Fatah's "Young Guard." These younger leaders have repeatedly expressed frustration with the entrenched corruption in the party, which has been run by the "Old Guard" who returned from exile in Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

 following the Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

. Al-Mustaqbal was to campaign against Fatah in the January 2006 Palestinian legislative election
Palestinian legislative election, 2006
On January 25, 2006, elections were held for the Palestinian Legislative Council , the legislature of the Palestinian National Authority . Notwithstanding the 2005 municipal elections and the January 9, 2005 presidential election, this was the first election to the PLC since 1996; subsequent...

, presenting a list including Mohammed Dahlan
Mohammed Dahlan
Mohammed Dahlan born on September 29, 1961 in Khan Younis Refugee Camp, Khan Younis, Gaza Strip also known by the kunya or nom de guerre Abu Fadi is a Palestinian politician, the former leader of Fatah in Gaza...

, Kadoura Fares, Samir Mashharawi and Jibril Rajoub
Jibril Rajoub
Jibril Rajoub is a Palestinian political figure. He was the head of the Preventive Security Force in the West Bank until being dismissed in 2002. He was elected to the Fatah Central Committee at the party's 2009 congress...

 on December 14. However, on December 28, 2005, the leadership of the two factions agreed to submit a single list to voters, headed by Barghouti, who began actively campaigning for Fatah from his jail cell.

There have been numerous other expressions of discontent within Fatah, which is just holding its first general congress in two decades. Because of this, the movement remains largely dominated by aging cadres from the pre-Oslo area of Palestinian politics. Several of them gained their positions thanks to personal followings or support from Arafat, who balanced above the different factions, and the era after his death in 2004 has seen increased infighting among these groups, who jockey for influence over future development, the political line, funds, and constituencies. The prospect of Abbas leaving power in the coming years has also exacerbated tensions.

There have been no significant overt splits within the older generation of Fatah politicians since the 1980s, however. One founding member, Faruq al-Qaddumi
Farouk Kaddoumi
Farouk al-Kaddoumi , also known as Abu al-Lutf, born in 1931. Secretary-general of Fatah's central committee and PLO's political department in Tunisia.-Early life:...

 (Abu Lutf), continues to openly oppose the post-Oslo arrangements and has intensified his campaign for a more hardline position from exile in Tunis
Tunis
Tunis is the capital of both the Tunisian Republic and the Tunis Governorate. It is Tunisia's largest city, with a population of 728,453 as of 2004; the greater metropolitan area holds some 2,412,500 inhabitants....

. Since Arafat's death, he is formally head of Fatah's political bureau and chairman, but his actual political following within Fatah appears limited. He has at times openly challenged the legitimacy of Abbas and harshly criticized both him and Mohammed Dahlan
Mohammed Dahlan
Mohammed Dahlan born on September 29, 1961 in Khan Younis Refugee Camp, Khan Younis, Gaza Strip also known by the kunya or nom de guerre Abu Fadi is a Palestinian politician, the former leader of Fatah in Gaza...

, but despite threats to splinter the movement, he remains in his position, and his challenges have so far come to nothing. Another influential veteran, Hani al-Hassan, has also openly criticized the present leadership. Fatah's internal conflicts have also, due to the creation of the Palestinian Authority, merged with the turf wars between different PA security services, e.g. a longstanding rivalry between the West Bank (Jibril Rajoub
Jibril Rajoub
Jibril Rajoub is a Palestinian political figure. He was the head of the Preventive Security Force in the West Bank until being dismissed in 2002. He was elected to the Fatah Central Committee at the party's 2009 congress...

) and Gaza (Muhammad Dahlan) branches of the powerful Preventive Security Service. Foreign backing for different factions contribute to conflict, e.g. with the USA generally seen as supportive of Abbas's overall leadership and of Dahlan's security influence, and Syria alleged to promote Faruq al-Qaddumi's challenge to the present leadership. The younger generations of Fatah, especially within the militant al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades is a coalition of Palestinian nationalist militias in the West Bank. The group's name refers to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem...

, have been more prone to splits, and a number of lesser networks in Gaza and the West Bank have established themselves as either independent organizations or joined Hamas. However, such overt breaks with the movement have still been rather uncommon, despite numerous rivalries inside and between competing local Fatah groups.

The 2009 Fatah Movement Assembly


The Sixth General Assembly of the Fatah Movement, nearly 16 years after the Oslo Conference
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

 and 20 years since the last Fatah convention began on 4 August 2009, in Bethlehem
Bethlehem
Bethlehem is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank of the Jordan River, near Israel and approximately south of Jerusalem, with a population of about 30,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate of the Palestinian National Authority and a hub of Palestinian culture and tourism...

, West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 after being repeatedly postponed over conflicts ranging from who would be represented, to what venue would be acceptable. More than 2,000 delegates attended the three-day meeting.

The internal dissension was immediately obvious. Saudi King Abdullah
Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, is the King of Saudi Arabia. He succeeded to the throne on 1 August 2005 upon the death of his half-brother, King Fahd. When Crown Prince, he governed Saudi Arabia as regent from 1998 to 2005...

 told Fatah delegates meeting in Bethlehem that divisions among the Palestinians were more damaging to their cause of an independent state than the Israeli "enemy."

Fatah delegates resolved not to resume Israeli-Palestinian peace talks until preconditions were met. Among the 14 preconditions, included the release of all Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, freezing all Israeli settlement
Israeli settlement
An Israeli settlement is a Jewish civilian community built on land that was captured by Israel from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and is considered occupied territory by the international community. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank...

 construction, and lifting the Gaza blockade.

Some 400 Fatah members from the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 were unable to attend the conference in Bethlehem
Bethlehem
Bethlehem is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank of the Jordan River, near Israel and approximately south of Jerusalem, with a population of about 30,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate of the Palestinian National Authority and a hub of Palestinian culture and tourism...

 after Hamas barred them from traveling to the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

.

Fatah was appealing to Palestinians who want a more hardline response to Israel by reaffirming its option for "armed resistance" against Israel. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak described the adopted Fatah platform as not very promising. However, he added that there was no other way but to sit down and strike a deal, calling on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to enter negotiations.

Officials on the third day of the Fatah convention in Bethlehem unanimously accepted the proposal put forth by the chairman of the Araft Institute stating that Israel had been behind the "assassination" of the late Palestinian Authority Chairman and affirmed Fatah's request for international aid to probe the issue. Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel, Danny Ayalon, said the conference was a "serious blow to peace" and "was another lost opportunity for the Palestinian leadership to adopt moderate views."

Elections to Central Committee and Revolutionary Councils


Delegates voted to fill 18 seats on the 23-seat Central Committee of Fatah
Central Committee of Fatah
The Fatah Central Committee is the highest decision-making body of the Palestinian organization and political party, Fatah.-History:The first Fatah Central Committee was formed in February 1963, consisting of ten members, including Yasser Arafat, Khalil al-Wazir, Salah Khalaf, and Khaled al-Hassan...

, and 81 seats of the 128-seat Revolutionary Council after a week of deliberations. At least 70 new members entered the latter, with 20 seats going to Fatah representatives from the Gaza Strip, 11 seats filled by women (the highest number of votes went to one woman who spent years in Israeli jails for her role in the resistance), four seats went to Christians, and one was filled by a Jewish-born convert to Islam, Uri Davis
Uri Davis
Uriel "Uri" Davis is an academic and activist who works on civil rights in Israel, Palestinian National Authority and the Middle East. Davis has served as Vice-Chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights and as lecturer in Peace Studies at the University of Bradford...

, the first Jewish-born person to be elected to the Revolutionary Council since its founding in 1958. Fatah activists from the Palestinian diaspora
Palestinian diaspora
Palestinian diaspora is a term used to describe Palestinians living outside of historic Palestine - an area today known as Israel and the Palestinian territories or the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip...

 were also represented and included Samir Rifai
Samir Rifai
Samir Zaid al-Rifai is a Jordanian politician of Palestinian descent, who was Prime Minister of Jordan from 14 December 2009 to 1 February 2011. He was replaced by Marouf al-Bakhit by the king Abdullah II, following weeks of protests in the country...

, Fatah's secretary in Syria, and Khaled Abu Usba.

Elected to the central council was Fadwa Barghouti, the wife of Marwan Barghouti
Marwan Barghouti
Marwan Hasib Ibrahim Barghouti is a Palestinian political figure. He is regarded as a leader of the First and Second Intifadas. Barghouti at one time supported the peace process, but later became disillusioned, and after 2000 went on to become the main figure behind the Al-Aqsa Intifada in the...

 who is serving five life sentences in Israel for his role in terrorist attacks on civilians in Israel during the Second Intifada.

Armed factions


Fatah has maintained a number of militant groups since its founding. Its mainstream military branch is al-Assifa
Al-Assifa
Al-`Asifah was the mainstream armed wing of the Palestinian political party and militant group Fatah.It was established in 1964 to protect the political wing of Fatah from reprisals. Its first attempted raid occurred on March 31, 1964, but was hindered because the fighters were detained by the...

. Fatah is generally considered to have had a strong involvement in terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

 in the past, though unlike its rival Islamist faction Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

, Fatah is no longer regarded as a terrorist organization by any government. Fatah used to be designated terrorist under Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i law and was considered terrorist by the United States Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 and United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 until it renounced terrorism in 1988.

Fatah has since its inception created, led or sponsored a number of armed groups and militias, some of which have had an official standing as the movement's armed wing, and some of which have not been publicly or even internally recognized as such. The group has also dominated various PLO and Palestinian Authority forces and security services which were/are not officially tied to Fatah, but in practice have served as wholly pro-Fatah armed units, and been staffed largely by members. The original name for Fatah's armed wing was al-Assifa
Al-Assifa
Al-`Asifah was the mainstream armed wing of the Palestinian political party and militant group Fatah.It was established in 1964 to protect the political wing of Fatah from reprisals. Its first attempted raid occurred on March 31, 1964, but was hindered because the fighters were detained by the...

 (The Storm), and this was also the name Fatah first used in its communiques, trying for some time to conceal its identity. This name has since been applied more generally to Fatah armed forces, and does not correspond to a single unit today. Other militant groups associated with Fatah include:
  • Force 17
    Force 17
    Force 17 was a commando and special operations terror unit of the Palestinian Fatah movement and later of the Office of the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority. It was formed in the early 1970s by Ali Hassan Salameh ....

     - Force 17 was created by Yassir Arafat, and plays a role akin to the Presidential Guard for senior Fatah leaders.
  • Black September
    Black September (group)
    The Black September Organization was a Palestinian paramilitary group, founded in 1970. It was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of eleven Israeli athletes and officials, and fatal shooting of a West German policeman, during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, their most publicized event...

     - Black September was a group formed by leading Fatah members in 1971, following the "Black September
    Black September in Jordan
    September 1970 is known as the Black September in Arab history and sometimes is referred to as the "era of regrettable events." It was a month when Hashemite King Hussein of Jordan moved to quash the militancy of Palestinian organizations and restore his monarchy's rule over the country. The...

    " events in Jordan, to clandestinely organize attacks that Fatah did not want to be openly associated with. These included strikes against leading Jordanian politicians, as a means of exacting vengeance and raising the price for attacking the Palestinian movement; and also, most controversially, for "international operations" (e.g. the Munich Olympics attack
    Munich massacre
    The Munich massacre is an informal name for events that occurred during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Bavaria in southern West Germany, when members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and eventually killed by the Palestinian group Black September. Members of Black September...

    ), intended both to put pressure on the US, European countries and Israel, and to raise the visibility of the Palestinian cause, and to upstage radical rivals such as the PFLP. Fatah publicly disassociated itself from the group, but it is widely believed that it enjoyed Arafat's direct or tacit backing. It was discontinued in 1973-1974, as Fatah's political line shifted again, and the Black September operations and the strategy behind them were seen as having become a political liability, rather than an asset.
  • Fatah Hawks
    Fatah Hawks
    The Fatah Hawks is the name of two Palestinian militant groups. One is a popular movement of Palestinian youth in the West Bank and Gaza in the 1980s. The other is an offshoot of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades which has links to the dominant Fatah movement...

     - The Fatah Hawks was an armed militia active mainly until the mid-90s.
  • Tanzim
    Tanzim
    Tanzim is a militant faction of the Palestinian Fatah movement.-Overview:The Tanzim militia, founded in 1995 to counter Palestinian Islamism, is widely considered to be an armed offshoot of Fatah with its own leadership structure...

     - The Tanzim (Organization) was a branch of Fatah under the leadership of Marwan Barghouti, with roots in the activism of the First Intifada
    First Intifada
    The First Intifada was a Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories. The uprising began in the Jabalia refugee camp and quickly spread throughout Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem....

    , which carried out armed attacks in the early days of the Second Intifada. It has later been subsumed by or sidlined by the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade.
  • Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
    Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
    The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades is a coalition of Palestinian nationalist militias in the West Bank. The group's name refers to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem...

     - The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades were created in the Second Intifada to bolster the organization's militant standing vis-à-vis the rival Hamas movement, which had taken the lead in attacks on Israel after 1993, and was gaining rapidly in popularity with the advent of the Intifada. The Brigades are locally organized and have been said to suffer from poor cohesion and internal discipline, at times ignoring ceasefires and other initiatives announced by the central Fatah leadership. They are generally seen as tied to the "young guard" of Fatah politics, organizing young members on the street level, but it is not clear that they form a faction in themselves inside Fatah politics; rather, different Brigades units may be tied to different Fatah factional leaders.

See also

  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

  • List of political parties in the Palestinian National Authority
  • List of Fatah members
  • Palestinian Civil War
    Palestinian Civil War
    The term Palestinian Civil War can either refer to:* The 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine where the Arabs of Palestine revolted against the British rule in the British Mandate of Palestine, claiming for the independence of the country and a halt of the increasing Jewish immigration in the...

  • West Bank
    West Bank
    The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

  • Hamas-Fatah conflict
  • Palestinian political violence
    Palestinian political violence
    Palestinian political violence refers to acts of violence undertaken to further the Palestinian cause. These political objectives include self-determination in and sovereignty over Palestine, the liberation of Palestine and establishment of a Palestinian state, either in place of both Israel and...


External links

  • Fatah's Intellectual office website
  • Fatah's Constitution
  • Al-Krama Newspaper (Fatah's PR Office) (in Arabic)
  • Definition of Fatah
  • Interview on Radio France International Fatah Central Committee member Abdallah Al Frangi
  • Collection of over 300 Fatah posters
  • The 2009 Fatah Charter
  • Haghshenas, Seyyed Ali
    Seyeed Ali Haghshenas
    Seyeed Ali Haghshenas Kamyab , born 10/9/1975 in Tehran, is an Iranian writer and journalist.Haghshenas is also Founder & Chairman of Iran Taekwondo Association, ,Iran martial arts Professionals union and G.S of Iran N.G.Os Sport Society.- Books :*Lebanon social and political structure and...

    , "social
    Social
    The term social refers to a characteristic of living organisms...

     and political structure
    Structure
    Structure is a fundamental, tangible or intangible notion referring to the recognition, observation, nature, and permanence of patterns and relationships of entities. This notion may itself be an object, such as a built structure, or an attribute, such as the structure of society...

     of Lebanon
    Lebanon
    Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

     and its influence
    Influence
    Influence may refer to:In science and technology:*Sphere of influence , the region around a celestial body in which it is the primary gravitational influence on orbiting objects...

     on appearance of Amal Movement, " Iran
    Iran
    Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

    , Tehran
    Tehran
    Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

    .2009
  • Attacks attributed to FATAH on the START terrorism database