Palestinian fedayeen

Palestinian fedayeen

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Palestinian fedayeen'
Start a new discussion about 'Palestinian fedayeen'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia


Palestinian fedayeen refers to militant
Militant
The word militant, which is both an adjective and a noun, usually is used to mean vigorously active, combative and aggressive, especially in support of a cause, as in 'militant reformers'. It comes from the 15th century Latin "militare" meaning "to serve as a soldier"...

s or guerrillas of a nationalist
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

 orientation from among the Palestinian people
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...

. Most Palestinians consider the fedayeen to be "freedom fighters
Resistance movement
A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance or the use of armed force...

", while the Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i government describes them as "terrorists".

Considered symbols of the Palestinian national movement
Palestinian nationalism
Palestinian nationalism is the national movement of the Palestinian people. It has roots in Pan-Arabism and other movements rejecting colonialism and calling for national independence. More recently, Palestinian Nationalism is expressed through the Israeli–Palestinian conflict...

, the Palestinian fedayeen drew inspiration from guerrilla movements
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...

 in Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, 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...

 and Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

. The ideology of the Palestinian fedayeen was mainly socialist or communist, and their proclaimed purpose was to defeat Zionism
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

, "liberate Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

" and establish it as "a secular, democratic
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

, nonsectarian
Nonsectarian
Nonsectarian, in its most literal sense, refers to a lack of sectarianism. The term is also more narrowly used to describe secular private educational institutions or other organizations either not affiliated with or not restricted to a particular religious denomination though the organization...

 state".

Emerging from among the Palestinian refugees who fled or were expelled from their villages as a result of 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...

, in the mid 1950s the fedayeen began mounting cross-border operations into Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 from 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....

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

. The earliest infiltrations were often to access the lands and agricultural products they had lost as a result of the war, or to attack Israeli military, and sometimes, civilian targets. Israel undertook retaliatory actions targeting the fedayeen that also often targeted the citizens of their host countries, which in turn provoked more attacks.

Fedayeen actions were cited by Israel as one of the reasons for its launching of the Sinai Campaign
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

 of 1956, the 1967 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...

, and the 1978 and 1982 invasions
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...

 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...

. Palestinian fedayeen groups were united under the umbrella 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...

 after the defeat of the Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 armies in the 1967 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...

, though each group retained its own leader and independent armed forces.

Definitions of the term



The words "Palestinian
Definitions of Palestinian
-By place of birth:A "Palestinian" can mean a person who is born in the geographical area known prior to 1918 as "Palestine", or a former citizen of the British Mandate territory called Palestine, or an institution related to either of these...

" and "fedayeen
Fedayeen
Fedayeen is a term used to describe several distinct militant groups and individuals in West Asia at different times in history. It is sometimes used colloquially to refer to suicide squads, especially those who are not bombers.-Overview:...

" have had different meanings to different people at various points in history. According to the Sakhr Arabic-English dictionary, fida'i—the singular form of the plural fedayeen—means "one who risks his life voluntarily" or "one who sacrifices himself". In their book, The Arab-Israeli Conflict, Tony Rea
Tony Rea
Tony Rea is an Australian rugby football coach and former rugby league administrator and player. He was the relief head coach of the Brumbies in the Super Rugby competition, following the dismissal of Andy Friend....

and John Wright have adopted this more literal translation, translating the term fedayeen as "self-sacrificers".

In his essay, "The Palestinian Leadership and the American Media: Changing Images, Conflicting Results" (1995), R.S. Zaharna comments on the perceptions and use of the terms "Palestinian" and "fedayeen" in the 1970s, writing:
"Palestinian became synonymous with terrorists, skyjacker
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
, commando
Commando
In English, the term commando means a specific kind of individual soldier or military unit. In contemporary usage, commando usually means elite light infantry and/or special operations forces units, specializing in amphibious landings, parachuting, rappelling and similar techniques, to conduct and...

s
, and guerrillas. The term fedayeen was often used but rarely translated. This added to the mysteriousness of Palestinian groups. Fedayeen means "freedom fighter."


Edmund Jan Osmańczyk's Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements (2002) defines fedayeen as "Palestinian resistance fighters", whereas Martin Gilbert
Martin Gilbert
Sir Martin John Gilbert, CBE, PC is a British historian and Fellow of Merton College, University of Oxford. He is the author of over eighty books, including works on the Holocaust and Jewish history...

's The Routledge Atlas of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (2005) defines fedayeen as "Palestinian terrorist groups". Robert McNamara
Robert McNamara
Robert Strange McNamara was an American business executive and the eighth Secretary of Defense, serving under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to 1968, during which time he played a large role in escalating the United States involvement in the Vietnam War...

 refers to the fedayeen simply as "guerrillas", as do Zeev Schiff and Raphael Rothstein in their work Fedayeen: Guerrila Against Israel (1972). Fedayeen can also be used to refer to militant or guerrilla groups that are not Palestinian. (See Fedayeen
Fedayeen
Fedayeen is a term used to describe several distinct militant groups and individuals in West Asia at different times in history. It is sometimes used colloquially to refer to suicide squads, especially those who are not bombers.-Overview:...

 for more.)

Beverly Milton-Edwards describes the Palestinian fedayeen as "modern revolutionaries fighting for national liberation
Wars of national liberation
In Marxist terminology, wars of national liberation or national liberation revolutions are conflicts fought by oppressed nationalities against imperial powers to establish separate sovereign states for the subjugated nationality. From a Western point of view, these same wars are called insurgencies...

, not religious salvation," distinguishing them from mujahaddin (i.e. "fighters of the jihad
Jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

"). While the fallen soldiers of both mujahaddin and fedayeen are called shahid
Shahid
Shahid is an Arabic word meaning "witness". It is a religious term in Islam, meaning both "witness" and "martyr." While a martyr may die as a consequence of fighting, a shahid is a "witness" because he gives his life out of passion for truth. The shahid exchanges himself for the divine and thereby...

 (i.e. "martyrs") by Palestinians, Milton nevertheless contends that it would be political and religious blasphemy to call the "leftist fighters" of the fedayeen, mujahaddin.

Emergence


Palestinian infiltration
Palestinian immigration (Israel)
Palestinian immigration refers to the movement of Palestinians into the territory of Israel. Since 1948, most Palestinians crossing into Israel have come to live, reside and/or work, some of them continuing the lives they lived prior to their displacement in the Palestinian exodus...

 into Israel first emerged among the Palestinian refugee
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...

s of 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...

, living in camps in Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, 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...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, and 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....

. Most of the infiltration at this time was economic in nature, with Palestinians crossing the border seeking food or the recovery of property lost in the 1948 war. Between 1948 and 1955, infiltration by Palestinians into Israel was firmly opposed by Arab governments. The problem of establishing and guarding the demarcation line separating 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...

 from the Israeli-held Negev
Negev
The Negev is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel. The Arabs, including the native Bedouin population of the region, refer to the desert as al-Naqab. The origin of the word Neghebh is from the Hebrew root denoting 'dry'...

 area, proved a vexing one: largely due to the presence of more than 200,000 Palestinian Arab refugees in this Gaza area. The terms of the Armistice Agreement restricted Egypt’s use and deployment of regular armed forces
Armed forces
The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

 in the Gaza strip. In keeping with this restriction the Egyptian Government’s answer was to form a Palestinian para-military police force. The Palestinian Border police was created in December 1952. The Border police were placed under the command of ‘Abd-al-Man’imi ‘Abd-al-Ra’uf, a former Egyptian air brigade commander, member of the Muslim Brotherhood and member of the Revolutionary Council. 250 Palestinian volunteers started training in March 1953 with further volunteers coming forward for training in May and December 1953. Part of the Border police personnel were attached to the Military Governor’s office and placed under ‘Abd-al-‘Azim al-Saharti to guard public installations in the Gaza strip. It was only after Israel's raid on an Egyptian military
Military of Egypt
The Egyptian Armed Forces are the largest in Africa, and the Arab World, and is the tenth largest in the world, consisting of the Egyptian Army, Egyptian Navy, Egyptian Air Force and Egyptian Air Defense Command....

 outpost in Gaza in February 1955, in which 37 Egyptian soldiers were killed, that an Arab government - in this case the Egyptian - began to actively sponsor fedayeen raids into Israel.

According to Orna Almog, the very first attack by Palestinian fedayeen was launched by guerrillas from Syrian territory in 1951, though the majority of the attacks between 1951 and 1953 were launched from Jordanian territory. These early fedayeen attacks were incursions on a limited scale. Yeshoshfat Harkabi
Yehoshafat Harkabi
Yehoshafat Harkabi was chief of Israeli military intelligence from 1955 until 1959.-Biography:Harkabi had a good command of Arabic, a deep knowledge of Arab civilization and history, and a solid understanding of Islam...

, former head of Israeli military intelligence, stated that the early attacks were often motivated by economic reasons, with Palestinians crossing the border into Israel to, for example, harvest crops in their former villages. Fedayeen operations on a larger scale began to be mounted from 1954 onwards from Egyptian territory.

In 1953, Israeli Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Israel
The Prime Minister of Israel is the head of the Israeli government and the most powerful political figure in Israel . The prime minister is the country's chief executive. The official residence of the prime minister, Beit Rosh Hamemshala is in Jerusalem...

 David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
' was the first Prime Minister of Israel.Ben-Gurion's passion for Zionism, which began early in life, led him to become a major Zionist leader and Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization in 1946...

 charged Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

, then security chief of the Northern Region, with the setting up of a new commando unit, Unit 101
Unit 101
Unit 101 was a special forces unit of the Israeli Defense Forces , founded and commanded by Ariel Sharon on orders from Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion in August 1953...

, designed to respond to fedayeen infiltrations (see retribution operations). According to Gelber, after one month of training "a patrol of the unit that infiltrated into the Gaza Strip as an exercise, encountered [Palestinians] in al-Bureij refugee camp
Refugee camp
A refugee camp is a temporary settlement built to receive refugees. Hundreds of thousands of people may live in any one single camp. Usually they are built and run by a government, the United Nations, or international organizations, or NGOs.Refugee camps are generally set up in an impromptu...

, opened fire to rescue itself and left behind about 30 killed Arabs and dozens of wounded." In its short five month existence, Unit 101 was further responsible for the carrying out of the Qibya massacre
Qibya massacre
The Qibya massacre, also known as the Qibya incident, occurred in October 1953 when Israeli troops under Ariel Sharon attacked the village of Qibya in the West Bank. Sixty-nine Palestinian Arabs, two thirds of them women and children were killed. Forty-five houses, a school, and a mosque were...

 which took place on the night of 14–15 October 1953 in the Jordanian village of the same name. Cross-border operations by Israel were conducted in both Egypt and Jordan, "in order to 'teach' the Arab leaders that the Israeli government
Politics of Israel
The Israeli system of government is based on parliamentary democracy. The Prime Minister of Israel is the head of government and leader of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in the Knesset. The Judiciary is independent of the executive...

 saw them as responsible for these activities, even if they had not directly conducted them." Moshe Dayan
Moshe Dayan
Moshe Dayan was an Israeli military leader and politician. The fourth Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces , he became a fighting symbol to the world of the new State of Israel...

 felt that retaliatory action by Israel was the only way to convince Arab countries
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

 that for the safety of their own citizens, they should work to stop fedayeen infiltrations. Dayan stated, "We are not able to protect every man, but we can prove that the price for Jewish blood is high."

According to Martin Gilbert, between 1951 and 1955, 967 Israelis were killed in what he terms "Arab terrorist attacks", a figure Benny Morris characterizes as "pure nonsense". Morris explains that Gilbert's fatality figures are "3-5 times higher than the figures given in contemporary Israeli reports" and that they seem to be based on a 1956 speech by David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
' was the first Prime Minister of Israel.Ben-Gurion's passion for Zionism, which began early in life, led him to become a major Zionist leader and Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization in 1946...

 in which he uses the word nifga'im to refer to "casualties" in the broad sense of the term (i.e. both dead and wounded). According to the Jewish Agency for Israel
Jewish Agency for Israel
The Jewish Agency for Israel , also known as the Sochnut or JAFI, served as the organization in charge of immigration and absorption of Jews from the Diaspora into the state of Israel.-History:...

 between 1951 and 1956, 400 Israelis were killed and 900 wounded in fedayeen attacks. Dozens of these attacks are today cited by the Israeli government as "Major Arab Terrorist Attacks against Israelis prior to the 1967 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...

". According to the Jewish Virtual Library
Jewish Virtual Library
Jewish Virtual Library is an online encyclopedia published by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise . Established in 1993, it is a comprehensive website covering Israel, the Jewish people, and Jewish culture.-History:...

, while the attacks violated the 1949 Armistice Agreements
1949 Armistice Agreements
The 1949 Armistice Agreements are a set of agreements signed during 1949 between Israel and neighboring Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The agreements ended the official hostilities of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and established armistice lines between Israeli forces and the forces in...

 prohibiting hostilities by paramilitary forces, it was Israel that was condemned by the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 for its counterattacks.

United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 reports indicate that between 1949 and 1956, Israel launched more than 17 raids on Egyptian territory and 31 attacks on Arab towns or military forces.

Involvement of President Nasser and Egyptian intelligence


According to Martin Gilbert, towards the end of 1954, the Egyptian government supervised the formal establishment of fedayeen groups in Gaza and the northeastern Sinai. Lela Gilbert in The Jerusalem Post
The Jerusalem Post
The Jerusalem Post is an Israeli daily English-language broadsheet newspaper, founded on December 1, 1932 by Gershon Agron as The Palestine Post. The daily readership numbers do not approach those of the major Hebrew newspapers....

 writes that General Mustafa Hafez, appointed by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death. A colonel in the Egyptian army, Nasser led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 along with Muhammad Naguib, the first president, which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of...

 (1918–1970) to command Egyptian army
Egyptian Army
The Egyptian Army is the largest service branch within the Egyptian Armed Forces and holds power in the current Egyptian government. It is estimated to number around 379,000, in addition to 479,000 reservists for a total of 858,000 strong. The modern army was created in the 1820s, and during the...

 intelligence, was the one who founded the Palestinian fedayeen units in Egypt "to launch terrorist raids across Israel's southern border."

The Jewish Virtual Library
Jewish Virtual Library
Jewish Virtual Library is an online encyclopedia published by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise . Established in 1993, it is a comprehensive website covering Israel, the Jewish people, and Jewish culture.-History:...

 illustrates the adoption of this new tactic by quoting an excerpt of a speech delivered by President Nasser on 31 August 1955:
Egypt has decided to dispatch her heroes, the disciples of Pharaoh and the sons of Islam and they will cleanse the land of Palestine....There will be no peace on Israel's border because we demand vengeance, and vengeance is Israel's death.


According to the Anti-Defamation League
Anti-Defamation League
The Anti-Defamation League is an international non-governmental organization based in the United States. Describing itself as "the nation's premier civil rights/human relations agency", the ADL states that it "fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects...

, 260 Israeli citizens were killed or wounded by the fedayeen in 1955. Meron Benvenisti
Meron Benvenisti
Meron Benvenisti is an Israeli political scientist who was Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem under Teddy Kollek from 1971 to 1978, during which he administered East Jerusalem and served as Jerusalem's Chief Planning Officer. He is a medieval scholar and published books and maps on the Crusader period in...

 writes that the fedayeen attacks directly contributed to the outbreak of the Suez Crisis
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

. Benny Morris
Benny Morris
Benny Morris is professor of History in the Middle East Studies department of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in the city of Be'er Sheva, Israel...

 writes that fedayeen attacks were cited by Israel as the reason for the undertaking of the 1956 Sinai Campaign
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

, but that there were exaggerated and false reports put forward by the Israelis regarding their activities. Ian Lustick
Ian Lustick
Ian Steven Lustick is an American political scientist and specialist on the modern history and politics of the Middle East.Lustick completed his Ph.D...

 writes that among the "engineered eve-of-war lies and deceptions [...] designed to give Israel the excuse needed to launch its strike [on Egypt]" was the presentation to journalists of a group of captured fedayeen, who were in fact Israeli soldiers.

In 1956, Israeli troops
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 entered Khan Yunis
Khan Yunis
Khan Yunis - often spelt Khan Younis or Khan Yunnis - is a city and adjacent refugee camp in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics the city, its refugee camp, and its immediate surroundings had a total population of 180,000 in 2006...

 in 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...

, then controlled by Egypt, conducting house-to-house searches for Palestinian fedayeen and weaponry. During this operation, 275 Palestinians were killed, with an additional 111 killed in Israeli raids on the Rafah
Rafah
Rafah , also known as Rafiah, is a Palestinian city in the southern Gaza Strip. Located south of Gaza, Rafah's population of 71,003 is overwhelmingly made up of Palestinian refugees. Rafah camp and Tall as-Sultan form separate localities. Rafah is the district capital of the Rafah Governorate...

 refugee camp. Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and...

 writes that "Israel claimed that the killings were caused by 'refugee resistance', a claim denied by refugees." He further notes that there were no Israeli casualties.

Suez Crisis


On October 29, 1956, the first day of Israel's invasion of the Sinai Peninsula
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

, Israeli forces attacked "fedayeen units" in the towns of Ras an-Naqb and Kuntilla. Two days later, fedayeen destroyed water pipelines in Kibbutz Ma'ayan along the Lebanese border
Blue Line (Lebanon)
The Blue Line is a border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel published by the United Nations on 7 June 2000 for the purposes of determining whether Israel had fully withdrawn from Lebanon...

 and began a campaign of mining in the area, which lasted throughout November. In the first week of November, similar attacks occurred along the Syrian and Jordanian borders, the Jerusalem corridor and in the Wadi Ara
Wadi Ara
Wadi Ara or Nahal Iron , refers to an area within Israel that is mostly populated by Arabs. It is located northwest of the Green Line and is mostly within Israel's Haifa District. Today, Highway 65 runs through the wadi.-Geography:...

 region—although the state armies of both those countries are suspected to have been the saboteurs. On November 9, four Israeli soldiers were injured after their vehicle was ambushed by fedayeen near the city of Ramla
Ramla
Ramla , is a city in central Israel. The city is predominantly Jewish with a significant Arab minority. Ramla was founded circa 705–715 AD by the Umayyad Caliph Suleiman ibn Abed al-Malik after the Arab conquest of the region...

 and several water pipelines and bridges were sabotaged in the Negev
Negev
The Negev is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel. The Arabs, including the native Bedouin population of the region, refer to the desert as al-Naqab. The origin of the word Neghebh is from the Hebrew root denoting 'dry'...

.

During the invasion of Sinai, a group of Palestinian fedayeen were killed by Israeli forces. Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Saul Ziv told Maariv
Maariv
Maariv is a Hebrew language daily newspaper published in Israel. It is second in sales after Yedioth Ahronoth and third in readership after Yedioth Ahronoth and Israel HaYom. In a TGI survey comparing the last half of 2009 with the same period in 2008, Maariv saw its market share fall slightly...

in 1995 that he was haunted by this killing of fifty defenseless fedayeen on a lorry in Ras Sudar. After Israel took control of 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...

, dozens of fedayeen were summarily executed, mostly in two separate incidents. Sixty-six were killed in screening operations in the area, although a US diplomat estimated that of the 500 fedayeen that were captured by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) "about 30" were killed.

Between the 1956 and 1967 wars


Between the 1956 war and the 1967 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...

, Israeli civilian and military casualties on all Arab fronts inflicted by regular and irregular forces (including those of Palestinian fedayeen), averaged one per month (an estimated total of 132 fatalities).

During the mid and late 1960s, a number of independent Palestinian fedayeen groups emerged who sought to bring about "the liberation of all Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 through a Palestinian armed struggle." According to Jamal R. Nasser, the very first incursion by this set of fedayeen fighters took place on 1 January 1965 when a Palestinian commando infiltrated Israel to plant explosives that destroyed a section of pipeline designed to divert water from the Jordan River into Israel. In 1966, an Israeli military attack
Samu Incident
The Samu incident refers to events on November 13, 1966 involving an Israeli military attack on the Jordanian-controlled West Bank village of Samu in response to Fatah raids against Israelis near the West Bank border...

 took place on the Jordanian-controlled West Bank village of Samu
As-Samu
As Samu or es-Samu is a town in the Hebron Governorate of the West Bank, 12 kilometers south of the city of Hebron. as-Samu is 60 kilometers south-west of Jerusalem. The area is a hilly, rocky area cut by some wadis. The Armistice Demarcation Line runs generally east to west approximately five...

 in response to Fatah raids against Israel's Eastern border, increasing tensions leading to 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...

.

Between the 1967 War and the First Intifada



Fedayeen groups began joining 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), beginning in 1968. While the PLO was the "unifying framework" under which these groups operated, each fedayeen organization had its own leader and armed forces and retained autonomy in operations. Of the dozen or so fedayeen groups under the framework of the PLO, the most important were 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) headed by 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...

, 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) headed by 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....

, the PFLP-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...

 headed by Ahmed Jibril
Ahmed Jibril
Ahmed Jibril is the founder and leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command , part of the left-wing, Palestinian national liberation movement....

, as-Sa'iqa
As-Sa'iqa
As-Sa'iqa is a Palestinian Baathist political and military faction created and controlled by Syria...

 (affiliated with Syria), and the Arab Liberation Front
Arab Liberation Front
Arab Liberation Front is a minor Palestinian political faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , politically tied to the Iraqi Ba'ath Party formerly headed by Saddam Hussein.- Historical background :...

 (backed by 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....

).

The most severe act of sabotage of the fedayeen occurred on July 4, 1969, when a single militant placed three pounds of explosives under the manifold of a complex of eight pipelines carrying oil from the Haifa refinery to the dockside. As a result of the explosion, three pipelines were temporarily out of commission and caused a fire which destroyed over 1,500 tons of refined oil.

West Bank


In the late 1960s, attempts were made to organize fedayeen resistance cells 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...

. The mobilization that did occur was based to a large extent in the refugee population of the West Bank. The stony and empty terrain of the West Bank mountains made the fedayeen easy to spot and this, coupled with a harsh regime of collective punishment
Collective punishment
Collective punishment is the punishment of a group of people as a result of the behavior of one or more other individuals or groups. The punished group may often have no direct association with the other individuals or groups, or direct control over their actions...

 deployed by Israeli forces against the families of fighters, resulted in the fedayeen being pushed out of the West Bank altogether within a few months. Arafat reportedly escaped arrest in Ramallah
Ramallah
Ramallah is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank located 10 kilometers north of Jerusalem, adjacent to al-Bireh. It currently serves as the de facto administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority...

 by jumping out a window as Israeli police
Israel Police
The Israel Police is the civilian police force of Israel. As with most other police forces in the world, its duties include crime fighting, traffic control, maintaining public safety, and counter-terrorism...

 came in the front door. Having been pushed out of the West Bank and prevented from operating in Syria and Egypt, the fedayeen concentrated on Jordan.

Jordan



After the influx of a second wave of Palestinian refugees
1967 Palestinian exodus
The 1967 Palestinian exodus refers to the flight of around 280,000 to 325,000 Palestinians out of the territories taken by Israel during and in the aftermath of the Six-Day War including the demolition of the Palestinian villages of Imwas, Yalo, and Bayt Nuba, Surit, Beit Awwa, Beit Mirsem,...

 from the 1967 war, fedayeen bases in Jordan began to proliferate and there were increased fedayeen attacks on Israel. Fedayeen fighters launched ineffective bazooka-shelling attacks on Israeli targets across the Jordan River and "brisk and indiscriminate" Israeli retaliations destroyed Jordanian villages, farms and installations, causing 100,000 people to flee the Jordan Valley
Jordan Valley (Middle East)
The Jordan Valley forms part of the larger Jordan Rift Valley. It is 120 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide, where it runs from Lake Tiberias in the north to northern Dead Sea in the south. It runs for an additional 155 kilometer south of the Dead Sea to Aqaba, an area also known as Wadi...

 eastward. According to Milton-Edwards and Hinchcliffe, the increasing ferocity of Israeli reprisals conducted against Jordanians, and not Palestinians, for the fedayeen raids into Israel became a growing cause of concern for the Jordanian authorities.

One such Israeli reprisal was conducted in the Jordanian town of Karameh
Battle of Karameh
The Battle of Karameh was fought on March 21, 1968 in the town of Karameh, Jordan, between the Israel Defense Forces and combined forces of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Jordanian Army...

, home to the headquarters of an emerging fedayeen group called Fatah, led by 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...

. According to Said Aburish
Said Aburish
Said K. Aburish is a Palestinian journalist, and writer.Born into a Palestinian family, Abu Rish attended school in Jerusalem and Beirut...

, the government of Jordan and a number of Fatah commandos informed Arafat that large-scale Israeli military preparations for an attack on the town were underway, prompting many fedayeen groups, including the PFLP and the DFLP, to withdraw their forces from the town. Though advised by a pro-Fatah Jordanian divisional commander to withdraw his men and headquarters to nearby hills, Arafat refused, stating, "We want to convince the world that there are those in the Arab world who will not withdraw or flee." 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 battle's end, 100 Fatah militants had been killed, 100 wounded and 120-150 captured; Jordanian fatalities were 61 soldiers and civilians, 108 wounded; and Israeli casualties were 28 soldiers killed and 69 wounded. Thirteen Jordanian tanks were destroyed in the battle, while the Israelis lost four tanks, three half tracks, two armoured cars, and an airplane shot down by Jordanian forces.

The profile of the fedayeen were raised by the Battle of Karameh, and they came to be regarded as the "daring heroes of the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

". Despite the higher Arab death toll, Fatah considered the battle a victory because of the Israeli army's rapid withdrawal. Such developments prompted Rashid Khalidi
Rashid Khalidi
Rashid Ismail Khalidi , born 1948, a Palestinian-American historian of the Middle East, is the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University, and director of the Middle East Institute of Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs.-Family, education and...

 to dub the Battle of Karameh as the "foundation myth" of the Palestinian commando movement, whereby "failure against overwhelming odds [was] brilliantly narrated as [a] heroic triumph."

Financial donations and recruitment increased as many young Arabs, including thousands of non-Palestinians, joined the ranks of the organization. The ruling Hashemite
Hashemite
Hashemite is the Latinate version of the , transliteration: Hāšimī, and traditionally refers to those belonging to the Banu Hashim, or "clan of Hashim", a clan within the larger Quraish tribe...

 authorities in Jordan grew increasingly alarmed by the activities of the PLO who had established a "state within a state", providing military training
Military education and training
Military education and training is a process which intends to establish and improve the capabilities of military personnel in their respective roles....

 and social welfare services to the Palestinian population, while bypassing the Jordanian authorities. Palestinian criticism of the poor performance of the Arab Legion
Arab Legion
The Arab Legion was the regular army of Transjordan and then Jordan in the early part of the 20th century.-Creation:...

, the King's army, was an insult to both the King and the regime. Further, many Palestinian fedayeen groups of the radical left, such as the PFLP, "called for the overthrow of the Arab monarchies, including the Hashemite regime in Jordan, arguing that this was an essential first step toward the liberation of Palestine."

In the first week of September in 1970, PFLP forces hijacked three airplanes (British, Swiss and German) at Dawson's field
Dawson's Field hijackings
In the Dawson's Field hijackings five jet aircraft bound for New York City were hijacked by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine...

 in Jordan. To secure the release of the passengers, the demand to free PFLP militants being held in European jails was met. After everyone had disembarked, the fedayeen destroyed the airplanes on the tarmac.

Black September in Jordan



On September 16, 1970, King Hussein
Hussein of Jordan
Hussein bin Talal was the third King of Jordan from the abdication of his father, King Talal, in 1952, until his death. Hussein's rule extended through the Cold War and four decades of Arab-Israeli conflict...

 ordered his troops to strike at and eliminate the fedayeen network in Jordan. Syrian troops intervened to support the fedayeen but were turned back by Jordanian armour and Israeli army overflights. Thousands of Palestinians were killed in the initial battle which came to known as 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...

, and thousands more in the security crackdown that followed, and by the summer of 1971, the Palestinian fedayeen network in Jordan had been effectively dismantled with most of the fighters setting up base in southern Lebanon instead.

The French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 writer Jean Genet
Jean Genet
Jean Genet was a prominent and controversial French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but later took to writing...

 who visited Palestinian fedayeen at their bases in Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 between 1970 and 1972, "memorialized what he perceived to be their bravery, idealism, flexibility of identity, and heroism" in his novel Prisoner of Love (1986).

Gaza Strip


The emergence of a fedayeen movement in the Gaza Strip was catalyzed by Israel's occupation of the territory during the 1967 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...

. Palestinian fedayeen from Gaza "waged a mini-war" against Israel for three years before the movement was crushed by the Israeli military in 1971 under the orders of then Defense Minister
Defence minister
A defence minister is a person in a cabinet position in charge of a Ministry of Defence, which regulates the armed forces in some sovereign nations...

, Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

.

Palestinians in Gaza were proud of their role in establishing a fedayeen movement there when no such movement existed 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...

 at the time. The fighters were housed in refugee camps or hid in the citrus
Citrus
Citrus is a common term and genus of flowering plants in the rue family, Rutaceae. Citrus is believed to have originated in the part of Southeast Asia bordered by Northeastern India, Myanmar and the Yunnan province of China...

 groves of wealthy Gazan landowners, carrying out raids against Israeli soldiers from these sites.

The most active of the fedayeen groups in Gaza was the PFLP, an offshoot of the 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...

 (ANM)—who enjoyed instant popularity among the already secularized, socialist
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 population who had come of age during Egyptian President Nasser's rule of Gaza. The emergence of armed struggle as the liberation strategy for the Gaza Strip reflected larger ideological changes within the Palestinian national movement toward political violence.
"The ideology of armed struggle was, by this time, broadly secular in content; Palestinians were asked to take up arms not as part of a jihad
Jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

 against the infidel
Infidel
An infidel is one who has no religious beliefs, or who doubts or rejects the central tenets of a particular religion – especially in reference to Christianity or Islam....

 but to free the oppressed from the Zionist colonial
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 regime. The vocabulary of liberation was distinctly secular."
The "radical left" dominated the political scene, and the overarching slogan of the time was, "We will liberate Palestine first, then the rest of the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

."

During Israel's 1971 military campaign to contain or control the fedayeen, an estimated 15,000 suspected fighters were rounded up and deported to detention camps in Abu Zneima and Abu Rudeis in the Sinai. Tens of homes were demolished
House demolition in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
House demolition is a controversial tactic used by the Israeli Defence Forces and Israeli settlers in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip against Palestinians....

 by Israeli forces, rendering hundreds of people homeless. According to Milton-Edwards, "This security policy successfully instilled terror in the camps and wiped out the fedayeen bases." The destruction of the secular infrastructure, paved the way for the rise of the Islamic movement
Islamism
Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

, which began organizing as early as 1969–1970, led by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.

Lebanon


On 3 November 1969, the Lebanese government signed the Cairo Agreement
Cairo agreement
The Cairo agreement or Cairo accord was an agreement reached on 2 November 1969 during talks between Yassir Arafat and the Lebanese army commander General Emile Bustani...

 which granted Palestinians the right to launch attacks on Israel from southern Lebanon in coordination with the Lebanese Army. After the expulsion of the Palestinian fedayeen from Jordan and a series of Israeli raids on Lebanon, the Lebanese government granted the PLO the right to defend Palestinian refugee camps there and to possess heavy weaponry. After the outbreak of 1975 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...

, the PLO increasingly began to act once again as a "state within a state". On 11 March 1978, twelve fedayeen led by Dalal Mughrabi
Dalal Mughrabi
Dalal Mughrabi was a Palestinian militant who was a member of the Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization and directed the 1978 Coastal Road massacre in Israel. The attack resulted in the death of 37 Israeli citizens, including 13 children, and one American photographer. Mughrabi...

 infiltrated Israel from the sea and hijacked a bus along the coastal highway, killing 38 civilians in the ensuing gunfight between them and police. Israel invaded southern Lebanon in the 1978 Israel-Lebanon conflict, occupying a 20 kilometres (12.4 mi) wide area there to put an end to Palestinian attacks on Israel, but fedayeen rocket strikes on northern Israel continued.

Israeli armoured artillery and infantry forces, supported by air force
Israeli Air Force
The Israeli Air Force is the air force of the State of Israel and the aerial arm of the Israel Defense Forces. It was founded on May 28, 1948, shortly after the Israeli Declaration of Independence...

 and naval units
Israeli Sea Corps
The Israeli Navy is the naval arm of the Israel Defense Forces, operating primarily in the Mediterranean Sea theater as well as the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea theater. The current commander in chief of the Israeli Navy is Aluf Ram Rothberg.-History:...

 again entered Lebanon on 6 June 1982 in an operation code-named "Peace for Galilee", encountering "fierce resistance" from the Palestinian fedayeen there. Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon and its siege and constant shelling of the capital 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...

 in the 1982 Lebanon War
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...

, eventually forced the Palestinian fedayeen to accept an internationally brokered agreement that moved them out of Lebanon to different places in the Arab world. The headquarters of the PLO was moved out of Lebanon to 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....

 at this time. The new PLO headquarters was destroyed during an Israeli airstrike
Operation Wooden Leg
Operation Wooden Leg was an attack by Israel on the Palestine Liberation Organization headquarters in Hammam al-Shatt, Tunisia, 12 miles from the capital of Tunis. It took place on October 1, 1985. Taking place 1,280 miles away, this was the furthest operation from Israel undertaken by the...

 in 1985.

During a September 2, 1982 press conference at the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, 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...

 stated that, "Jesus Christ was the first Palestinian fedayeen who carried his sword along the path on which the Palestinians today carry their cross."

First Intifada


On 25 November 1987, PFLP-GC launched an attack
Night of the Gliders
Night of the Gliders , or the Kibia action, refers to an incident that took place on November 25, 1987, in which two Palestinian guerillas infiltrated into Israel from South Lebanon using hang gliders to launch a surprise attack against Israel Defense Forces soldiers. Six Israeli soldiers were...

, in which two fedayeen infiltrated northern Israel from an undisclosed Syrian-controlled area in southern Lebanon
Southern Lebanon
Southern Lebanon is the geographical area of Lebanon comprising the South Governorate and the Nabatiye Governorate. These two entities were divided from the same province in the early 1990s...

 with hang gliders. One of them was killed at the border, while the other proceeded to land at an army camp, initially killing a soldier in a passing vehicle, then five more in the camp, before being shot dead. Thomas Friedman
Thomas Friedman
Thomas Lauren Friedman is an American journalist, columnist and author. He writes a twice-weekly column for The New York Times. He has written extensively on foreign affairs including global trade, the Middle East, and environmental issues and has won the Pulitzer Prize three times.-Personal...

 said that judging by commentary in the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

, the raid was seen as a boost to the Palestinian national movement, just as it had seemed to be almost totally eclipsed by the Iran-Iraq War
Iran-Iraq War
The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran, lasting from September 1980 to August 1988, making it the longest conventional war of the twentieth century...

. Palestinians in Gaza began taunting Israeli soldiers, chanting "six to one" and the raid has been noted as a catalyst to 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....

.

During the First Intifada, armed violence on the part of Palestinians was kept to a minimum, in favor of mass demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience
Civil disobedience
Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power. Civil disobedience is commonly, though not always, defined as being nonviolent resistance. It is one form of civil resistance...

. However, the issue of the role of armed struggle did not die out altogether. Those Palestinian groups affiliated with the PLO and based outside of historic Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

, such as rebels within Fatah and the PFLP-GC, used the lack of fedayeen operations as their main weapon of criticism against the PLO leadership at the time. The PFLP and DFLP even made a few abortive attempts at fedayeen operations inside Israel. According to Jamal Raji Nassar and Roger Heacock, "
[...] at least parts of the Palestinian left sacrificed all to the golden calf of armed struggle when measuring the degree of revolutionary commitment by the number of fedayeen operations, instead of focusing on the positions of power they doubtless held inside the Occupied Territories
Israeli-occupied territories
The Israeli-occupied territories are the territories which have been designated as occupied territory by the United Nations and other international organizations, governments and others to refer to the territory seized by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967 from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria...

 and which were major assets in struggles over a particular political line."


During the First Intifada, but particularly after the signing of 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...

, the fedayeen steadily lost ground to the emerging forces of the mujahaddin, represented initially and most prominently by Hamas. The fedayeen lost their position as a political force and the secular nationalist movement that had represented the first generation of the Palestinian resistance became instead a symbolic, cultural force that was seen by some as having failed in its duties.

Second Intifada and current situation


After being dormant for many years, Palestinian fedayeen reactivated their operations during the Second Intifada. In August 2001, ten Palestinian commandos from 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) penetrated the electric fences of the fortified army base of Bedolah
Bedolah
Bedolah was an Israeli village, an Israeli settlement and army base in the Gush Katif settlement bloc, located in the southwest edge of the Gaza Strip...

, killing an Israeli major and two soldiers and wounding seven others. One of the commandos was killed in the firefight. Another was tracked for hours and later shot in head, while the rest escaped. In Gaza, the attack produced "a sense of euphoria - and nostalgia for the Palestinian fedayeen raids in the early days of the Jewish state
Jewish state
A homeland for the Jewish people was an idea that rose to the fore in the 19th century in the wake of growing anti-Semitism and Jewish assimilation. Jewish emancipation in Europe paved the way for two ideological solutions to the Jewish Question: cultural assimilation, as envisaged by Moses...

." Israel responded by launching airstrikes at the police headquarters in Gaza City
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,...

, an intelligence building in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah and a police building in the West Bank town of Salfit
Salfit
Salfit also spelled Salfeet is a Palestinian town in the central West Bank. Salfit is located at an altitude of in the central Samarian highlands adjacent to the Israeli settlement of Ariel. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the City had a population of 8,796 in 2007....

. Salah Zeidan, head of the DFLP in Gaza, stated of the operation that, "It's a classic model - soldier to soldier, gun to gun, face to face [...] Our technical expertise has increased in recent days. So has our courage, and people are going to see that this is a better way to resist the occupation than suicide bombs inside the Jewish state."

Today, the fedayeen have been eclipsed politically by 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...

 (PNA), which consists of the major factions of the PLO, and militarily by Islamist groups, particularly 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...

. Already strained relations between Hamas and the PNA collapsed entirely when the former took over the Gaza Strip
Battle of Gaza (2007)
The Battle of Gaza was a military conflict between Hamas and Fatah that took place between June 7 and 15, 2007 in the Gaza Strip. After winning Palestinian legislative elections in 2006, Hamas and Fatah formed the Palestinan authority national unity government in 2007, headed by Ismail Haniya. In...

 in 2007. Although the fedayeen are leftist and secular, during the most recent hostilities between Israel and the Gaza Strip
2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict
The Gaza War, known as Operation Cast Lead in Israel and as the Gaza Massacre in the Arab world, was a three-week bombing and invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israel, and hundreds of rocket attacks on south of Israel which...

, fedayeen groups fought alongside and in coordination with Hamas even though a number of the factions were previously sworn enemies of them. The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed faction loyal to the Fatah-controlled PNA, undermined Palestinian president 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...

 by lobbing rockets into southern Israel in concert with rivals Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. According to researcher Maha Azzam, this symbolized the disintegration of Fatah and the division between the grassroots organization and the current leadership. The PFLP and the Popular Resistance Committees
Popular Resistance Committees
The Popular Resistance Committees are a coalition of various armed Palestinian factions that oppose the conciliatory approach adopted by the Palestinian Authority and Fatah towards Israel...

 also joined in the fighting.

To rival the PNA and increase Palestinian fedayeen cooperation, a Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

-based coalition composed of representatives of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP, as-Sa'iqa, the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front
Palestinian Popular Struggle Front
The Palestinian Popular Struggle Front , , is a militant Palestinian organization. The group was led by Dr. Samir Ghawshah until his death in 2009...

, the Revolutionary Communist Party, and other anti-PNA factions within the PLO, such as Fatah al-Intifada
Fatah al-Intifada
Fatah al-Intifada is a Palestinian militant faction founded by Col. Said al-Muragha, better known as 'Abu Musa'. The group is often referred to as the 'Abu Musa Faction'...

, was established during the Gaza War in 2009.

Philosophical grounding and objectives


The objectives of the fedayeen were articulated in the statements and literature they produced, which were consistent with reference to the aim of destroying Zionism
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

. In 1970, the stated aim of the fedayeen was establishing Palestine as "a secular, democratic, nonsectarian state." Robert Freedman writes that for some fedayeen groups, the secular aspect of the struggle was "merely a slogan for assuaging world opinion," while others strove "to give the concept meaningful content." Prior to 1974, the fedayeen position was that any Jew who renounced Zionism could remain in the Palestinian state to be created. After 1974, the issue became less clear and there were suggestions that only those Jews who were in Palestine prior to "the Zionist invasion", alternatively placed at 1947 or 1917, would be able to remain.

In The Intifada:Its Impact on Israel, the Arab World, and the Superpowers, Bard O'Neill writes that the fedayeen attempted to study and borrow from all of the revolutionary
Revolutionary
A revolutionary is a person who either actively participates in, or advocates revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term revolutionary refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor.-Definition:...

 models available, but that their publications and statements show a particular affinity for the Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

n, 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...

n, Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

ese, and Chinese
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 experiences.

Infighting and breakaway movements


During the post-Six-Day War era, individual fedayeen movements quarreled over issues about the recognition of Israel, alliances with various Arab states, and ideologies. A faction led by 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....

 and Yasser Abed Rabbo split from PFLP in 1974, because they preferred a Maoist and non-Nasserist approach. This new movement became known as 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). In 1974, the PNC approved the Ten Point Program (drawn up by Arafat and his advisers), and proposed a compromise with the Israelis. The Program called for a Palestinian national authority over every part of "liberated Palestinian territory", which referred to areas captured by Arab forces 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...

 (present-day West Bank and Gaza
Palestinian territories
The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

 Strip). Perceived by some Palestinians as overtures to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and concessions to Israel, the program fostered internal discontent, and prompted several of the PLO factions, such as the PFLP, DFLP, as-Sa'iqa, the Arab Liberation Front
Arab Liberation Front
Arab Liberation Front is a minor Palestinian political faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , politically tied to the Iraqi Ba'ath Party formerly headed by Saddam Hussein.- Historical background :...

 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:...

, among others, to form a breakaway movement which came to be known as the Rejectionist Front
Rejectionist Front
The Rejectionist Front or Front of the Palestinian Forces Rejecting Solutions of Surrender was a political coalition formed in 1974 by radical Palestinian factions who rejected the Ten Point Program adopted by the Palestine Liberation Organization in its 12th Palestinian National Congress ...

.

During the Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990), the PLO aligned itself with the Communist and Nasserist 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...

. Although they were initially backed by 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...

, when he switched sides in the conflict, the smaller pro-Syrian factions within the Palestinian fedayeen camp, namely as-Sa'iqa 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...

 fought against Arafat's Fatah-led PLO. In 1988, after Arafat and al-Assad partially reconciled, Arafat loyalists in the refugee camps of Bourj al-Barajneh and Shatila attempted to force out Fatah al-Intifada
Fatah al-Intifada
Fatah al-Intifada is a Palestinian militant faction founded by Col. Said al-Muragha, better known as 'Abu Musa'. The group is often referred to as the 'Abu Musa Faction'...

—a pro-Syrian Fatah breakaway movement formed by Said al-Muragha
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...

 in 1983. Instead, al-Muragha's forces overran Arafat loyalists from both camps after bitter fighting in which Fatah al-Intifada received backing from the Lebanese Amal
Amal Movement
Amal Movement is short for the Lebanese Resistance Detachments the acronym for which, in Arabic, is "amal", meaning "hope."Amal was founded in 1975 as the militia wing of the Movement of the Disinherited, a Shi'a political movement founded by Musa...

 militia.

The PLO and other Palestinian armed movements became increasingly divided after the Oslo Accords in 1993. They were rejected by the PFLP, DFLP, Hamas, and twenty other factions, as well as Palestinian intellectuals, refugee
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...

s outside of the Palestinian territories, and the local leadership of the territories. The Rejectionist fedayeen factions formed a common front with the Islamists, culminating in the creation of the Palestinian Forces Alliance. This new alliance failed to act as a cohesive unit, but revealed the sharp divisions among the PLO, with the fedayeen finding themselves aligning with Palestinian Islamists for the first time. Disintegration within the PLO's main body Fatah increased as Farouk Qaddoumi—in charge of foreign affairs—voiced his opposition to negotiations with Israel. Members of the PLO-Executive Committee, poet Mahmoud Darwish
Mahmoud Darwish
Mahmoud Darwish was a Palestinian poet and author who won numerous awards for his literary output and was regarded as the Palestinian national poet...

 and refugee leader Shafiq al-Hout
Shafiq al-Hout
Shafiq al-Hout also spelled Shafik al-Hut was a Palestinian politician and writer. Born in Jaffa, he and his family fled to Beirut at the onset of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. There, al-Hout became a journalist at al-Hawadth newspaper...

 resigned from their posts in response to the PLO's acceptance of Oslo's terms.

Tactics


Until 1968, fedayeen tactics consisted largely of hit-and-run raids on Israeli military targets. A commitment to "armed struggle" was incorporated into PLO Charter in clauses that stated: "Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine" and "Commando action constitutes the nucleus of the Palestinian popular liberation war."

Preceding the Six-Day War in 1967, the fedayeen carried out several campaigns of sabotage against Israeli infrastructure. Common acts of this included the consistent mining of water and irrigation pipelines along the Jordan River and its tributaries, as well as the Lebanese-Israeli border and in various locations in the Galilee
Galilee
Galilee , is a large region in northern Israel which overlaps with much of the administrative North District of the country. Traditionally divided into Upper Galilee , Lower Galilee , and Western Galilee , extending from Dan to the north, at the base of Mount Hermon, along Mount Lebanon to the...

. Other acts of sabotage involved bombing bridges, mining roads, ambushing cars and vandalizing (sometimes destroying) houses. After the Six-Day War, these incidents steadily decreased with the exception of the bombing of a complex of oil pipelines sourcing from the Haifa refinery in 1969.

The IDFs counterinsurgency tactics, which from 1967 onwards regularly included the use of home demolitions
House demolition in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
House demolition is a controversial tactic used by the Israeli Defence Forces and Israeli settlers in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip against Palestinians....

, curfew
Curfew
A curfew is an order specifying a time after which certain regulations apply. Examples:# An order by a government for certain persons to return home daily before a certain time...

s, deportation
Deportation
Deportation means the expulsion of a person or group of people from a place or country. Today it often refers to the expulsion of foreign nationals whereas the expulsion of nationals is called banishment, exile, or penal transportation...

s, and other forms of collective punishment
Collective punishment
Collective punishment is the punishment of a group of people as a result of the behavior of one or more other individuals or groups. The punished group may often have no direct association with the other individuals or groups, or direct control over their actions...

, effectively precluded the ability of the Palestinian fedayeen to create internal bases from which to wage "a people's war". The tendency among many captured guerrillas to collaborate
Collaborationism
Collaborationism is cooperation with enemy forces against one's country. Legally, it may be considered as a form of treason. Collaborationism may be associated with criminal deeds in the service of the occupying power, which may include complicity with the occupying power in murder, persecutions,...

 with the Israeli authorities, providing information that led to the destruction of numerous "terrorist cells", also contributed to the failure to establish bases in the territories occupied by Israel
Israeli-occupied territories
The Israeli-occupied territories are the territories which have been designated as occupied territory by the United Nations and other international organizations, governments and others to refer to the territory seized by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967 from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria...

. The fedayeen were compelled to establish external bases, resulting in frictions with their host countries which led to conflicts (such as 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...

), diverting them from their primary objective of "bleeding Israel".

Airplane hijackings


The tactic of exporting their struggle against Israel beyond the 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...

 was first adopted by the Palestinian fedayeen in 1968. According to John Follain, it was Wadie Haddad
Wadie Haddad
Wadie Haddad , also known as Abu Hani, was a Palestinian doctor of medicine and the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's armed wing...

 of the PFLP who, unconvinced with the effectiveness of raids on military targets, masterminded the first hijacking of a civilian passenger plane by Palestinian fedayeen in July 1968. Two commandos forced an El Al
El Al
El Al Israel Airlines Ltd , trading as El Al , is the flag carrier of Israel. It operates scheduled domestic and international services and cargo flights to Europe, North America, Africa and the Far East from its main base in Ben Gurion International Airport...

 Boeing 747
Boeing 747
The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...

 en route from Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 to Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

 to land in Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

, renaming the flight "Palestinian Liberation 007". While publicly proclaiming that it would not negotiate with terrorists, the Israelis did negotiate. The passengers were released unharmed in exchange for the release of sixteen Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

The first hijacking of an American airliner was conducted by the PFLP on 29 August 1969. Robert D. Kumamoto describes the hijacking as a response to an American veto of a United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 resolution censuring Israel for its March 1969 aerial attacks on Jordanian villages suspected of harbouring fedayeen, and for the impending delivery of American Phantom
F-4 Phantom II
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a tandem two-seat, twin-engined, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor fighter/fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Aircraft. It first entered service in 1960 with the U.S. Navy. Proving highly adaptable,...

 jets to Israel. The flight, en route to Tel Aviv from Rome, was forced to land in Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 where, Leila Khaled
Leila Khaled
Leila Khaled is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine . She is currently a member of the Palestinian National Council...

, one of the two fedayeen to hijack the plane proclaimed that, "this hijacking is one of the operational aspects of our war against Zionism
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

 and all who support it, including the United States ...[;] it was a perfectly normal thing to do, the sort of thing all freedom fighters must tackle." Most of the passengers and crew were released immediately after the plane landed. Six Israeli passengers were taken hostage and held for questioning by Syria. Four women among them were released after two days, and the two men were released after a week of intensive negotiations between all the parties involved. Of this PFLP hijacking and those that followed at Dawson's field, Kumamoto writes: "The PFLP hijackers had seized no armies, mountaintops, or cities. Theirs was not necessarily a war of arms; it was a war of words - a war of propaganda, the exploitation of violence to attract world attention. In that regard, the Dawson's Field episode was a publicity goldmine."

George Habash, leader of the PFLP, explained his view of the efficacy of hijacking as a tactic in a 1970 interview, stating, "When we hijack a plane it has more effect than if we killed a hundred Israelis in battle." Habash also stated that after decades of being ignored, "At least the world is talking about us now." The hijacking attempts did indeed continue. On 8 May 1972, a Sabena Airlines 707 was forced to land in Tel Aviv after it was commandeered by four Black September commandos who demanded the release of 317 fedayeen fighters being held in Israeli jails. While the Red Cross was negotiating, Israeli paratroopers disguised as mechanics stormed the plane, shot and killed two of hijackers and captured the remaining two after a gunfight that injured five passengers and two paratroopers.

The tactics employed by the Black September group in subsequent operations differed sharply from the other "run-of-the-mill PLO attacks of the day". The unprecedented level of violence evident in multiple international attacks between 1971 and 1972 included the Sabena airliner hijacking (mentioned above), the assassination of the Jordanian Prime Minister 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...

, the Massacre at Lod airport
Lod Airport massacre
The Lod Airport massacre was a terrorist attack that occurred on May 30, 1972, in which three members of the Japanese Red Army, on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine , killed 26 people and injured 80 others at Tel Aviv's Lod airport...

, and the Munich Olympics massacre. In The Dynamics of Armed Struggle, J. Bowyer Bell
J. Bowyer Bell
J. Bowyer Bell was an American historian, artist and art critic.-Background and early life:Bell was born into an Episcopalian family on 15 November 1931 in New York City. The family later moved to Alabama, from where Bell attended Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, majoring in...

 contends that "armed struggle" is a message to the enemy that they are "doomed by history" and that operations are "violent message units" designed to "accelerate history" to this end. Bell argues that despite the apparent failure of the Munich operation which collapsed into chaos, murder, and gun battles, the basic fedayeen intention was achieved since, "The West was appalled and wanted to know the rationale of the terrorists, the Israelis were outraged and punished, many of the Palestinians were encouraged by the visibility and ignored the killings, and the rebels felt that they had acted, helped history along." He notes the opposite was true for the 1976 hijacking of an Air France flight redirected to Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

 where the Israelis scored an "enormous tactical victory" in Operation Entebbe
Operation Entebbe
Operation Entebbe was a counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission carried out by the Special Forces of the Israel Defense Forces at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on 4 July 1976. A week earlier, on 27 June, an Air France plane with 248 passengers was hijacked by Palestinian and German terrorists and...

. While their death as martyrs had been foreseen, the fedayeen had not expected to die as villains, "bested by a display of Zionist skill."

Affiliations with other guerrilla groups


Several fedayeen groups maintained contacts with a number of other guerrilla groups worldwide. The IRA
Provisional Irish Republican Army
The Provisional Irish Republican Army is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation whose aim was to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and bring about a socialist republic within a united Ireland by force of arms and political persuasion...

 for example had long held ties with Palestinians, and volunteers trained at fedayeen bases in Lebanon. In 1977, Palestinian fedayeen from Fatah helped arrange for the delivery of a sizable arms shipment to the Provos by way of Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

, but it was intercepted by the Belgian
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 authorities.

The PFLP and the DFLP established connections with revolutionary groups such as the Red Army Faction
Red Army Faction
The radicalized were, like many in the New Left, influenced by:* Sociological developments, pressure within the educational system in and outside Europe and the U.S...

 of West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

, the Action Directe of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, the Red Brigades
Red Brigades
The Red Brigades was a Marxist-Leninist terrorist organisation, based in Italy, which was responsible for numerous violent incidents, assassinations, and robberies during the so-called "Years of Lead"...

 of Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, the Japanese Red Army
Japanese Red Army
The was a Communist terrorist group founded by Fusako Shigenobu early in 1971 in Lebanon. It sometimes called itself Arab-JRA after the Lod airport massacre...

 and the Tupamaros
Tupamaros
Tupamaros, also known as the MLN-T , was an urban guerrilla organization in Uruguay in the 1960s and 1970s. The MLN-T is inextricably linked to its most important leader, Raúl Sendic, and his brand of social politics...

 of Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

. These groups, especially the Japanese Red Army participated in many of the PFLP's operations including hijackings and the Lod Airport massacre
Lod Airport massacre
The Lod Airport massacre was a terrorist attack that occurred on May 30, 1972, in which three members of the Japanese Red Army, on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine , killed 26 people and injured 80 others at Tel Aviv's Lod airport...

. The Red Army Faction joined the PFLP in the hijackings of two airplanes that landed in Entebbe Airport.

See also

  • 1947 UN Partition Plan
    1947 UN Partition Plan
    The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was created by the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine in 1947 to replace the British Mandate for Palestine with "Independent Arab and Jewish States" and a "Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem" administered by the United...

  • Arab-Israeli conflict
    • 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...

    • Occupation of the Gaza Strip by Egypt
      Occupation of the Gaza Strip by Egypt
      The administration of the Gaza Strip by Egypt occurred between 1948 and October 1956, and again from March 1957 to June 1967. Egypt did not annex the Gaza Strip but left it under Egyptian military rule as a temporary arrangement pending the resolution of the Palestine Question.-Background:After...

    • History of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
      History of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
      The history of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict covers from the end of the 19th century to the present day. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict centers on conflicting, often mutually exclusive claims to the area called Palestine by the Palestinians and the Land of Israel by Israeli Jews.- Historical...

    • 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...

    • Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty
      Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty
      The 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C. on the 26th of March 1979, following the 1978 Camp David Accords, which were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and were witnessed by United States President Jimmy Carter.The peace...

    • Peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
      Peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
      The peace process in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict has taken shape over the years, despite the ongoing violence in the Middle East and an "all or nothing" attitude about a lasting peace, "which prevailed for most of the twentieth century"...

    • 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...

    • Fedayeen
      Fedayeen
      Fedayeen is a term used to describe several distinct militant groups and individuals in West Asia at different times in history. It is sometimes used colloquially to refer to suicide squads, especially those who are not bombers.-Overview:...

  • Israeli casualties of war
    • Palestinian casualties of war
      Palestinian casualties of war
      Casualties suffered by Palestinians in war:Note: Article is not comprehensive. Some records of Palestinian casualties are under dispute.The criteria used for this article: Casualties inflicted by war or combat. Casualties considered to be "unnecessary deaths" not included...

    • Palestinian immigration (Israel)
      Palestinian immigration (Israel)
      Palestinian immigration refers to the movement of Palestinians into the territory of Israel. Since 1948, most Palestinians crossing into Israel have come to live, reside and/or work, some of them continuing the lives they lived prior to their displacement in the Palestinian exodus...

    • The retribution operations

External links