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The Fatah official emblem shows two fists holding rifles and a hand grenade superimposed on a map of the land they claim as Palestine (roughly, present-day Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip).

Fatah (Arabic: فتح); a reverse acronym from the Arabic name Harakat al-Tahrir al-Watani al-Filastini (literally: "Palestinian National Liberation Movement") is a major Palestinian faction and the largest constituency of the PLO, a multi-party confederation.

Ironically, the acronym "HATAF" means "death" in Arabic; Arafat reversed the acronym to "FATAH" meaning "conquest" or "victory through holy struggle." The fake acronym "fatah" is a public-relations tool, since the true acronym "hataf", it is perceived, would doom the organization to failure.



Founded in 1959 by Yasser Arafat, in 19671968 Fatah joined the PLO and won the leadership role in 1969. According to the BBC, "Mr Arafat took over as chairman of the executive committee of the PLO in 1969, a year that Fatah is recorded to have carried out 2,432 guerrilla attacks on Israel." [1] (

Fatah's commanders were expelled to Lebanon from Jordan following violent confrontations with Jordanian forces during the period 19701971, beginning with Black September in 1970.

In the 1960s and the 1970s, Fatah provided training to a wide range of European, Middle Eastern, Asian, and African militant and insurgent groups, and carried out numerous attacks against Israeli targets in Western Europe and the Middle East during the 1970s. Some militant groups that affiliated themselves to Fatah carried out civilian plane hijackings and terrorist attacks, including the Black September (group), Abu Nidal (group), and Abu Musa (group).

Fatah received weapons, explosives and training from the former USSR and the former Communist regimes of East European states. China have also provided some weapons.

When Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982, the faction was dispersed to several Middle Eastern countries with the help of US and other Western governments: Tunisia, Yemen, Algeria, Iraq and others. In the period 1982-1993, Fatah's leadership resided in Tunisia.

Until his death, Arafat was the head of the Palestinian Authority. Farouk Kaddoumi is the current Fatah chairman, elected to the post soon after Arafat's death in 2004.

Fatah has "Observer Party" status at the Socialist International.

Recently, Fatah has endorsed Mahmoud Abbas in the Palestinian presidential election, 2005.

In 2005, Hamas won landslide victories in nearly all the municipalities it contested. Fatah is "widely seen as being in desperate need of reform", as "the PA's performance has been a story of corruption and incompetence - and Fatah has been tainted." Political analyst Sallah Abdelshafi told BBC about the difficulties of Fatah leadership: "I think it's very, very serious - it's becoming obvious that they can't agree on anything." [2] (

Participation in the peace process and controversies

According to the US Department of State, "The Palestinian National Charter... [was] amended by canceling the articles that are contrary to the letters exchanged between the P.L.O. and the Government of Israel 9-10 September 1993." [3] ( Yasser Arafat has signed the Declaration of Principles with Israel in 1993 and exchanged mutual renounce of terrorism with Israel as well as mutual recognition between PLO and Israel, and was allowed to return to the Palestinian territories from exile in Tunisia.

The group has been accused of continuing attacks against Israeli civilians, and of supporting guerrilla warfare against Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and against the security forces inside Israel as a part of the Al-Aqsa Intifada.

Fatah armed factions

While Quwwat Al-Sa'eqa are the official armed body of Fatah movement, many of the other factions have never been officially recognized by Fatah's major leading bodies: The Revolutionary Council and The Central Committee. At many instances, some of those factions were considered rebellious and outlawed by the Fatah official bodies, especially the Black September group.

See also


  • From Farouk Kaddoumi's interview to Iran's Al-Aram TV station, November, 2004 ([4] (, [5] (
- Kaddoumi: [There are] 300 Million Arabs, while Israel has only the sea behind it.
- Interviewer: Minister, how do you see the future of Palestine?
- Kaddoumi: At this stage there will be two states. Many years from now there will be only one.

External links

Websites by Fatah Offices

de:Al-Fatah fi:Fatah he:פת"ח hr:Al Fatah nl:Fatah no:Fatah pl:Al-Fatah pt:Fatah sv:Al-Fatah zh:法塔赫


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