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Definition/Scope: The Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine (Fatah) was founded in the early 1960s by Yasser Arafat and associates in Algeria. Fatah was originally opposed to the founding of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which it viewed as a political opponent. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum. It is mainly nationalist although not predominantly socialist. Its main goal, as stated in Article 12 of the official Fatah constitution is the "complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence." Backed by Syria, Fatah began carrying out terrorist raids against Israeli targets in 1965, launched from Jordan, Lebanon and Egyptian-occupied Gaza. Fatah’s popularity among Palestinians grew until it took over control of the PLO in 1968. Since then it has been the PLO’s most prominent faction, under the direct control of PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat. In the January 25, 2006 parliamentary election, the party lost its majority in the Palestinian parliament to Hamas, and resigned all cabinet positions, instead assuming the role as the main opposition party. "Fatah" is a reverse acronym of the Arabic, Harekat at-Tahrir al-Wataniyyeh al-Falastiniyyeh. The word "Fatah" means "conquest by means of jihad [Islamic holy war]". Their emblem has a grenade and crossed rifles, superimposed on the map of Israel in the emblem. This emphasizes the dedication of Fatah, along with the other "liberation" groups, to the "armed struggle" against Israel, a euphemism for terrorism against civilians.

Broader Terms:

Gaza Strip
HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement)
Palestinian Liberation Organization
Palestinian People’s Party

Narrower Terms:

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade

Related Terms:

Black September
Israeli Security Forces
Palestine Liberation Organization

CALL Homepage >> Thesaurus Last Updated: Sept 17, 2008