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Fatah

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Fatah (Arabic: فتح), literally opening, is a reverse acronym from the Arabic name Harakat al-Tahrir al-Watani al-Filastini (Arabic: حركة التحرير الوطني الفلسطيني, literally: "Palestinian National Liberation Movement"). Fatah is a major Palestinian political party and the largest organization in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the center-left of the spectrum. It is mainly nationalist although not predominantly socialist. Fatah has maintained a number of militant groups since its founding. Unlike Hamas, Fatah is not recognized as a terrorist organization by any government, and it is also supported by the United States[1] and the European Union[2].

The reverse acronym was chosen because it is similar to the word fath, "opening" (after the first Arab-Muslim conquests, or "openings"). Al-Assifa is the military arm of the Fatah.

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

Hamas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The neutrality of this article from Wikpedia is disputed.


Hamas
(Arabic: حركة حماس; acronym: Arabic: حركة المقاومة الاسلامية, or Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya or "Islamic Resistance Movement,"[1]) is a Palestinian Sunni militant organization. It was elected in January 2006 as the government of the Palestinian people.[2] Following the Battle for Gaza in June 2007, when Hamas used force to take control of the Gaza Strip after Fatah refused to hand over control to the elected government, its members were ousted from its positions in the Palestinian National Authority government in the West Bank and were replaced by rival Fatah members as well as independents.[3][4]

Hamas was created in 1987 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin of the Gaza wing of the Muslim Brotherhood at the beginning of the First Intifada. Best known in Israel and the West for its suicide bombings and other attacks[5] directed against civilians and Israeli military and security forces targets, Hamas' charter (written in 1988 and still in effect) calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.[6] Vehemently anti-Israel and, according to some, anti-Semitic[7] its charter states: "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad."[8] After coming to power, Hamas announced it was giving up suicide attacks and "offered a 10-year truce [with Israel] in return for a complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories: the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem."[9][10][11] Hamas also declared a unilateral ceasefire with Israel which, after Israeli air strikes in response to Hamas smuggling weapons into Gaza, was formally renounced.[12]

Since the death of Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat, Hamas's political wing has entered and won many local elections in Gaza, Qalqilya, and Nablus. In January 2006, Hamas won a surprise victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections, taking 76 of the 132 seats in the chamber, while the ruling Fatah party took 43.[13] Hamas's militant stance has found a receptive audience among Palestinians; many perceived the preceding Fatah government as corrupt and ineffective, and Hamas's supporters see it as an "armed resistance"[14] movement defending Palestinians from what they see as a brutal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.[15] Hamas has further gained popularity by establishing "hospitals, education systems, libraries and social services"[16] throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip.[17] The Palestinian territories have experienced internal conflicts for many years; since Hamas's election victory, particularly sharp infighting has occurred between Hamas and Fatah, leading to many Palestinian deaths.[18][19]

Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization by Canada,[20] the European Union,[21] Israel,[22] Japan,[23] and the United States,[24] and is banned in Jordan.[25] Australia[26] and the United Kingdom[27] list the militant wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, as a terrorist organization. On June 18, 2007, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Fatah) issued a decree outlawing the Hamas militia and executive force after Hamas's militarily took control of the Gaza Strip.[2][3] According to the US State Department, the group is funded by Iran, Palestinian expatriates, and private benefactors in Saudi Arabia and other Arab states.[24] In a 2002 report, Human Rights Watch stated that Hamas' leaders "should be held accountable for the war crimes and crimes against humanity" that have been committed by its members.[28]

 

Walter Antoniotti editor of this site and author of the
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Revised 02/17/07

 

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