Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
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.
Founded in 1959 by Yasser Arafat, in 1967–1968 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." 
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) .
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, the name of the PLO during the Oslo Peace Process. Farouk Kaddoumi is the current Fatah chairman, elected to the post soon after Arafat's death in 2004.
Fatah has the "Observer Party" status at the Socialist International.
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." 
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."  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
- Quwwat Al-Sa'eqa
- Black September (operated mainly in the 1970s)
- Hawari Special Operations Group
- Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
- Abu Reish Brigades
- Fatah Hawks
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.
- - 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.
Websites by Fatah Offices
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