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The term Palestinian terrorism is commonly used for terrorist acts committed by Palestinian citizens and Palestinian organizations against Israeli Jews, and occasionally against nationals of other countries. Valid or not, "Palestinian terrorism" is often regarded in Western society as indistinguishable from other kinds of violence associated with Arab-Islamic causes; these being given various names such as jihadism, Islamic terrorism, Arab nationalism, Islamic fundamentalism, Islamism, Radical Islamic fundamentalism , etc.
Some examples of such organizations include the Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, all of which are listed as terrorist organizations by the United States and the European Union. Before 1993, the PLO was listed as a terrorist group. Ahmed Jibril faction is a Palestinian terrorist group based in Lebanon.
Like much violence, the perpetrators or their associates claim that the attacks were justified, while the victims and their associates more often claim innocence. Regardless of the moral, political, or tactical justifications, it is generally agreed that these attacks fall under the subcategory of violence known as "terrorism", as the attacks are indiscriminate of or directed at civilian non-combatants. Attacks against Israeli military personnel do not fit the definition of "terrorism".
The attacks on Palestinian Jews by Palestinian Arabs predating the establishment of the state of Israel have culminated in the Jerusalem pogrom of April, 1920, the riots in Palestine of May, 1921, the 1929 Hebron massacre and the Great Uprising of 1936-1939. Prominent leaders of Palestinian terror groups were Sheikh Izz ad-Din al-Qassam (later shot dead by the British) and the pro-Nazi Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin Al-Husseini (deported).
Up until 1956 Israel had suffered hundreds of terror attacks from the West Bank (occupied by Jordan). In 1964, the PLO was founded in order to "liberate all of Palestine". The Article 24 of the organization's original charter, the Palestinian National Covenant states in part: "This Organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, [or] on the Gaza Strip..." There is some controversy over whether the PLO has amended its charter to reflect the Oslo Accords. Lee Michael Katz of USA Today says the Palestinians claim to have done this, and that this view is supported by the U.S. government and was accepted by the previous Israeli government led by the Labor Party. But the Likud government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and successive governments maintain the process of revoking the charter is still incomplete, as the previous Charter has never been formally revoked, nor a revised Charter produced.
After Black September in 1970, the PLO or its offshoots waged a massive campaign of international terror against Israelis. Notable events were the Munich Massacre (1972) and the hijacking of several civilian airliners. During the late 1970s and the early 1980s Israel have suffered massive terrorist attacks from the PLO bases in Lebanon (such as the Maalot massacre in 1974). Following the 1982 Israeli Invasion of Lebanon, termed "Operation Peace for Galilee" by the IDF, (1982) and the exile of the PLO to Tunis, Israel had a relatively quiet decade.
Current Palestinian terrorism
As of July 2004, more than 1000 Israeli civilians of all ages and all political associations have been killed by Palestinian terrorists since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. Common targets of terrorist attacks include restaurants, discotheques, shopping malls, flea-markets, buses, universities and civilian homes (especially those in the settlements).
Several polls have shown widespread Palestinian public support for acts of violence against Israeli civillians, as part of what they consider legitimate resistance. Many Israelis and their supporters claim the Palestinian Authority (PA) does almost nothing in order to prevent terror attacks or reduce Palestinian public support for acts of violence against Israeli civilians. Some accuse the Palestinian Authority of doing the exact opposite - sponsoring terrorism (such as the Fatah section Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades) and using the official PA television, radio, press and education system in order to encourage acts of "Shuada" (the Islamic term for martyrdom) and hatred toward Israel. Palestinians insist that it is not fair or realistic to expect the kind of control Israel demands from the PA to curtail terrorism, as the PA has no where near the resources of the Israeli state, and they claim that the infrastructure of their many security apparati were severely damaged by vastly superior IDF forces in various confrontations during the Al Aqsa Intifada.
Palestinian terrorists have also exploited children in the aid of terror, mainly as human shields and bomb-transporters but also as suicide bombers. On March 24, after allegedly capturing a bomb in the bag of 11-year-old Abedullah Quran, probably put there without his knowledge (The boy maintains it was planted there by the Israelis themselves), Hussam Abdo, a Palestinian child aged 16, was captured in a checkpoint near Nablus wearing an explosive belt. The child was paid by the Fatah's Tanzim branch to explode himself at the checkpoint. The IDF soldiers manning the checkpoint suspected the child and told him to stay away from people. Later, having been invited by the Israeli military, the world's media watched as an EOD team arrived and disarmed the explosive belt with a police-sapper robot.  A video documenting the disarming of an explosive belt from the 16-years-old Palestinian suicide bomber can be found here.
Since April 2002, when the Israel Defense Forces reentered those areas assigned to Palestinian administration in the Oslo Accords, the number of attacks have decreased dramatically. In March 2002, there were 17 suicide bombings carried out and another 8 prevented. In March 2004, there were 2 suicide bombing attacks carried out and 10 prevented.  Since the construction of the Israeli West Bank barrier, terrorist attacks from those areas enclosed by the barrier have virtually ceased.
Most reports of Palestinian terrorism concentrate on shooting and bombing attacks. These are a small proportion of all attacks. The most common are the use of fire bombs and large stones against passenger cars traveling on Israel's roads. These attacks have resulted in the death of a number of Israelis, though more frequently they result in substantial property damage.
- Palestinian Authority
- Yasser Arafat
- Palestinian Islamic Jihad
- Popular Resistance Committees
- Abu Nidal Organization
- ties with Hizbullah
- ties between PLO and Hamas
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