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Fatah (Al Fatah), Hamas

[middle east]

Al Fatah - Exile Palestinian group that was founded in 1957 by Yassir Arafat.

April 9, 2003:
		 Masked Fatah  militants take part in the
        funeral procession in Gaza City of seven Palestinians,
         including three Hamas militants, who were killed in an
        overnight Israeli air strike(AFP/Mohammed Saber)Al Fatah was committed to retain full independence for Palestinians. Their aim was direct military confrontation with
Israel, in order to win back lost land from the Jews. Al Fatah became increasingly important in the 1960s, and gained full control over PLO in 1969, which it had joined in 1967. At this period, PLO had started to carry out guerrilla actions
inside Israel.

Arafat is still the leader of Al Fatah, and Al Fatah remains the most powerful group of PLO and therefore also in the present state of Palestine. But its politics has changed drastically from the military line of the 1950s and 1960s, into a pragmatic politics for a Palestine with democracy, even if their idea is more limited than what many Western observers and Palestinians would hope for.


Hamas - Palestinian Islamist political group, especially active with military actions.
Hamas, which is not an abbreviation, is the nickname, and comes from Arabic
for 'zeal'. The full name, Harakatu l-Mujawamati l-Islamiya, means Islamic
Resistance Movement.

Hamas was founded in 1988, andhad grown out of the Muslim Brotherhood, from a branch that was active in Gaza with religious, social and
educational work. The Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood continues to have good relations, and the two groups can be looked upon as one entity. The first
leader was Shaykh Ahmad Yassin, who still holds the position despite bad healt.
It was with the Intifada, the Palestinian public resistance that had started the
year before, that brought Hamas into its present position.
Hamas has never been willing to accept any compromise with Israel — in article 11 in their charter they declare that no party has the right to give up
any Palestinian land. Article 13 measures jihad as the only solution to fight Israel, while other measures like international conferences are "a waste of
time and a kind of child's play".
The jihad of Hamas has involved actions against moderate Palestinians (especially members of PLO), in addition to attacks on Israelis.
In the charter of Hamas strong sentiments against the Western world and Jews are clearly expressed. Quotations from the Holy Koran are frequently used.
Hamas is both a social and a militant group. Hamas is involved in welfare schemes
and education of Palestinians, in vocational training, health care and also with
providing jobs to unemployed.
Hamas has become known for their suicide bombers and actionists. These
come from a spcial branch of Hamas, called Allotment of the Power of Religion,
cIzzu d-Dîni l-Qasam. Members of this brigade believes that death in the name of
God is the highest of actions.
With the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority in May 1994,
Hamas threatened with civil war, and continued with attacks on Israel. A bomb in a
bus in Tel Aviv, where 22 were killed, and the detention of hundreds of Hamas
activists by Israel, brought Hamas into the headlines of the world press.
Hamas has a lot of support among Palestinians, even if these numbers go
quickly up and down depending on change in social conditions and politics in
Palestine. With the Israeli killings of stone throwing Palestinians in late 2000,
Hamas grew to become stronger than ever. At this time, Hamas could be strong
enough to represent a real threat to PLO's power position.




source: Encyclopedia of the Orient

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