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Palestine Liberation Organization

Yasser Arafat (1929—2004) Palestinian statesman, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization 1968–2004 and Palestinian President 1996–2004



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al- Fatah

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A militant Palestinian organization. It was founded (1962) in Kuwait to fight for the restoration of Palestine to the Arabs. Al-Fatah assumed the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1969 and remained the dominant group within the PLO. Its guerrilla units were expelled from Jordan after the civil war in 1970, and it withdrew to southern Lebanon (Fatahland). Subsequently al-Fatah was drawn into the Lebanese imbroglio and became divided; a part was expelled from Lebanon after the Israeli invasion of 1982. Leadership remained in the hands of Yasser Arafat, who had led al-Fatah from its foundation. Al-Fatah played a leading role in the achievement of the 1993 peace agreement with Israel. However, divisions within the organization over the progress of PLO–Israeli negotiations became apparent in 1995 with some factions no longer remaining loyal to Arafat. Al-Fatah won the first legislative elections for the Palestinian National Authority in 1996 and retained power until defeated by Hamas in 2006.

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