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Arabic: 'al-fatah

Crest of al-Fatah

Crest of al-Fatah.

Yassir Arafat.
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Yassir Arafat.

Farouk Kaddoumi

Farouk Kaddoumi.

Palestinian group founded in exile in 1957 by Yassir Arafat, later one of the leading groups of Palestine. From late 2004 until November 12, 2006, it has been headed by Farouk Kaddoumi, the remaining living co-founder of al-Fatah. He was then replaced by Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas.
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 the PLO in 1969, which it had joined in 1967. At this period, the PLO had started to carry out guerrilla action inside Israel.
Arafat was the leader of Al Fatah until his death in 2004, and al-Fatah remains the most powerful group of PLO and, therefore, controlled the power of Palestine until the elections in 2006 when Hamas won, and formed their government.
The politics of al-Fatah has changed drastically from the military line of the 1950s and 1960s, into the pragmatic politics of a democratic Palestine, even if this approach is more constrained than that for which many Western observers and Palestinians would have hoped.

By Tore Kjeilen