The Palestinian terrorism reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004
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Palestinian terrorism

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The expression Palestinian terrorism is commonly used to indicate terrorist acts committed by some Palestinians and Palestinian organizations, usually against Israelis, but occasionally against nationals of other countries, often Jews.

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.

The morality of these attacks has been debated endlessly, but it is generally agreed that justified or not, these attacks do indeed constitute "terrorism", as they involve the death of civilian non-combatants in order to create a public fear or uproar in the furtherance of political goals.

Past Palestinian terrorism (1920 - 1987)

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 (hanged 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..."

After Black September in 1970, the PLO 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. Following Operation Peace for Galilee (1982) and the deportation of the PLO to Tunis, Israel had a relatively quiet decade.

Current Palestinian terrorism

Close to 800 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. The Palestinian Authority 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 and its elected head Arafat by doing the exact opposite - sponsering 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 suicide bombing) and hatred toward Israel.

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 capturing a bomb in the bag of 11-year-old Abedullah Quran, probably put without his knowledge, Hussam Bilal Abdu, a Palestinian child aged 14 was captured in a checkpoint near Nablus wearing an explosive belt. The child was paid by the Fatah's Tanzim branch to explode himself onto the checkpoint. IDF soldiers, manning the checkpoint, suspected the child and told him to stay away from people. Later, an EOD team arrived and by using a police-sapper robot, disarmed the explosive belt from the child. [1] The whole event was captued live by television crews, a video documenting the disarming of an explosive belt from the 14-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. [1]

See Also