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Encyclopedia > Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades (كتائب شهداء الاقصى) are one of the militias of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's al-Fatah faction. They have been one of the driving forces behind the al-Aqsa Intifada, emerging shortly afterwards. This militia was originally named after the Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of Islam's holiest sites and an icon for the Palestinian movement. The group's membership is primarily drawn from the ranks of Tanzim, (organization in Arabic), a militant youth group within al-Fatah. Following Yasser Arafat's death on November 11, 2004, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades announced it was renaming itself to Brigades of Martyr Yasser Arafat. However, they later went back to using the original name. The Palestinian flag, adopted in 1948, is a widely recognized modern symbol of the Palestinian people. ... Yasser Arafat Yasser Arafat (August 4 or August 24, 1929 – November 11, 2004), born Muhammad `Abd ar-Rauf al-Qudwa al-Husayni (Arabic محمد عبد الرؤوف القدوة الحسيني) and also known as Abu `Ammar (ابو عمّار), was co-founder and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (1969–2004... Fatah (Arabic: الفتح) al-fatah—an reverse acronym from arabic words Harakat alTahrir alwatani alFilastini (literally: the movement for liberation of the Palestinian homeland)—is a Palestinian faction founded in 1959 by Yasser Arafat who, until his death, was head of the Palestinian Authority. ... The wreckage of a commuter bus in West Jerusalem after a suicide bombing on Tuesday, 18 June, 2002. ... The Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is not to be confused with the Dome of the Rock Mosquée Al-Aqsa The Al-Aqsa Mosque (Arabic: المسجد الاقصى, Masjid Al_Aqsa, literally farthest mosque) is part of the complex of religious buildings in Jerusalem known as either the Majed Mount or Al_Haram... Islam (Arabic al-islām الإسلام,  listen) the submission to God is a monotheistic faith and the worlds second-largest religion. ... Arabic (العربية) is a Semitic language, closely related to Hebrew and Aramaic. ... Yasser Arafat Yasser Arafat (August 4 or August 24, 1929 – November 11, 2004), born Muhammad `Abd ar-Rauf al-Qudwa al-Husayni (Arabic محمد عبد الرؤوف القدوة الحسيني) and also known as Abu `Ammar (ابو عمّار), was co-founder and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (1969–2004... November 11 is the 315th day of the year (316th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 50 days remaining. ... 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


While the group initially vowed to target only Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and carried out guerrilla warfare against the Israeli military, in early 2002 it began a series of attacks against civilians in Israeli cities. In March 2002, after a deadly al-Aqsa Brigades suicide bombing in Jerusalem, the US State Department added the group to the list of foreign terrorist organizations. Guerrilla (also called a partisan) is a term borrowed from Spanish (from guerra meaning war) used to describe small combat groups. ... The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) (Hebrew: צבא ההגנה לישראל Tsva Ha-Haganah Le-Yisrael ([Army] Force [for] the Defense of Israel), often abbreviated צהל Tsahal, alternative English spelling Tzahal, is the name of Israels armed forces (army, air force and navy). ... 2002 is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A civilian is a person who is not a member of a military. ... Jerusalem (Hebrew: יְרוּשָׁלַיִם Yerushalayim; Arabic: القدس al-Quds; see also names of Jerusalem) is an ancient Middle Eastern city of key importance to the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. ... Foreign Terrorist Organizations are foreign organizations that are designated as terrorist by the United States Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended. ...


At that time, many Palestinian sources stated that the group was not officially backed by Arafat and Fatah, though brigade members tend also to be members of Fatah, the Palestinian leader's political faction.


Israel charges that neither Fatah nor the Palestinian Authority have made any attempt to prevent their attacks. On December 18, 2003, Fatah decided to ask the leaders of the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigades to join the Fatah Council, recognizing it officially as part of the organization. The West Bank The Palestinian National Authority (PNA or PA) is a semi-autonomous state institution nominally governing the bulk of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (which it calls the Palestinian Territories). It was established as a part of Oslo accords between the PLO and Israel. ... December 18 is the 352nd day of the year (353rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2003 is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Furthermore, Israel published documents allegedly found in Arafat's compound, claiming that they prove Arafat knowingly sponsored Al-Aqsa attacks; US president George W. Bush used these documents to justify calling for the replacement of Arafat. Order: 43rd President Vice President: Dick Cheney Term of office: January 20, 2001 – Present Preceded by: Bill Clinton Succeeded by: Incumbent Date of birth: July 6, 1946 Place of birth: New Haven, Connecticut First Lady: Laura Welch Bush Political party: Republican George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the...

Contents

Relationship with Arafat and Fatah

The group's relationship with Arafat was subject to conflicting information from leaders within the group. Maslama Thabet, one of the group’s leaders in the West Bank town of Tulkarm, told USA Today in March 2002. "We receive our instructions from Fatah. Our commander is Yasser Arafat himself." While another leader Naser Badawi, told the New York Times days later that while "we respect our leader," the decision "to carry out attacks remains with the Aqsa Brigades leadership." Badawi added that Arafat has never approached the group to ask it to stop its suicide bombings, which Arafat has publicly condemned. USA Today is a national American newspaper published by the Gannett Corporation. ... For alternative meanings, see March (disambiguation). ... 2002 is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ...


In November 2003 BBC journalists uncovered a payment by Fatah of $50,000 a month to Al-Aqsa. (see link below) This investigation, combined with the documents allegedly found by the IDF, led Israel to draw the conclusion that the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades have always been directly funded by Arafat. In June 2004 the current Palestinian Prime Minister openly stated this

"We have clearly declared that the Aksa Martyrs Brigades are part of Fatah. We are committed to them and Fatah bears full responsibility for the group."

(Sources: Interview in Asharq al-Awsat, a London Muslim newspaper. Reported in the Jerusalem Post, June 20, 2004, "Fatah committed to Aksa Martyrs")


Israel arrested Marwan Barghouti, a leader of the group in April 2002, and in August charged him with numerous counts of murder (including murder of civilians), conspiracy to murder and membership in a terrorist organization. In addition to his "shadow job" with the group, Barghouti had also served as the general secretary of Fatah in the West Bank. The executive commander of the group, Taufik Tirawi, is claimed (by Israel) to be hiding in Arafat's compund in Ramallah. Marwan Barghouti (born June 6, 1959) is a Palestinian leader from the West Bank and a leader of the Fatah movement that forms the backbone of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). ... April is the fourth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of four with the length of 30 days. ... 2002 is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A civilian is a person who is not a member of a military. ... Ramallah (Arabic: رام الله) is a West Bank city of approximately 57,000 residents, which is currently under Palestinian Authority control. ...


In July 2004, Ahmed Qurei, Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority explicitly stated the relationship between Fatah and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades: 2004 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December See also: July 2004 in sports Deaths in July • 31 David B. Haight • 29 Francis Crick • 29 Nafisa Joseph • 23 Joe Cahill • 23 Mehmood • 23 Illinois Jacquet • 23 Carlos Paredes • 22 Sacha Distel • 21 Jerry Goldsmith • 21... Ahmed Ali Mohammed Qurei (or Qureia), also known as Abu Alaa, was the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council and is currently Prime Minister and holds the security portfolio of the Palestinian Authority. ... The West Bank The Palestinian National Authority (PNA or PA) is a semi-autonomous state institution nominally governing the bulk of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (which it calls the Palestinian Territories). It was established as a part of Oslo accords between the PLO and Israel. ... Fatah (Arabic: الفتح) al-fatah—an reverse acronym from arabic words Harakat alTahrir alwatani alFilastini (literally: the movement for liberation of the Palestinian homeland)—is a Palestinian faction founded in 1959 by Yasser Arafat who, until his death, was head of the Palestinian Authority. ...

"The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, military wing of the Fatah movement will not be dissolved and Fatah will never relinquish its military wing."

Israeli intelligence officials claim that most of the al-Aqsa Brigades attacks in 2004 were guided and funded by Lebanese Islamist-Shiite group Hizbullah. Israeli security forces have arrested several al-Aqsa militants, admiting they have been backed by Hizbullah. 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Islamism is a political ideology derived from the conservative religious views of Muslim fundamentalism. ... Hezbollah militant Guerrilla carrying Hezbollah Flag Hezbollah (Arabic ‮حزب الله‬, meaning Party of God) is a political and military organization in Lebanon founded in 1982 to fight Israel in southern Lebanon. ... The Israel Security Forces (ISF) are several organizations collectively responsible for Israels security. ... Hezbollah militant Guerrilla carrying Hezbollah Flag Hezbollah (Arabic ‮حزب الله‬, meaning Party of God) is a political and military organization in Lebanon founded in 1982 to fight Israel in southern Lebanon. ...


Activities

The al-Aqsa brigades are responsible for dozens of suicide bombings and many more shooting attacks against Israeli vehicles in the West Bank. Some notable suicide bombings committed by the group were: A suicide bombing is a bomb attack on people or property, committed by a person who knows the explosion will cause his or her own death (see suicide, suicide weapons). ...

Some of the al-Aqsa brigades' attacks were committed by minors. On March 24, 2004, a Palestinian teenager named Hussam Abdo was caught in an IDF checkpoint carrying an explosive belt. Following his arrest, an al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade teenagers' militant cell was exposed and arrested in Nablus. [1] (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/30/international/middleeast/30teen.html) However, the Brigades still exploiting children as suicide bombers, as on September 23, 2004 a 15-years-old suicide bomber was arrested by Israeli security forces. [2] (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/481217.html) See main article: child suicide bomber. March 2 is the 61st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (62nd in leap years). ... 2002 is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Jerusalem (Hebrew: יְרוּשָׁלַיִם Yerushalayim; Arabic: القدس al-Quds; see also names of Jerusalem) is an ancient Middle Eastern city of key importance to the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. ... January 5 is the 5th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2003 is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... January 29 is the 29th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... March 14 is the 73rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (74th in Leap years) with 292 days remaining in the year. ... 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Ashdod (Hebrew אַשְׁדּוֹד, Standard Hebrew Ašdod;, Tiberian Hebrew ʾAšdôḏ, Arabic إسدود ʾIsdūd) is a port city in Israel located halfway between Tel Aviv and Gaza, in the Southern District of Israel. ... The Hamas emblem shows two crossed swords, the Dome of the Rock, and a map of the land they claim as Palestine (roughly, present-day Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip). ... A child suicide bomber is a suicide bomber under the age of 18. ... March 24 is the 83rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (84th in Leap years). ... 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Hussam Abdo (born 1989) is a Palestinian who made international headlines on March 24, 2004, when he was apparently forced to enter the Hawara Checkpoint, in West Bank, Israel, carrying bombs as part of a suicide attack attempt. ... The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) (Hebrew: צבא ההגנה לישראל Tsva Ha-Haganah Le-Yisrael ([Army] Force [for] the Defense of Israel), often abbreviated צהל Tsahal, alternative English spelling Tzahal, is the name of Israels armed forces (army, air force and navy). ... An explosive belt (also called suicide belt) is a vest packed with explosives (sometimes with nails, screws, bolts and other objects to maximize the number of casualties) and a detonator that is worn by suicide bombers. ... Nablus also (rarely) spelled Nabulus ( Arabic نابلس; Hebrew שכם, Shechem) is a major city (pop. ... September 23 is the 266th day of the year (267th in leap years). ... 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Israel Security Forces (ISF) are several organizations collectively responsible for Israels security. ... A child suicide bomber is a suicide bomber under the age of 18. ...


Al-Aqsa, like many militia groups, is noted for the use of promotional posters in the main cities of Palestine. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades have attacked Palestinians as well as Israelis. Their Palestinian targets range from opponents of Arafat's rule to journalists to moderates and suspected collaborators. In November and December, 2003 they killed the brother of Ghassan Shaqawa (the mayor of Nablus) and have tried to assassinate him several times. On February 2004 Shaqawa filed his resignation from office in protest of the Palestinian Authority's lack of action against the armed militias rampaging the city. Through the first three months of 2004, a number of attacks on journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been blamed on the Brigades as well, including the attack on the Arab television station Al-Arabiya's West Bank offices by masked men self-identifying as members of the Brigades. Palestinian journalists in Gaza called a general strike on February 9 to protest this rising violence against journalists. Collaboration, literally, consists of working together with one or more others. ... November is the eleventh month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of four Gregorian months with the length of 30 days. ... December is the twelfth and last month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days. ... 2003 is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Nablus also (rarely) spelled Nabulus ( Arabic نابلس; Hebrew שכם, Shechem) is a major city (pop. ... February is the second month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The West Bank The Palestinian National Authority (PNA or PA) is a semi-autonomous state institution nominally governing the bulk of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (which it calls the Palestinian Territories). It was established as a part of Oslo accords between the PLO and Israel. ... Al-Arabiya is an Arabic-language satellite news channel based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates which began broadcasting in February 2003, launched with an investment of $300 million from the Saudi-owned MBC, the Lebanese Hariri Group, and others. ... February 9 is the 40th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ...


The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades have taken prominent part in July 2004 riots in the Gaza Strip, where Palestinian officers has been kidnapped and PA security headquarters buildings and policemen were attack by armed gunmen. These riots led the Palestinian cabinet to declare a state of emergency. One media outlet described the situation in the Palestinian Authority as anarchy and chaos. See main article: Chaos in Palestinian Authority. The West Bank The Palestinian National Authority (PNA or PA) is a semi-autonomous state institution nominally governing the bulk of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (which it calls the Palestinian Territories). It was established as a part of Oslo accords between the PLO and Israel. ... Anarchy (New Latin anarchia) is a term that has a number of different but related usages. ... Chaos derives from the Greek Χαος and may refer to: Science Chaos theory, a branch of mathematics. ... The West Bank The Palestinian National Authority (PNA or PA) is a semi-autonomous state institution nominally governing the bulk of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (which it calls the Palestinian Territories). It was established as a part of Oslo accords between the PLO and Israel. ...


The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades have carried out serveral joint attacks with the Islamist group Hamas. These attacks were committed mainly in the Gaza Strip. See main article: PLO and Hamas. The Hamas emblem shows two crossed swords, the Dome of the Rock, and a map of the land they claim as Palestine (roughly, present-day Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip). ... One issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the charge that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the main political organization of the Palestinians, is allied with Hamas, a Palestinian fundamentalist paramilitary and political organization, which is accused of organizing suicide bombers and other attacks against Israel, often targeting civilians. ...


The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades have also carried out joint attack with other militant groups such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad, The Popular Resistance Committees and in the West Bank, even with Hizbullah. The emblem of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad shows a map of the land they claim as Palestine (roughly, present-day Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip) superimposed on the images of the Dome of the Rock, two fists and two rifles. ... The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) are a Palestinian militant network which operates in the Gaza Strip. ... Hezbollah militant Guerrilla carrying Hezbollah Flag Hezbollah (Arabic ‮حزب الله‬, meaning Party of God) is a political and military organization in Lebanon founded in 1982 to fight Israel in southern Lebanon. ...


On August 2, two al-Aqsa militants and one Islamic Jihad militant were killed by Israeli Defence Forces while trying to commit combined (shooting and bombing) attack in Eley Sinay settlement [3] (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/mideast_unrest). August 2 is the 214th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (215th in leap years), with 151 days remaining. ... The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) (Hebrew: צבא ההגנה לישראל Tsva Ha-Haganah Le-Yisrael ([Army] Force [for] the Defense of Israel), often abbreviated צהל Tsahal, alternative English spelling Tzahal, is the name of Israels armed forces (army, air force and navy). ...


The firing of Qassam rockets from the Gaza Strip by Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades into Israel is strongly opposed by those living closest to the firing location due to frequent Israeli military responses to Qassam rocket launches. On July 23, 2004, a 15 year old Arab boy was shot and killed by Palestinian militants after he and his family physically opposed their attempt to set up a Qassam rocket launcher outside the family's house. Five other individuals were wounded in the incident. The Qassam rocket is a simple steel rocket filled with explosives, developed by the Palestinian organization Hamas. ... The Hamas emblem shows two crossed swords, the Dome of the Rock, and a map of the land they claim as Palestine (roughly, present-day Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip). ... July 23 is the 204th day (205th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 161 days remaining. ... 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


List of al-Aqsa Brigades activists

List of notable members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade (AAMB for short), ordered lexicographically according to the last name, includes active militants and militants that were killed or arrested by the Israeli security forces. The Israel Security Forces (ISF) are several organizations collectively responsible for Israels security. ...

  • Naif Abu-Sharah : local commander of the AAMB in Nablus (killed by IDF forces).
  • Marwan Barghouti : high commander of the AAMB (arrested by the IDF and sentenced for life in prison for murdering Israeli civilians).
  • Sirhan Sirhan : murdered 5 people, including a mother and her 2 children in Kibbutz Metzer (killed by the YAMAM). Not to be confused with the Sirhan Sirhan responsible for assassinating Robert Kennedy.
  • Zakariye Zubeydi : local commander of the AAMB in Jenin, known for it relationship with Israeli far left activist Tali Fahima.

Nablus also (rarely) spelled Nabulus ( Arabic نابلس; Hebrew שכם, Shechem) is a major city (pop. ... The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) (Hebrew: צבא ההגנה לישראל Tsva Ha-Haganah Le-Yisrael ([Army] Force [for] the Defense of Israel), often abbreviated צהל Tsahal, alternative English spelling Tzahal, is the name of Israels armed forces (army, air force and navy). ... Marwan Barghouti (born June 6, 1959) is a Palestinian leader from the West Bank and a leader of the Fatah movement that forms the backbone of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). ... Life imprisonment is a term used for a particular kind of sentence of imprisonment. ... A civilian is a person who is not a member of a military. ... The YAMAM ( יממ ) is the elite civilian counter-terrorism unit of Israel. ... Sirhan Bishara Sirhan (born March 19, 1944) was convicted of the June 5, 1968 assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, by shooting him just minutes after Kennedy had won the California presidential primary election. ... Robert Kennedy Robert Francis Bobby Kennedy, also called RFK (November 20, 1925–June 6, 1968) was the younger brother of President John F. Kennedy, and was appointed by his brother as Attorney General for his administration. ... Jenin, or Janīn (Arabic: جنين) is a city in the West Bank, which - in accord with the Oslo Accords - is divided between Israeli and Palestinian control. ... The term far left refers to the relative position a group or person occupies within the political spectrum. ...

See also

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. ... Fatah (Arabic: الفتح) al-fatah—an reverse acronym from arabic words Harakat alTahrir alwatani alFilastini (literally: the movement for liberation of the Palestinian homeland)—is a Palestinian faction founded in 1959 by Yasser Arafat who, until his death, was head of the Palestinian Authority. ... The West Bank The Palestinian National Authority (PNA or PA) is a semi-autonomous state institution nominally governing the bulk of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (which it calls the Palestinian Territories). It was established as a part of Oslo accords between the PLO and Israel. ... Yasser Arafat Yasser Arafat (August 4 or August 24, 1929 – November 11, 2004), born Muhammad `Abd ar-Rauf al-Qudwa al-Husayni (Arabic محمد عبد الرؤوف القدوة الحسيني) and also known as Abu `Ammar (ابو عمّار), was co-founder and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (1969–2004... The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) are a Palestinian militant network which operates in the Gaza Strip. ... Terrorism is a controversial term with multiple definitions. ... A suicide bombing is a bomb attack on people or property, committed by a person who knows the explosion will cause his or her own death (see suicide, suicide weapons). ... A child suicide bomber is a suicide bomber under the age of 18. ...

External links

  • Terrorism Q&A: Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (http://www.terrorismanswers.com/groups/alaqsa.html)
  • Profile: Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1760492.stm)
  • Index of documents found by Israel (http://www.idf.il/arafat/terrorism2/english/main_index.stm), implying as Israel holds, direct control of the PA over Fatah and the Brigades.
  • Al-Aqsa letter to Bethlehem municipality (http://www.idf.il/coni/english/main_index.stm), asking for supplies.
  • The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades: A political tool with an edge (http://www.ict.org.il/articles/articledet.cfm?articleid=430), from Israel's Institute for Counter-Terrorism.
  • Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades Joins the Fatah Council. (http://www.nfc.co.il/archive/001-D-36483-00.html?tag=12-37-46)
  • Daily Life in the Palestininian Authority (http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP67504)
  • BBC: Palestinian Authority Funds go to Militants (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3243071.stm)

 
 

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