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Palestinian terrorism

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 moral justification of the Palestinian attacks is often argued over, but it is generally agreed that regardless of justification, 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)

Previous to the establishment of the state of Israel Palestinian mobs used to attack Jews in the Holy Land. Those attacks have cultimated in the 1921 pogroms, the 1929 Hebron massacre and the Great Arab Uprising of 1936-1939. Prominent leaders of Palestinian terror groups were Iz-Adin al-Qassam (hanged by the Brits) and the pro-Nazi Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin El Husseiny (deported).

Up until 1956 Israel have suffered hundreds of terror attacks from the West Bank (occupied by Jordan). In 1964, the PLO was funded in order to "liberate all of Palestine". After Black September in 1970, the PLO waged a massive campaign of international terror against Israelis. Noteable events were the Munich Massacre (1972) and the hijacking of serveral civilian airliners. During the late 1970s and the early 1980s Israel have suffered massive terrorist attack from the PLO base in Lebanon. Following Operation Peace of Galilee (1982) and the deportation of the PLO to Tunis, Israel had a relatively quite decade.

Current Palestinian terrorism

Close to 800 Israeli civillians 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.

There are also several Israeli terrorist groups, but most are minuscule, have managed to create very limited damage and are hunted constantly by Israeli police, military, and national security bodies (such as the Shin Bet). In contrast to Palestinian terorist groups, they enjoy very little public support, and their supporters are banned from public office in Israel. See Kahanism for an example of a fringe Israeli terrorist group.

More controversial is the issue of whether some or many Israeli governmental actions constitute what is sometimes known as "state terrorism." See Israeli terrorism for further discussion.

See Also