Palestinian groups involved in political violence
Founded in 1987 by Ahmed Yassin and Mohammad Taha as an outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas' goal is the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Armed wing is the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades; the sole target of its suicide bombings and missile attacks is Israel.
Took part in 2006 elections and won. After the 2007 Battle of Gaza the Hamas government was disbanded by Mahmoud Abbas but remained de facto rulers of the Gaza Strip.
Currently led by Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) (founded 1970s)
Formed by Fathi Shaqaqi as a branch of Egyptian Islamic Jihad
Goal is the destruction of the state of Israel and replacement with an Islamist state
Armed wing is the Al-Quds Brigades (Jerusalem brigades)
Currently led by Ramadan Shallah, the Secretary General and Abd Al Aziz Awda
The Popular Resistance Committees
Founded in 2000 by Jamal Abu Samhadana who led the group until he was killed in 2006.
Hamas linked group, based in the Gaza Strip
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (founded June 1964)
Formed as the political representation of the Palestinian people
Currently led by Mahmoud Abbas
Sub-groups of the PLO
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) (founded 1967)
Joined the PLO in 1968 and became the second-largest PLO faction, after Arafat's al-Fatah, but withdrew in 1974, accusing the group of moving away from the goal of abolishing the State of Israel. It was led by Abu Ali Mustapha until his assassination in 2001.
Armed wing is the Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades and Jihad Jibril Brigades
Currently led by Ahmad Sa'adat
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) (founded 1969)
Marxist-Leninist group that believes Palestinian national goals can be achieved only through revolution of the masses. Split into two factions in 1991; Nayif Hawatmah leads the majority and more hard-line faction, which continue to dominate the group. Joined with other rejectionist groups to form the Alliance of Palestinian Forces (APF) to oppose the Declaration of Principles signed in 1993. Broke from the APF – along with the PFLP – over ideological differences. Has made limited moves towards merging with the PFLP since the mid-1990s.
Abu Nidal organization (ANO), also known as Fatah - the Revolutionary Council (FRC), (founded 1974)
Split from PLO; part of the so-called rejectionist front, the ANO is a secular, nationalist group. Was led by Abu Nidal, widely regarded as the most ruthless of the Palestinian leaders, until his death in August 2002. According to Kameel Nasr, Arab and Israeli Terrorism, The group was infiltrated and influenced by Israeli security.
Palestine Liberation Front (PLF)
Minor Left wing faction
Founded in 196 by Ahmed Jibril and Shafiq al-Hout, re established in 1977 by Abu Abbas
Arab Liberation Front (ALF)
Minor faction tied to the Iraqi Ba'ath Party
Founded in 1969, first leader was Zeid Heidar
Currently led by Rakad Salem
Palestinian branch of the Syrian Ba'ath Party
Founded in 1966 as alternative to Fatah, organisation boycotts Palestinian National Authority and is opposed to Oslo Accords
Organisation was not active during the Second Intifada
Currently led by Farhan Abu Al-Hayja.
Palestinian Popular Struggle Front (PPSF)
Minor Socialist faction formerly led by Samir Ghawshah
Palestinian Arab Front (PAF)
Minor Arab Nationalist faction
Originally part of the ALF, split from the ALF in 1993
Supports the Palestinian right of return and creation of Palestinian state within 1967 borders
Currently led by Jameel Shihadeh.
Fatah (founded early 1960s)
Palestinian nationalist political party
Reverse acronym for "Harekat at-Tahrir al-Wataniyyeh al-Falastiniyyeh" ("Palestinian National Liberation Movement" in Arabic)
Also known as the Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine
Founded by Yasser Arafat in 1959. Took control of the PLO in 1968, with Arafat as chairman.
Currently led by Mahmoud Abbas
Groups associated with Fatah
Tanzim (founded 1995)
Means "organization" in Arabic
Loosely organized Fatah militia
Led by Marwan Barghouti until his arrest in 2002.
Force 17 (early 1970s–2007)
Elite unit of the PLO once under Yasser Arafat's direct guidance.
Acts as a versatile unit for combat and intelligence-gathering.
Dismantled in 2007 and incorporated into the Palestinian Presidential Guard.
Fatah Special Operations Group (Fatah-SOG)
Founded in the early 1970s by Col. Abdullah Abd al-Hamid Labib
Also known as the Martyrs of Tel Al Za'atar, Hawari, and Amn Araissi.
Recently inactive (as of 2004)
Ahmed Abu Reish Brigade
Extremist off-shoot of Fatah.
Was involved in July 17, 2004 kidnappings in the Gaza Strip.
Possibly linked to the Popular Resistance Committees
Led by Ahmed Abu Reish
Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade
Responsible for many suicide bombings and shootings of Israeli civilians
Responsible for executing suspected conspirators and leaders of opposition against Arafat
Funded by Fatah and the Palestinian Authority
Offshoot of this group, Fatah Hawks, has carried out guerilla attacks against Israeli military personnel in the Gaza Strip.
Black September Organization (1970–1973)
Began as a small cell of Fatah men determined to take revenge upon King Hussein and the Jordanian army for Black September in Jordan. Recruits from the PFLP, as-Sa'iqa, and other groups also joined.
Carried out Munich Massacre.
Carried out Attack on the Saudi embassy in Khartoum
Splinter groups of the PLO
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command (PFLP-GC) (founded 1968)
Splinter group from the PFLP, founded by Ahmed Jibril. Declared its focus would be military, not political. Was a member of the PLO, but left in 1974 for the same reasons as PFLP.al-Qaeda linked groups
Army of Islam (Jaysh al-Islam)
Also known as the Tawhid and Jihad Brigades and al-Qaeda in Palestine
The group are an armed Gaza clan named Doghmush who are affiliated with al-Qaeda and Abu Qatada
Jund Ansar Allah (2008–)
al-Qaeda-affiliated group in the Gaza Strip, founded in November 2008 by Abdel Latif Moussa
In August 2009, the group proclaimed the creation of an Islamic emirate in Gaza and led an armed rebellion against Hamas.
The group's leader Abdel Latif Moussa was killed during that rebellion.
Fatah al-Islam (2006–)
al-Qaeda-affiliated group involved in a conflict with the Lebanese army in 2007 over control of Palestinian refugee camps, which caused the death of nearly 500 people.
The group was established in 2006 by Shaker al-Abssi who led the group until killed by Lebanese forces in 2007.
Abu Mohamad Awad succeeded al-Abbsi as the group's leader.
Jund al-Sham (1999–2008)
Radical Islamist group set up by Palestinians and Syrians which operated in different areas of the Middle East.
The group's leader Abu Youssef Sharqieh was captured by Lebanese forces during the 2007 conflict in Palestinian refugee camps.
The group was disbanded in 2008 as its members joined Lebanese al-Qaeda affiliated group Osbat al-Ansar.
A Hamas-splinter organisation founded in 2006 by Mahmoud Taleb, a former al-Qassam Brigades commander, after he opposed Hamas joining the 2006 elections
The group is affiliated with both Jund Ansar Allah and al-Qaeda
Jahafil Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad fi Filastin (2008–)
al-Qaeda-affiliated group in the Gaza Strip, founded in November 2008 by Abu Al-Walid Al-Maqdisi