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Fatah

(Arabic for "victory" and a reverse acronym for "Harakat al-Tahrir al-Watani al-Filistani" or "Palestinian National Liberation Movement"). The largest Palestinian political party, Fatah currently governs the West Bank and is the dominant faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Yasser Arafat, among other Palestinian leaders, founded Fatah in 1959 as a secular Palestinian national liberation movement. It began paramilitary operations in 1964, and assumed the leadership of the PLO in 1968. During the Oslo Process, it became identified as the chief proponent of a negotiated, two-state solution. In 2006, the rival Hamas party’s victory in the Palestinian legislative elections resulted in the end of Fatah’s political dominance. The events that followed resulted in the Hamas-Fatah conflict, which led to Fatah assuming political leadership of the West Bank and Hamas in control of Gaza Strip. Fatah signed a unity agreement with Hamas (Fatah-Hamas unity agreements) in May 2011, but implementation stalled. A new agreement to establish a unity government was signed in April 2014. See Fatah’s website.

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