The Palestinian Fedayeen (from Arabic fidā'ī, plural fidā'iylung, فدائيون) are Palestinian nationalist-oriented extremists or guerrillas. Most Palestinians consider the Fedayeen "freedom fighters," while most Israelis consider them "terrorists." Considered a symbol of the Palestinian national movement, the Palestinian Fedayeen drew inspiration from guerrilla movements in Vietnam, China, Algeria and Latin America. The Palestinian Fedayeen ideology was primarily left-wing nationalist, socialist, or communist, and their declared purpose was to overthrow Zionism and claim Palestine, calling for a "secular, democratic, non-sectarian was to be established as a nation. However, the meanings of secular, democratic and non-denominational differed greatly among the Fedanites. Among Palestinian refugees displaced or displaced from their villages as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Fedayeen launched cross-border operations into Israel in the mid-1950s from Syria, Egypt and Jordan. Early incursions were often made to obtain crops on land lost as a result of the war, or to attack Israeli military and sometimes civilian targets. The Gaza Strip, the sole territory of the entire Palestinian protectorate, a Palestinian state declared in October 1948, became the center of Palestinian fedein activity. Fedayeen attacks were aimed at the Gaza and Sinai borders with Israel, resulting in Israel launching retaliatory actions, targeting Fedayeen and often targeting citizens of the host country as well, which sparked further attacks. Fedayeen's actions were cited as one of the reasons Israel launched the 1956 Sinai operation, the 1967 war, and the 1978 and 1982 invasions of Lebanon. The Palestinian Fedayeen group was merged under the Palestinian Liberation Organization after the Arab army's defeat in the Six Day War in 1967, although each group retained its own leader and independent armed forces.

Scholarly Articles

Definitions of the term

The words "Palestinian" and "Fedayeen" have had different meanings to different peoples at different points in history. According to Sakr's Dictionary of Arabic-English, fidayi (singular of fedayeen plural) means "one who voluntarily risks his life" or "one who sacrifices himself". Tony Rea and John Wright, in their book The Arab-Israeli Conflict, adopt this more literal translation, translating the term Fedayeen as "self-victim." In his essay "Palestinian Leadership and the American Media: Shifting Images, Conflict" Consequences" (1995), R.S. Zaharna comments on the perception and use of the terms "Palestinian" and "Fedayeen" in the 1970s and states: It writes like Palestinians have become synonymous with terrorists, skyjackers, special forces and guerrillas. The term Fedayeen was often used but rarely translated. This added to the mystery of the Palestinian group. Fedayeen means "freedom fighter". Edmond Jan Osmanczyk's Encyclopedia of United Nations and International Agreements (2002) defines Fedayeen as "Palestinian resistance fighters", and Martin Gilbert's Routridge Atlas of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (2005) defines Fedayeen defined as a “Palestinian terrorist group”. Robert McNamara refers to the Fedayeen simply as "guerrillas" in Zeev Schiff and Rafael Rothstein's book Fedayeen: Guerrillas Against Israel (1972). Fedayeen can also refer to extremist or guerrilla groups that are not Palestinian. (For more information, see Fedain.) Beverly Milton-Edwards describes the Palestinian Fedayeen as "modern revolutionaries fighting for national liberation rather than for religious salvation", distinguishing them from mujahads (i.e. "jihadists"). Fallen soldiers of both the Mujahideen and the Fedayeen are called shahids (i.e., "martyrs") by the Palestinians, yet Milton believes that calling the Fedayeen "left-wing combatants" is political and religious blasphemy. claim.

= 1948 to 1956 =

= Suez Crisis =

On October 29, 1956, the first day of Israel's invasion of the Sinai Peninsula, Israeli forces attacked the "Fedayeen Forces" in the towns of Ras al-Naqb and Kuntira. Two days later, the Fedayeen destroyed a water pipe at Kibbutz Maayan along the Lebanese border and began a mining operation in the area that lasted through November. In the first week of November, similar attacks occurred along the Syrian-Jordanian border, along the Jerusalem Corridor and in the Wadi Alah region, with both armed forces suspected as saboteurs. On November 9, four Israeli soldiers were ambushed and wounded by Fedayeen in a passenger car near the city of Ramla. During the Sinai invasion, Israeli forces killed 50 defenseless Fedayeen in Ras Sudar trucks. (Reservist Lieutenant Colonel Saul Zib told Marib in 1995 that he was haunted by the killing.) After Israel took control of the Gaza Strip, dozens of Fedayeen were killed, mostly in two separate incidents. was executed immediately. Sixty-six people were killed during the selection operations in the area. Meanwhile, US diplomats estimated that "about 30" of the 500 Fedayeen captured by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) died.

= 1956 to 1967 =

Between the 1956 and 1967 wars, Israeli civilian and military casualties inflicted by regular and irregular forces (including Palestinian Fedayeen forces) on all Arab fronts averaged 1 per month, an estimated A total of 132 people died. In the 1960s, a number of independent Palestinian Fedayeen groups emerged calling for "the liberation of all Palestine by Palestinian armed struggle". The first incursion by these Fedayeen was by special forces into Israel on January 1, 1965, to plant explosives that would destroy part of a pipeline designed to divert water from the Jordan River into Israel. may have been an invasion of In 1966, in response to a Fatah raid on Israel's eastern border, Israeli forces attacked the Jordan-controlled West Bank village of Sam, escalating tensions and igniting the Six Day War.

= 1967 to 1987 =

The Fedayeen Group began joining the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1968. Although the PLO was the "unifying framework" in which these groups operated, each Fedayeen organization had its own leader and army, and retained its autonomy of action. Of the dozen Fedayeen groups under the PLO framework, the most important are the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) led by George Habash, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) led by Nayef Hawatmeh, and the PFLP. Met. - General Command led by Ahmed Jibril, Az Sayqa (aligned with Syria), and the Arab Liberation Front (backed by Iraq). The most severe acts of vandalism against Fedayeen occurred on July 4, 1969. Three pounds of explosives were placed under the manifolds of eight pipelines that carry oil from the Haifa refinery to the docks. As a result of the explosion, three pipelines were temporarily shut down and the fire destroyed more than 1,500 tons of refined oil.

== West Bank ==

In the late 1960s, attempts were made to organize Fedayeen resistance cells among West Bank refugees. Fedayeen was easy to locate due to the stony, bare terrain of the West Bank mountains. And Israel's collective punishment of the fighters' families resulted in Fedayeen's complete expulsion from the West Bank within months. Yasser Arafat reportedly escaped arrest by jumping out a window in Ramallah when Israeli police entered his front door. With no bases in the West Bank, hampering operations in Syria and Egypt, the Fedayeen concentrated in Jordan.

== Jordan ==

Following the influx of a second wave of Palestinian refugees from the 1967 war, the Fedayeen base in Jordan began to proliferate, leading to an increase in Fedayeen attacks on Israel. Fedayeen fighters conducted ineffective bazooka bombardment against Israeli targets across the Jordan River, while Israeli "vigorous and indiscriminate" retaliation destroyed Jordanian villages, farms and facilities, killing 100,000 people. fled east from the Jordan Valley. The increasing ferocity of Israeli retaliation directed against Jordanians (not Palestinians) for the Fedayeen raids on Israel has become a cause for concern for Jordanian officials. One such Israeli retaliation took place in the Jordanian town of Karame, home to the headquarters of the emerging Fedayeen. A group called Fatah led by Yasser Arafat. Alerted to Israel's massive military preparations, many Fedayeen groups, including the PFLP and DFLP, withdrew their troops from the town. A pro-Fatah Jordanian division commander advised him to withdraw his men and headquarters to a nearby hill, but President Arafat said, "I want to convince the world that there are those in the Arab world who will neither withdraw nor flee." ' and refused this. Fatah remained and Jordanian forces agreed to assist him in the event of heavy fighting. On the night of March 21, 1968, Israel attacked Karameh with heavy weapons, armored vehicles and fighter jets. Fatah stood firm and took the Israeli army by surprise. As the Israeli forces intensified the expedition, the Jordanian army also became involved, and the Israeli forces withdrew to avoid all-out war. By the end of the fighting, 100 Fatah militants had been killed, 100 wounded, and 120-150 taken prisoner. Jordanian casualties were 61 soldiers and civilians and 108 wounded. Israeli casualties were 28 killed and 69 wounded. 13 Jordanian tanks were destroyed in this battle. Meanwhile, Israeli forces were shot down by Jordanian forces, including four tanks, three tracks, two armored vehicles, and one plane. The Battle of Karame made the Fedayeen famous and they were considered "the brave heroes of the Arab world". Despite the higher Arab death toll, Fatah considered the battle a victory due to the swift withdrawal of Israeli forces. In the wake of these developments, Rashid Khalidi called the Battle of Karameh the "founding myth" of the Palestinian Special Forces movement, in which "failure against overwhelming odds turned into a heroic triumph." said. Funding and recruitment increased as many young Arabs joined the organization, including thousands of non-Palestinians. Jordan's ruling Hashemite authorities have become increasingly wary of the PLO's efforts to bypass the Jordanian authorities and establish a "state within a state" to provide military training and social welfare services to the Palestinian people. Palestinian criticism of the poor performance of the Arab Corps (the king's army) was an insult to both the king and the regime. Furthermore, many Palestinian radical left Fedayeen groups, such as the PFLP, have called for the overthrow of Arab monarchies, including Jordan's Hashemite regime, "claiming this to be a vital first step towards the liberation of Palestine." ”. In the first week of September 1970, PFLP forces hijacked three planes (British, Swiss and German) at Dawson Airfield, Jordan. Demands for the release of PFLP militants held in European prisons were met to ensure the release of the passengers. After everyone disembarked, Fedayeen destroyed the plane on the tarmac.

== Black September in Jordan ==

On September 16, 1970, King Hussein ordered his troops to attack and eliminate Jordan's Fedayeen network. Syrian forces intervened to assist Fedayeen but were driven back by Jordanian armored forces and Israeli overflights. Thousands of Palestinians died in the first battle (which became known as Black September), and thousands more in the subsequent crackdown. By the summer of 1971, Jordan's Palestinian Fedayeen network was effectively disbanded, with most of the fighters based in southern Lebanon instead.

== Gaza Strip ==

The rise of the Fedayeen movement in the Gaza Strip was triggered by the Israeli occupation of the region during the 1967 war. Fedayeen, a Palestinian from Gaza, "waged a mini-war" against Israel for three years until the movement was crushed by Israeli forces in 1971 under the orders of then-Defense Minister Ariel Sharon. The Palestinians of Gaza were proud of their role in founding Fedayeen. A movement there when no such movement existed in the West Bank at the time. The fighters were housed in refugee camps or hid in the citrus fields of wealthy Gaza landowners and attacked Israeli soldiers from these locations. The most active Fedayeen group in Gaza was the PFLP, an offshoot of the Arab Nationalist Movement (ANM). )—they were instantly popular among the already secularized socialists who came of age during the rule of Gaza by Egyptian President Nasser. The emergence of armed struggle as a liberation strategy for the Gaza Strip reflected a larger ideological shift within the Palestinian national movement towards political violence. The ideology of armed struggle was at this point broad and secular in content. The Palestinians were asked to take up arms not as part of a jihad against the infidels, but to liberate the oppressed from the Zionist colonial regime. The vocabulary of Liberation was decidedly secular. The "radical left" dominated the political arena, and the overarching slogan at the time was "First we will liberate Palestine, then the rest of the Arab world." An estimated 15,000 people were killed during Israel's 1971 military campaign to contain or control Fedayeen. Suspected fighters were rounded up and transferred to camps in Abu Zuneymah and Abu Rudeith on the Sinai Peninsula. Dozens of homes were destroyed by Israeli forces, leaving hundreds homeless. According to Milton Edwards, "this security policy succeeded in instilling fear in the camps and wiped out the Fedayeen base." The destruction of secular infrastructure paved the way for the rise of the Islamic movement, which began organizing in 1969-1970, led by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.

== Lebanon ==

On November 3, 1969, the Lebanese government signed the Cairo Accord, which granted the Palestinians the right to attack Israel from southern Lebanon in conjunction with the Lebanese army. After the expulsion of the Palestinian Fedayeen from Jordan and a series of Israeli raids on Lebanon, the Lebanese government granted the PLO the right to defend Palestinian refugee camps there and to possess heavy weapons. After the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War in 1975, the PLO once again acted as a 'state within a state'. On March 11, 1978, 12 Fedayeen led by Dalal Mugrabi invaded Israel by sea and hijacked a bus along the coastal highway, killing 38 civilians in the ensuing shootout with police. killed people. During the Israeli-Lebanese conflict of 1978, Israel invaded southern Lebanon and occupied an area 20 kilometers (12 miles) wide in the same region to stop a Palestinian attack on Israel, but the Fedayin to northern Israel Rocket attacks continued. Supported by Israeli armored artillery and infantry units. On June 6, 1982, air and naval forces re-entered Lebanon under the codename Operation Peace for Galilee, where they met "fierce resistance" from the Palestinian Fedayeen. The 1982 Lebanon War, with Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon and the siege and constant shelling of the capital Beirut, ultimately forced the Palestinian Fedayeen to accept internationally brokered agreements, leaving Lebanon for other parts of the Arab world. decided to emigrate. At this time, the PLO headquarters were moved from Lebanon to Tunis. The new PLO headquarters were destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in 1985. At a press conference at the United Nations on September 2, 1982, Yasser Arafat said, "Jesus Christ was the first Palestinian Fedayeen to carry a sword along the path where Palestinians carry their crosses today." Stated.

= First Intifada =

On 25 November 1987, the PFLP-GC launched an offensive, in which two Fedayeen flew hang-gliders from an undisclosed Syrian-held area of ​​southern Lebanon into northern Israel. One of them was killed at the border, another landed in an army camp, first killing a soldier in a passing vehicle, then killing five more inside the camp before being shot dead. Judging by Arab world commentary, Thomas Friedman argued, the raid had the same impact on the Palestinian people as the Iran-Iraq war seemed to have almost completely overshadowed the Palestinian national movement. It is seen as a boost to the movement, he said. Palestinians in Gaza began chanting "6 to 1" and taunting Israeli soldiers, and the raid was noted as the catalyst for the first Intifada. During the first Intifada, armed violence on the part of the Palestinians was minimized in favor of the masses. Demonstrations or acts of civil disobedience. However, the question of the role of armed struggle has not completely disappeared. Palestinian groups affiliated with the PLO and based outside of historic Palestine, such as Fatah and rebels within the PFLP-GC, used the lack of Operation Fedayeen as a major weapon in their criticism of the PLO leadership at the time. The PFLP and DFLP made several unsuccessful attempts at Operation Fedayeen inside Israel. According to Jamal Raj Nassar and Roger Heacock, [...] At least some of the Palestinian Left, in measuring their involvement in the revolution by the number of operations Fedayeen, rather than focusing on the position of power they undoubtedly held within the occupied territories, All sacrificed to the golden calf of armed struggle. And they became great assets in the struggle over a particular political line. During the first Intifada, and especially after the signing of the Oslo Accords, Fedayeen was steadily eclipsed initially by emerging forces of the Mujahideen, most prominently represented by Hamas. The Fedayeen lost their status as a political force and the secular nationalist movement, which represented the first generation of the Palestinian resistance movement, became instead a symbolic and cultural force that some say failed to do its duty. was regarded as a person of

= Second Intifada and current situation =

The Palestinian Fedayeen had been dormant for many years, but resumed their activities during the Second Intifada. In August 2001, 10 Palestinian special forces from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) breached an electric fence at a fortified army base in Bedrola, killing an Israeli major and two soldiers and injuring seven others. One of the special forces was killed in a shootout. Another was pursued for hours and later shot in the head, but the rest escaped. In Gaza, the attack generated "elation and nostalgia for the Palestinian assault on Fedayin in the early years of the Jewish state." In response, Israel bombed the police headquarters in Gaza City, an intelligence facility in the central Gaza town of Deli Albala, and a police building in the West Bank town of Salfit. Gaza's DFLP chief Salah Zeidan said of the operation: “This is the classic model, soldier to soldier, gun to gun, face to face […] our technical expertise has improved over the last few days. "People will understand that, with courage, there is a better way to resist occupation than suicide bombings within the Jewish state." Today, Fedayeen is a Palestinian National Authority ( PNA) is politically overshadowed. Militarily by Islamist groups, especially Hamas. Already strained relations between Hamas and the PNA fell apart completely when the former took over the Gaza Strip in 2007. The Fedayeen are left-wing and secular, but during the Israeli-Gaza conflict of 2008-2009, the Fedayeen group, many factions were formerly sworn enemies. Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, militants loyal to the Fatah-controlled PNA, have linked with rivals Hamas and Islamic Jihad to fire rockets into southern Israel, weakening Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. According to researcher Maha Azzam, this symbolizes the fall of Fatah and the split between the grassroots organization and the current leadership. The PFLP and the People's Resistance Committee also took part in the fighting. A Damascus-based coalition comprising representatives of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PFLP, Az Sayka, and the Palestinian People's Struggle was formed to counter the PNA and strengthen Palestinian Fedayeen cooperation. The Front, the Revolutionary Communist Party, and other anti-PNA factions within the PLO, such as Fatah al-Intifada, were established during the 2009 Gaza War.

Philosophical grounding and objectives

The Fedayeen objectives were articulated in the statements and literature they produced, which were consistent with references to the objective of destroying Zionism. In 1970, Fedayeen's stated aim was to establish Palestine as a "secular, democratic, non-denominational state". Bard O'Neil said that for some Fedayeen groups the secular aspect of the struggle was "just a slogan to soften world opinion", while others sought to "give meaningful content to the concept". wrote. Prior to 1974, Feda'een's position was that Jews who renounced Zionism could remain in the created Palestinian state. After 1974 the issue became less clear, with some proposing that only Jews who were in Palestine before the "Zionist invasion" or in 1947 or 1917 could remain in Palestine. Bird O'Neil also writes that Fedayeen: Although they sought to study and borrow from all available revolutionary models, their publications and statements show a particular affinity with the experiences of Cuba, Algeria, Vietnam and China.

= Infighting and breakaway movements =

In the post-Six Day War era, individual Fedayin movements fought over issues concerning Israel's recognition, alliances with various Arab states, and ideology. A faction led by Nayef Hawatmeh and Yasser Abed Rabo split from the PFLP in 1974 because it preferred a Maoist and non-Nasseritist approach. This new movement became known as the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). In 1974, the PNC approved the Ten Point Plan (prepared by Arafat and his advisers) and proposed a compromise with Israel. The platform called for the establishment of a Palestinian state power over all areas of the Liberated Palestinian Territories, referring to the territories occupied by Arab forces in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War (now the West Bank and Gaza). . The plan, perceived by some Palestinians as a prelude to the United States and a concession to Israel, fueled internal dissatisfaction and led several PLOs, including the PFLP, DFLP, AS Saykha, the Arab Liberation Front, and the Liberation of Palestine. urged faction movements. During the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), the PLO aligned with the communist and Nasserist Lebanese National Movement. They initially had the support of Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, but when he defected in the conflict, they were replaced by smaller pro-Syrian factions within Palestinian Fedayeen camp, namely Az Sayqa and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. gained support. The command fought against Arafat's Fatah-led PLO. After a partial reconciliation between Arafat and al-Assad in 1988, Arafat supporters in refugee camps in Burj al-Barajine and Shatila joined the pro-Syria Fatah, formed by Saeed al-Mulagah in 1983. They tried to force the secession movement Fatah al-Intifada out. Instead, al-Mulahga forces overran Arafat supporters on both sides after heavy fighting in which Fatah al-Intifada was backed by Lebanese Amal militias. After the 1993 Oslo Accords, the PLO and other Palestinian armed movements became increasingly divided. PFLP, DFLP, Hamas and 20 other factions, as well as Palestinian intellectuals, extra-Palestinian refugees and local leaders of the territory. The rejectionist Fedayeen formed a united front with the Islamists, culminating in the creation of the Palestinian Military Alliance. The new alliance failed to function as a cohesive body, but revealed sharp divisions within the PLO as the Fedayeen found themselves aligned with Palestinian Islamists for the first time. Diplomacy chief Farooq Kadumi's opposition to talks with Israel has increased the disintegration within the PLO body Fatah. Poet Mahmoud Darwish and refugee leader Shafiq Alhaut, members of the PLO Executive Committee, have resigned from their posts in response to the PLO accepting Oslo's terms.

= Tactics =

Until 1968, Fedayeen tactics consisted primarily of hit-and-run attacks against Israeli military targets. The commitment to "armed struggle" is incorporated into the PLO Charter in articles stating that "armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine" and that "commando actions constitute the core of the Palestinian People's Liberation War". was In 1967 Fedayeen carried out several sabotage operations against Israeli infrastructure. This common practice included the consistent mining of water and irrigation pipelines along the Jordan River and its tributaries, the border between Lebanon and Israel, and various parts of Galilee. Other acts of sabotage included blowing up bridges, mining roads, ambushing cars, and vandalizing (and sometimes vandalizing) houses. After the Six Day War, these incidents declined steadily, with the exception of the 1969 bombing of an oil pipeline complex supplying the Haifa refinery. The IDF's counter-insurgency tactics have included the destruction of homes, curfews, deportations and other forms of collective punishment on a regular basis since 1967, while the Palestinian Fedayeen built domestic strongholds to wage a "people's war." effectively impeded the ability to The tendency of many captured guerrillas to cooperate with Israeli authorities and provide information leading to the destruction of large numbers of "terrorist cells" also contributed to the inability to establish bases in Israeli-occupied territories. The Fedayeen were forced to establish external bases, and as a result, friction with the host nations led to conflicts (such as Black September), straying from their original purpose of "blooding Israel."

== Airplane hijackings ==

== Affiliations with other guerrilla groups ==

Some Fedayeen groups maintained contact with many other guerrilla groups around the world. The IRA, for example, has long maintained ties with the Palestinian people, and volunteers were trained at the Fedayeen base in Lebanon. In 1977, Fedayeen, a Palestinian from Fatah, helped arrange a mass shipment of arms to the Provo Islands via Cyprus, but was blocked by Belgian authorities. The PFLP and DFLP established links with revolutionary groups such as the Red Army Faction. West Germany's Order of Action, Italy's Red Brigades, the Japanese Red Army, Uruguay's Tupamaros. These groups, especially the Japanese Red Army, participated in many of the PFLP's operations, including the hijacking and the Rod Airport massacre. The Red Army faction joined the PFLP in the hijacking of two planes landing at Entebbe airport.

See also

Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Israeli war victims The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process Egyptian occupation of Gaza Palestinian victims of war Palestinian immigrants (Israel) Palestinian political violence Retaliation (Israel)

Further reading

Orna Almog (2003). Great Britain, Israel, USA, 1955-1958: Beyond Suez. Routledge. ISBN 0-7146-5246-6. Michael Curtis (1971). People and Politics of the Middle East. Transaction issuer. ISBN 0-87855-500-5.

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Definition & Meaning



  • a descendant of the Arabs who inhabited Palestine


  • of or relating to the area of Palestine and its inhabitants



  • (plural


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