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Tanzim (Arabic: تنظيمTanẓīm, "Organization") is a militant faction of the Palestinian Fatah movement.


The Tanzim militia, founded in 1995 by Yasser Arafat and other Fatah leaders to counter Palestinian Islamism,[1] is widely considered to be an armed offshoot of Fatah with its own leadership structure. The acknowledged head of the Tanzim is Marwan Barghouti, who is as of 2017, serving five consecutive life sentences in Israel for murder, and, according to some accounts, has a substantial following among the rejectionist camp which opposes the Interim Agreement (also called Oslo II or Taba) signed on 28 September 1995 with Israel.[2]

The Tanzim is a grass roots organization that operates at the community level. By taking a hardline position against Israel, it has helped siphon Palestinian support from the Islamist groups to the Palestinian Authority and PLO leadership.[2]

Tanzim came to prominence in the street fighting which marked the beginning of the second Palestinian Intifada. Its members tend to be younger than those of other Fatah factions, often having grown up in the post-Oslo era. Many Tanzim members have joined the al-Shaid Yasser Arafat Brigades (formerly the al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades). Tanzim has also recruited female suicide bombers, including Andaleeb Takatka, a 20-year-old Bethlehem woman who detonated an explosive belt at a Jerusalem bus stop in April 2002, killing six Israeli civilians, and injuring sixty.[3] Marwan Barghouti, widely described as heading Tanzim, explicitly condemned terror attacks within Israel, writing "While I, and the Fatah movement to which I belong, strongly oppose attacks and the targeting of civilians inside Israel, our future neighbor, I reserve the right to protect myself, to resist the Israeli occupation of my country and to fight for my freedom."[4]

On February 15, 2015 the Israeli army arrested Jamal Abu Lel, charging that he was "the head of" the Tanzim "terrorist organization," running it from the Qalandiya refugee camp while carrying an Israeli permanent resident identity card[5] due to his residing in Kfar Aqab, on the other side of the Jerusalem Airport from Qalandiya.[6] Abu Lel is accused by the Shin Bet of funding and directing terrorist and shooting attacks against Israelis.[5]

Terror and Militant attacks

Fatah Tanzim have conducted a number of attacks against Israeli civilians and military, including against women and children. Below is a partial list of terrorist attacks:[7]

Date of attack Attack description
April 19, 1998 Fatah terrorists kill an American Israeli farmer on the Ma’on farm near Hebron.
January 14, 2001 Fatah and Hamas claim responsibility for the murder of an Israeli whose body was found in agricultural hothouses in the Gaza Strip.
January 17, 2001 Three Fatah Tanzim gunmen murder a 16-year-old Israeli boy who is lured on the internet by a Palestinian woman posing as an American
January 25, 2001 Fatah Tanzim militants kill an Israeli in Atarot
February 1, 2001 Fatah Tanzim shoot and kill an Israeli driver
February 11, 2001 Fatah Tanzim shoot and kill an Israeli driver
March 26, 2001 Murder of Shalhevet Pass: A 10-month-old Israeli baby is shot by a sniper from Fatah Tanzim
May 15, 2001 Three Israeli family members are shot and killed by Fatah Tanzim militants while driving on the Alon highway
May 18, 2001 Fatah Tanzim shoot and kill an Israeli and his mother on a road north of Jerusalem
May 23, 2001 Fatah Tanzim shoot and kill an Israeli motorist outside Ariel
May 25, 2001 The burned buried body of an Israeli victim of Fatah is discovered
May 31, 2001 Fatah Tanzim terrorists shoot and kill an Israeli north of Tulkarem
June 12, 2001 Fatah Tanzim Murder of Georgios Tsibouktzakis
June 18, 2001 A Fatah assassin kills an Israeli motorist by gunfire near Tulkarem
June 20, 2001 A Fatah Tanzim terrorist kills with gunfire an Israeli who had gone to visit a Palestinian business partner in Silat a-Dahar
July 12, 2001 Four Fatah Tanzim terrorists shoot and kill an Israeli driver outside Kiryat Arba
July 13, 2001 Fatah Tanzim terrorists kill an official investigating the site of a deadly shooting the previous day
July 26, 2001 Fatah Tanzim shoot and kill an Israeli driver near Givat Ze’ev
December 12, 2001 2001 Immanuel bus attack Fatah and Hamas claim responsibility for an attack on an Israeli bus that kill 11
January 15, 2002 Fatah Tanzim terrorists shoot and kill a 45-year-old Israeli woman at a gas station near Givat Ze’ev
January 16, 2002 Fatah Tanzim terrorists shoot and kill an Arab resident of Beit Hanina, having mistaken her for a Jewish Israeli
January 27, 2002 A female Fatah terrorist kills one and wounds 150 people in a suicide bomb attack in Jerusalem
February 6, 2002 Fatah and Hamas claim responsibility for the murder of an 11-year-old daughter and her mother in Moshav Hamra
February 9, 2002 Fatah Tanzim terrorists shoot and kill an Israeli female driver and injure her son
February 27, 2002 Two Fatah groups claim responsibility for a shooting attack conducted by a Palestinian worker against his employer in Atarot
May 11, 2003 Fatah and PFLP claim responsibility for a shooting attack that kills an Israeli motorist near Ofra
April 17, 2004 Fatah and Hamas claim responsibility for a suicide attack in the Erez crossing that kills one and injures three border guards
May 2, 2004 Fatah and Islamic Jihad claim joint responsibility for an gunfire attack that kills four daughters and her mother while driving
August 12, 2004 A Fatah Tanzim terrorist kills six Israeli border guards, two Palestinian civilians, and injures 12 Palestinians by detonating a suicide bomb in Kalandiyah.
June 24, 2005 Fatah and Islamic Jihad terrorists shoot and kill two Israelis near Hebron

See also


  1. ^ "Palestinian Organizations". Arab Gateway. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  2. ^ a b   This article incorporates public domain material from the Congressional Research Service document "Palestinian Factions".
  3. ^ Citation needed
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b "Israel arrests head of Fatah-aligned terror group". The Times of Israel. The Times of Israel Ltd. 15 February 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  6. ^ Gross, Judah (15 February 2016). "Israel arrests head of Fatah armed wing". The Times of Israel. The Times of Israel Ltd. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  7. ^ Barry Rubin, Judith Colp Rubin (28 January 2015). Chronologies of Modern Terrorism. Routledge.

External links