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Fatah joined in Oct. 7 attacks on Israel

The group's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Hamas are apparently competing over which fights Israel more.

A terrorist from Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades fires into a kibbutz near Gaza, Oct. 7, 2023. Screenshot by Palestinian Media Watch.
A terrorist from Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades fires into a kibbutz near Gaza, Oct. 7, 2023. Screenshot by Palestinian Media Watch.

New attention is being drawn to a video Fatah terrorists posted on social media bragging that they joined in Hamas’s Oct. 7 attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border.

The video in question was posted on the Telegram channel of the Fatah Movement–Bethlehem Branch on Oct. 7, the day of the attack. It shows members of the Fatah-affiliated Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade saying that they have taken over the “temporary settlement” of Kibbutz Nahal Oz and have killed soldiers and seized military equipment.

The video was exposed by Palestinian Media Watch on Friday.

The little more than one-minute-long video features the logo of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades while distorting the faces and voices of the terrorists to hide their identities.

It opens with terrorists wearing Fatah’s yellow armbands firing Kalashnikov rifles at a kibbutz. It cuts to a terrorist boasting about plundered military equipment, then graphically shows a Fatah terrorist stamping on the head of a murdered Israeli.

The video then cuts to another terrorist saying, “Allahu Akbar and praise Allah. … From the heart of these temporary settlements, Allah willing, we had a prominent and clear role.”

Fatah and Hamas are rivals, and Fatah’s presence in Gaza has been relatively small ever since Hamas seized control of the Strip in 2007.

Itamar Marcus, founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch, said the two organizations have been competing over which fights Israel more.

“Each claims that one side fights and the other speaks about fighting,” Marcus said. Therefore, as soon as the attacks began on Oct. 7, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades had to belatedly join the fighting and post its “accomplishments.”

He stressed, “There is a connection between the Fatah movement in Bethlehem and the Brigades. This is proven through a connection between the leaders of the branch in Bethlehem and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Gaza. And the fact that the video was posted by the Fatah Bethlehem Telegram branch shows connections between the Brigade and the political side of Fatah.”

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades emerged during the Second Intifada, gaining notoriety for its involvement in terrorist attacks including suicide bombings and shooting attacks.

Marcus said the video has not been widely reported in the Western media because journalists don’t have a grasp of how Palestinians use social media.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades has been designated as a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States, the European Union, Canada, Japan and New Zealand.

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