Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades: Armed Struggle as a Response to a Crisis of Legitimacy

Damien D Cheong


This article explores the link between violence and legitimacy by using the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades (AMB) as a case study. It firstly examines the reasons for the AMB’s formation in the context of the declining popularity of the Fatah movement. Second, it looks at how the AMB was able to increase its legitimacy vis-à-vis its armed struggle against Israel. Third, it explains the circumstances that led to the deterioration in the relationship between the Fatah movement and the AMB. Finally, it analyses the impact of the AMB’s armed struggle on the legitimacy of both the Fatah-PA leadership and the Fatah movement as a whole.


Fatah, al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, legitimacy, violence, outbidding

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