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Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat gave the name Al 'Asifa, or “The Storm” to the military wing of his Fatah movement at its founding in 1957. In the early days of Al Fatah, Arafat signed communiqués and leaflets calling for “armed revolution” with the name Al 'Asifa.

Calling for an armed struggle for Palestine carried out by Palestinians themselves, Al Fatah launched its first raid into Israel in 1965, claiming responsibility under the name Al 'Asifa.

As Al Fatah emerged further from the underground and gained leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the group gradually stopped making distinctions between Al Fatah and Al 'Asifa. Some Arafat biographers have claimed that Al 'Asifa was merely the cover name that Al Fatah used to launch its first operations, and that at its beginning Al Fatah had no separate military wing.

Al 'Asifa made international headlines when Sabri al-Banna ...

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