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Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades

A coalition of Palestinian West Bank militias that became increasingly violent during 2002, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades are known for committing deadly suicide bombing attacks against Israel. Unlike Hamas and other Palestinian groups that use suicide-bombing tactics, the brigades' ideology is reportedly based on Palestinian nationalism rather than Muslim fundamentalism.

The group's name refers to al-Aqsa mosque, which is located at the top of the Jerusalem holy site known as the Noble Sanctuary by Muslims and as the Temple Mount by Jews. Muslims revere the site as the place where the prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven and Jews revere it as the site of the Second Temple destroyed by the Romans. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades were formed (in the West Bank refugee camp of Balata, near Nablus) shortly after Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and a large police contingent visited the ...

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