A pseudonym created in the beginning of the Second Intifada (September 2000) to refer to the terror infrastructures associated with Fatah. This name was used primarily in taking responsibility for terror attacks carried out by Tanzim activists (Tanzim is the operative field wing of Fatah.) The name was intended to identify such activists with the Tanzim, while at the same time avoiding any complications in the international arena due to disapproval of the involvement of Fatah activists in terrorist activity. Many cells that carried out terror attacks added additional names to that of the “Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades” in order to identify themselves more exactly. Thus, for example: Iman Jouda Faction, the Jihad Amarin Brigades, the Army of Believers led by ‘Isam Batash, and others. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is not an institutionally-affiliated body, but is rather a group of independent terror cells, which preserve certain ties to Fatah. These ties weakened as the intifada continued, with a growing rift between the movements’ leaders and the operational activists as a result of the disintegration of the institutional frameworks of the Tanzim and their eventual paralysis. One cause of this process was the arrests and eliminations of front-line administrative officials of the Tanzim, whose activists were the most active terrorist element during the beginning of the intifada. Independent local terror cells remained active, and these were joined by new members without organizational affiliation, or even, by members of other Palestinian factions. They received support and funding from terror elements abroad, especially Hizbullah in Lebanon. The independent cells of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades not only worked in concert with terrorist elements, both Palestinian and otherwise, but they also adopted methods of action including suicide attacks, which had been used earlier only by the Islamic terror organizations. Thus the activists of the Brigades became active in carrying out mass killing attacks within Israel: some independently, and others in concert with different organizations such as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and even Hamas. During the second intifada, the Palestinian Authority under Fatah leadership made several attempts to gain control over the activists of the Brigades, many of whom were active in the Palestinian security apparatuses. These efforts to “absorb” them and thus to restrain them and remove them from the circle of terror, were partially successful. The “Fugitive Arrangement” was implemented from mid-2008, in which hundreds of activists left their terrorist activity and committed to cease all terror activity and to surrender their weapons to the authorities, in return for Israel’s refraining from taking action against them. Alongside this, the majority of Al-Aqsa Terror Brigades cells which continue their activity are funded and directed by external terrorist elements, who have no interest in ceasing terror against Israel.