The name applied to the Arqub area of southern Lebanon controlled by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from the late 1960s until the War in Lebanon (1982), when much of the PLO military apparatus was forced to evacuate the country. Indeed, the name is derived from Fatah, the largest PLO faction headed by Yasser Arafat. The PLO occupied the area, located in the foothills of Mount Hermon and bordered by the Hasbani River to the west and Syria to the east, when its leadership was evicted from Jordan following the September 1970 civil war. Fatahland was the staging ground for terrorist attacks on northern Israel throughout the 1970s, attacks that provoked massive Israel Defense Forces retaliations such as Operation Litani (1978) and Operation Peace for Galilee (1982). There was also a vast network of PLO-controlled schools, nurseries, hospitals, and industries — transforming Fatahland into a virtual "state within a state" in southern Lebanon.

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