Force 17 (Arabic: القوة 17) was a commando and special operations unit of the Palestinian Fatah movement and later of the Office of the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority. It was formed in the early 1970s by Ali Hassan Salameh (Abu Hassan).
In 1995 the unit was largely absorbed by Fatah into an official unit of the Palestinian Authority's national security apparatus in order to counterbalance the growing strength of Palestinian Islamist factions.
- September 1985: Gunmen allegedly part of Force 17 stormed a yacht moored in Larnaca, Cyprus killing three Israeli citizens. PLO authorities at the time denied involvement.
- December 1985: Force 17 claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and murder of IDF soldier Moshe Levi. His body was found burning near Mazor.
- On January 28, 2001, the IDF captured six members of Force 17, who were believed responsible for the shooting deaths of at least seven Israelis in the Ramallah area, including Binyamin Kahane and his wife Talya Kahane. Binyamin Kahane was the son of Kach leader and Rabbi Meir Kahane.
- February 2001, an Israeli helicopter fired a missile killing prominent Force 17 member Massoud Ayyad.
According to most reports Force 17 was founded in the early 1970s by Ali Hassan Salameh. Several years later in 1979 Salameh and his bodyguards were assassinated in Beirut by Israeli intelligence.
Mahmoud Awad Damra reportedly commanded Force 17. In 2006 he was sentenced by an Israeli court to 15 years in prison for his role in planning several attacks against Israel. He was released as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange.
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