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Yasser Arafat

Yasser ArafatAKA Mohammed Abdul-Rahman Abdul-Ra'ouf Qudwa Al-Husseini

Born: 24-Aug-1929
Birthplace: Cairo, Egypt [1]
Died: 10-Nov-2004
Location of death: Paris, France
Cause of death: Cerebral Hemorrhage
Remains: Buried, The Muqata, Ramallah, West Bank, Palestine

Gender: Male
Religion: Muslim
Race or Ethnicity: Middle Eastern
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Politician, Terrorist [2]

Nationality: Palestine
Executive summary: Palestinian leader, former terrorist

Military service: Egyptian Army

Arafat's mother died when he was an infant, and his father sent Arafat and his brothers to be raised by an uncle in Jerusalem, then part of the British Mandate of Palestine. One of his earliest memories, as Arafat said, was of British soldiers on a rampage, tearing up his uncle's house and belongings. Some speculate that Arafat's estranged father was killed in battle against the Israelis in 1948. Arafat has claimed Haj Amin al-Husseini, a 1920s proponent of Palestinian nationalism widely remembered by Arabs as heroic, as a relative through his mother's family, but there is scant evidence to support this.

Arafat became involved with Palestinian politics as a teenager in the 1940s, fighting against the idea of Israel before Israel was re-established by U.N. edict. Arafat formed terrorist group Al Fatah ("The Struggle") in 1956, while pro-Palestinian forces in Egypt, Syria, and Jordan started the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Arafat was elected Chairman of the PLO's Executive Committee in 1969, operating it as a terrorist group through the late 1980s.

In 1993 he met in secret with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in Norway, culminating in the Oslo Peace Accords. Palestine received a limited form of self-rule, and a promise that Israel would withdraw some settlements from disputed areas. Arafat, Rabin, and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres shared the Nobel Peace Prize. Arafat was elected President of the Palestinian Authority in 1996, but since that time, Israel's government has taken a hard turn to the right. The region has suffered an endless spiral of authoritarian Israeli crackdowns inspiring Palestinian suicide bombings and vice versa.

[1] Arafat claimed to have been born somewhere in Palestine's Gaza Strip, or Jerusalem, but his birth certificate states Cairo, Egypt.

[2] Black September was formed by Fatah while under Arafat's leadership, in order to provide a buffer of deniablity for terrorist acts. Black September was responsible for the 1972 attack at the Munich Olympics, indisuputably a terrorist act directly targeting civilians. In articles appearing in Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram (2007), an aide to Arafat, Marwan Kanafani, stated that Arafat himself founded Black September.

Father: Abdul Raouf al-Qudwa al-Husseini (textile merchant, d. 1948)
Mother: Zahwa Abdul Saod (d. 1933)
Brother: Fathi (d. 2-Dec-2004 stomach cancer)
Wife: Suha At-Taweel Arafat (Christian, m. Nov-1991)
Daughter: Zahwa (b. 24-Jul-1995)

    University: BS Architectural Engineering, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt (1951)

    Nobel Peace Prize 10-Dec-1994 (with Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin)
    Palestinian Liberation Organization Chairman of the Executive Committee (1969-2004)
    Declared Holy War Against Israel 12-Nov-1978
    Traveled to the USSR Jul-1980
    Declared Holy War Against Israel Sep-1982
    Traveled to the USSR for the funeral of Leonid Brezhnev (Nov-1982)
    Traveled to the USSR for the funeral of Yuri Andropov (13-Feb-1984)
    Traveled to North Korea May-1984
    Traveled to the USSR for the funeral of Konstantin Chernenko (Mar-1985)
    Declared Holy War Against Israel (10-Mar-1994), disavowed (18-May-1994)
    Plane Crash Libya (8-Apr-1992)
    Brain Surgery King Hussein Medical Center, Amman, Jordan (1-Jun-1992)
    Audience with the Pope Jun-1998
    House Arrest Ramallah, West Bank 3-Dec-2001 to 24-Feb-2002
    Coma (4-Feb-2004), approximately two days
    Hunger Strike
    Exhumed 27-Nov-2012

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