Personalities - Alphabetical Listing



Born in Al-Jura village, Al-Majdal district (Ashqelon), in 1936; paralyzed from neck down as a result of a childhood accident; became refugee to Gaza in the 1948 War; was influenced by Muslim Brotherhood teachers in the mid-1950s and became a member in 1955; trained as a teacher in Cairo; returned to Gaza and worked as teacher, preacher and community worker (1957-64); studied at Ein Shams University in Cairo in 1964-65, but was returned to Gaza by Egyptian authorities because of his involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood; in 1966, imprisoned by the Egyptian authorities for one month for subversive activity; worked as teacher in Gaza from 1967 until his retirement in 1984; involved in the revival of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1969-1970; founder of Mujamma Al-Islam - the Islamic Charitable League in Gaza in 1973, which aimed to run health and educational programs and soon controlled all religious institutions; developed the group into Al-Majahadoun Al-Filastiniyun in 1982, which had an anti-PLO stance and was ignored if not supported by the Israeli intelligence as a counterweight to Palestinian PLO nationalists; arrested after the discovery of an arms cache in 1983, sentenced to 13 years in 1984, but released in a May 1985 prisoner exchange with Ahmad Jibril's PFLP-GC; in 1986 he set up a group to curb drug-dealers and keep tabs on opponents; creator, spiritual leader and key figure of Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement emerging in the OPT in Dec. 1987, which was not part of the PLO; drafted his own alternative to the PLO Covenant, in Aug. 1988, the ‘Hamas Charter Palestine’; arrested again in May 1989 and sentenced in Oct. 1991 to life plus 15 years for his responsibility for most Hamas activities; believes that Palestine belongs to Islam and advocated an Islamic state in all of Palestine; thus, opposed the Oslo process; released on 1 Oct. 1997 in the wake of the Khaled Masha’al affair (as concession to Jordan for the failed Mossad attack on Hamas politburo member Masha’al in the middle of Amman) and flown to Amman for medical treatment; returned to Gaza on 6 Oct. 1997, greeted by tens of thousands, stressed national unity and stated his support for the PA as the only authority representing the Palestinian people; received Rabbi Menachem Froman of the settlement of Tekoa on 14 Oct. 1997; has been placed repeatedly under house arrest by the PA, triggering each time widespread clashes; offered Israel a truce in return for complete Israeli withdrawal from the territories occupied in 1967 in July 2000; involved in Egyptian-mediated ceasefire talks with other Palestinian faction and PMs Abbas and Qrei’a during 2003-2004; assassinated on 22 March 2004 when Israel helicopters fired missiles at a car carrying him as he left a mosque near his house in Gaza City.




Born in Tantura, near Haifa, in 1929; trained as military strategist; prior or 1967, served as chief operations officer and later deputy chief-of-staff of the PLA brigade in Syria; was made PLA chief-of-staff by the PLO Exec. Committee in 1968 but resigned soon after due to Syrian opposition; then became military advisor to the PLO Exec. Committee in early 1969 and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the PLA in June 1969; chief-of-staff of all Palestinian forces from Sept. 1970 but was replaced in 1971 due to Syrian pressure; director of the PLO's Political Department from 1971-1976; independent member of the PLO Exec. Committee from 1984-1991; since 1993, has headed several security committees in talks with Israel; director of the Committee to Study Proper Implementation of the Gaza-Jericho-First Agreement; headed negotiations on Hebron's security arrangements and the safe passage from 1996; named head coordinator of the Palestinian security forces on 3 June 2002 by Pres. Arafat as part of reform measures within the PA. Appointed Minister of Interior on the the 9th of June, 2002.





SEE AL-BISHTAWI, MUSTAFA SALEM (better known as) (1943-)