Yasser Arafat, (Arabic: ياسر عرفات yāsir ^arafāt) (Cairo, Egypt 1929 - Paris, France 2004), born Mohammed Al-Husseini al-Qudwa Abdel-Rahman Abdel-Raouf Arafat, was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization and President of the Palestinian National Authority.

Arafat was educated in Cairo but during his youth he spent his time in Jerusalem and later in Kuwait.

Terrorist career

After fighting with the armed Arab forces in 1948 during the Arab-Israeli war, Arafat entered Faud University and received an engineering degree in 1956. Arafat also served in the Egyptian army during the Suez campaign in 1956. In 1958 he and some friends founded Al-Fatah, an underground network of secret cells. Arafat also served as chairman of the Palestine Student Federation. In 1964 Arafat became a full-time revolutionary, organising Al-Fatah raids into Israel. He traveled from country to country to promote the Palestinian cause. At the 1960's he was an organizer of terrorist attacks into Israel and made his headquarters in Lebanon after that until the Israeli invasion in the early 1980's. During the 80s, Arafat received assistance from Iraq and Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabia cut off all assistance in 1991 after Arafat openly supported Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War). In 1989, Arafat was elected president of Palestinian Liberation Organization by the Central Council of the Palestine National Council and on July 1st, 1994 returned to the Gaza Strip for the first time after a 27 year exile.

"... the intifada (shaking) protest movement strengthened Arafat by directing world attention to the difficult plight of the Palestinians. In 1988 came a change of policy. In a speech at a special United Nations session held in Geneva, Switzerland, Arafat declared that the "Palestinian Liberation Organization" renounced terrorism and supported "the right of all parties concerned in the Middle East conflict to live in peace and security, including the state of Palestine, Israel and other neighbours". [1]

Honored by Nobel Committee

In 1994 the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin, "for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East," following negotiations leading to the Oslo Accords of 1993.[2] In 2001, Arafat paid $2,000 to the family of a Palestinian homicide bomber who attacked the beach front Dolphinarium dance club in Tel Aviv, killing 21 people, mostly teenagers. More than 120 people were injured. Arafat sent the terrorist’s father a letter praising his son’s murderous act.[3]

From December 2001 to April 2002 he was under house arrest in Ramallah. This gave Arafat the status of a living martyr for the Palestinian cause. In 2004, Arafat died at the French Percy Military Hospital in Clamart, near Paris. The cause of his illness is still unknown.


  • “I come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter’s gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.” United Nations General Assembly, 1974.
  • In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate. But if the enemy incline toward peace, do thou also incline toward peace, and trust in God. Arafat Nobel Prize Speech [4]

See also

External links


  1. Yasser Arafat, The Nobel Peace Prize 1994
  2. The Nobel Peace Prize 1994
  3. [ Documents show Arafat paid for disco bombing Sent thank-you note to family of terrorist who killed 21, injured 120], September 15, 2004.
  4. Nobel Prize Speech My Israel source

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