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Yasser Arafat

The neutrality of this article is disputed.

Yasser Arafat (Arabic: ياسر عرفات Yāsir `Arafāt) (August 4 or August 24, 1929November 11, 2004), born Muhammad Abd al-Rahman ar-Rauf al-Qudwah al-Husayni or Mohammed Abdel-Rawf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Hussaini and also known as Abu Ammar and Mr Palestine, was co-founder and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (since 1969) and President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) (since 1993); and a co-winner of the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize.

As a guerrilla and Fatah leader, Arafat's supporters viewed him as a freedom fighter who expressed and symbolized the national aspirations of the Palestinian people for forty years. Opponents, particularly Israelis and their supporters, considered Arafat a terrorist while hard-line proponents of Palestine liberation denounced Arafat as a Zionist collaborator for attempting to negotiate a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.



Early life

Arafat was the fifth of seven children. His father was a Palestinian textile merchant and his mother came from a prominent Palestinian family. Arafat's claim to have been born in Jerusalem on August 4, 1929 is supported by his death certificate. However, a birth certificate registered in Cairo, Egypt provides August 24, 1929 as his date of birth. According to one Arafat biography the birth certificate was filed in Cairo by his father so Arafat could attend school in Cairo. [1] [2]

Arafat was four when his mother died, and he and his father moved to Jerusalem. He lived in a house close to the Western Wall and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a holy site to Jews, Christians and Muslims. At the age of eight, his father married again and the family moved back to Cairo. The marriage did not last and when his father married again, Arafat's sister Inam was left in charge of the upbringing of her siblings.

Arafat attended the University of King Fuad I (later renamed Cairo University). He sought to better understand Judaism and Zionism by engaging in discussions with Jews and reading publications by Theodor Herzl and other Zionists. But by 1946 he had become a Palestinian nationalist and was procuring weapons in Egypt to be smuggled into Palestine in the Arab cause. [3]
. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, Arafat left the university and, along with other Palestinians, sought to enter Palestine to fight for Palestinian independence. He was disarmed and turned back by Egyptian military forces that refused to allow the poorly trained partisans to enter the war zone. Arafat felt that he had been "betrayed by these [Arab] regimes". After returning to the university, Arafat joined the Muslim Brotherhood and served as president of the Union of Palestinian Students from 1952 to 1956. By 1956, Arafat graduated with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and served as a second lieutenant in the Egyptian Army during the Suez Crisis. [4] . Later in 1956, at a conference in Prague, he donned the keffiyeh, the traditional chequered head-dress which was to become his emblem.

Fatah and the PLO

After Suez, Arafat moved to Kuwait, where he found work as a civil engineer and eventually set up his own contracting firm. Arafat had decided that the best way for Palestinians to gain control of Palestine was for them to fight and not rely on support from Arab governments.

In Kuwait in 1959, with the help of friends Yahia Ghavani and Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad) [5] , together with a group of refugees from Gaza, Arafat founded a local section of al-Fatah. According to journalist John Cooley, the name means "victory" and is also an acrostic taken from the initials, read backwards, of Harahkat al-Tahrir al Filistini (F-T-H), meaning the Palestine Liberation Movement (Cooley, 1973). The PLO dedicated itself to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and the destruction of the state of Israel.

Arafat worked hard in Kuwait to establish the groundwork for Fatah's future financial support by enlisting contributions from the many Palestinians working there, who gave generously from their high salaries in the oil industry (ibid., p.91).

Fatah's first operation was an unsuccessful attempt to blow up an Israeli water pump station in 1965.

After the Six-Day War, Arafat is said to have escaped Israel by crossing the River Jordan dressed as a woman carrying a baby.

In 1968 Fatah was the target of an Israeli Defense Force operation on the Jordanian village of Al-Karameh ("honor" in Arabic language), in which 150 relatively poorly armed Palestinians and 29 Israeli soldiers were killed. Despite the high Palestinian death toll, the battle was considered a victory for Fatah because the Israeli army ultimately withdrew. The battle was covered in detail by Time magazine, and Arafat's face appeared on the cover, bringing the wider world their first image of the man. Amid the post-war environment, the profiles of Arafat and Fatah were raised by this important turning point, as he came to be regarded as a national hero who dared confront Israel and many young Palestinians joined as the ranks and armaments of Fatah swelled. By the late 1960s, Fatah had come to dominate the PLO, and at the Palestinian National Congress in Cairo on February 3, 1969 Arafat was appointed Palestinian Liberation Organization leader, replacing Ahmad Shukeiri. Arafat became commander-in-chief of the Palestinian Revolutionary Forces two years later and, in 1973, the head of the PLO's political department.


In the 1960s tensions between Palestinians and the Jordanian government had greatly increased; heavily armed Palestinian resistance elements (fedayeen) had created a virtual "state within a state" in Jordan, eventually controlling several strategic positions in Jordan, including the oil refinery near Az Zarq. Jordan considered this a growing threat to its sovereignty and security and attempted to disarm the Palestinian militias. Open fighting erupted in June of 1970.

Other Arab governments attempted to negotiate a peaceful resolution, but continuing fedayeen actions in Jordan (such as the destruction by the PFLP, on September 12, of three international airliners hijacked and held in Dawson's Field in Zarqa) prompted the Jordanian government to take action to regain control over its territory.

On September 16, King Hussein declared martial law. On that same day, Arafat became supreme commander of the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA), the regular military force of the PLO. In the ensuing civil war, the PLO had the active support of Syria, which sent a force of around 200 tanks into Jordan to aid them. The fighting was mainly between the Jordanian army and the PLA; the US Navy dispatched the Sixth Fleet to the eastern Mediterranean and Israel deployed troops to aid Hussein, if necessary. By September 24, the Jordanian army achieved dominance and the PLA agreed to a series of ceasefires [6] . See also History of Jordan and Black September.


Following the expulsion from Jordan, Arafat relocated the PLO to Lebanon. Because of Lebanon's weak central government, the PLO was able to operate virtually as an independent state. The PLO mounted intermittent cross-border attacks against civilian targets in Israel from there.

In September 1972, Black September killed 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games. A number of sources, including Mohammed Daoud and Benny Morris, have stated that Black September was an arm of Fatah used for more militant operations. The killings were internationally condemned and Arafat publicly disassociated himself and the PLO from such attacks.

In 1973-4, Arafat closed Black September down, ordering the PLO to withdraw from acts of violence outside Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, because overseas attacks attracted too much bad publicity. The Fatah movement continued to launch attacks against Israeli civilians and the security forces within the occupied territory of the West Bank and Gaza Strip; moreover, in the late 1970s numerous leftist Palestinian organizations appeared which carried out attacks against civilian targets both within Israel and outside of it. Israel claimed that Arafat was in ultimate control over these organizations and hence had not abandoned terrorism. Arafat denied responsibility for terrorist acts committed by these groups. In the same year, Arafat became the first representative of a nongovernmental organization to address a plenary session of the UN General Assembly, and Arab heads of state recognised the PLO as "the sole legitimate spokesman of the Palestinian people". In his UN address, Arafat condemned Zionism, but said, "Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter's gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand." His speech increased international support of the Palestinian cause. The PLO was admitted to full membership in the Arab League in 1976.

The PLO played an important part in the Lebanese Civil War; some Lebanese Christians allege that Arafat and the PLO were responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Lebanese citizens.

During the Civil War, Arafat allied the PLO with Lebanese Muslim groups, however, fearing a loss of power Syria's President Assad switched sides, and sent in his army to help the right-wing Christian Phalangists. The Civil War's first phase ended for Arafat with the siege and fall of the Palestinian refugee camp of Tal al-Zaatar. Arafat himself narrowly escaped with assistance from the Saudis and Kuwaitis.

Israel, allying itself with the Lebanese Christians conducted two major offensives into Lebanon. In the first (Operation Litani in 1978), the Israel Defense Forces and South Lebanon Army occupied a narrow strip of land, described as "the Security Zone". In the second, (Operation Peace for Galilee in 1982), Israel expanded its occupation to most of South Lebanon, but eventually retreated back to the Security Zone in 1985.

The Sabra and Shatila Massacre occurred during the second Israeli offensive into Lebanon. Between 460 and 3,500 Palestinian refugees were killed by Lebanese Maronite Christian Phalangist militias . The Israeli offensive into Lebanon and the Phalangist massacre of Palestinian civilians amplified the deep bitterness and mistrust between Palestinians and the then-Minister of Defense, Ariel Sharon.

During the Israeli siege of Beirut, the U.S. and European powers brokered a deal guaranteeing safe passage for Arafat and the PLO to exile in Tunis.


Arafat won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize
Arafat won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize
In September 1982, during the Israeli offensive into Lebanon, the Americans and Europeans brokered a cease-fire deal in which Arafat and the PLO were allowed to leave Lebanon; Arafat and his leadership eventually arrived in Tunisia, which remained his center of operations up until 1993.

Arafat again narrowly survived an Israeli attack in 1985, as IDF F-15s bombed his headquarters in Tunis leaving 73 people dead; Arafat had gone out jogging that morning.

During the 1980s, Arafat received assistance from Iraq and Saudi Arabia, which allowed him to reconstruct the badly-battered PLO. This was particularly useful during the First Intifada in December, 1987. Although the Intifada was a spontaneous uprising against Israeli occupation, within weeks Arafat was attempting to direct the revolt, and Israelis believe that it was mainly because of Fatah forces in the West Bank that the civil unrest was able to continue for the duration.

On November 15, 1988, the PLO proclaimed the independent State of Palestine, a government-in-exile for the Palestinians which laid claim to the whole of Palestine as defined by the British Mandate of Palestine, rejecting the idea of partition. In a December 13, 1988 address, Arafat accepted UN Security Council Resolution 242, promised future recognition of Israel, and renounced "terrorism in all its forms, including state terrorism" [7] . Arafat's December 13 statement was encouraged by the U.S. administration, which insisted on the recognition of Israel as a necessary starting point in the Camp David peace negotiations. Arafat's statement indicated a shift from one of the PLO's primary aims — the destruction of Israel (as in the Palestinian National Covenant) — towards the establishment of two separate entities, an Israeli state within the 1949 armistice lines and a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. However, on April 2, 1989, Arafat was elected by the Central Council of the Palestine National Council (the governing body of the PLO) to be the president of the proclaimed State of Palestine, an entity which laid claim to the whole of Palestine as defined by the British Mandate of Palestine, rejecting the idea of partition.

In 1990 Arafat married Suha Tawil, a Palestinian Orthodox Christian working for the PLO in Tunis, who converted to Islam before marrying him. [8]

During the 1991 Madrid Conference, Israel conducted open negotiations with the PLO for the first time. Prior to the Gulf War of 1991, Arafat opposed the U.N. attack on Iraq, alienating many of the Arab states, and leading to the U.S. disregarding his claims of being a partner for peace.

Arafat narrowly escaped death again in 1992 as his aircraft crash-landed in the Libyan desert during a sandstorm. The pilot and several passengers were killed and Arafat received several broken bones and other injuries.

Palestinian authority

In the early 1990s Arafat engaged the Israelis in a series of secret talks and negotiations that led to the 1993 Oslo Accords calling for the implementation of Palestinian self rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over a five year period. The following year Arafat was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin. Arafat returned to Palestine as a hero to some but a traitor and collaborator to others.

In 1994, Arafat moved to the territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA) — the provisional entity created by the Oslo Accords. On July 24 1995, his wife Suha gave birth to a daughter, who was named Zahwa after his deceased mother.

On January 20, 1996, Arafat was elected president of the PA, with an overwhelming 88.2 percent majority (the only other candidate was Samiha Khalil) [9] . Independent international observers reported the elections to have been free and fair. However, because Hamas and other opposition movements chose not to participate in the presidential election, the choices were limited. The following elections scheduled for January 2002 were later postponed; the stated reason being inability to campaign due to the emergency conditions imposed by the al-Aqsa intifada and Israel Defense Force incursions and restrictions on freedom of movement in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

After 1996, Arafat's title as Palestinian Authority leader was "head" (Arabic ra'is). Israel and the U.S. interpret the title as "chairman" while Palestinians and the U.N. translate the title as "president". The mass media uses both terms.

In mid-1996, Benjamin Netanyahu was elected Prime Minister of Israel. Palestinian-Israeli relations grew even more hostile as a consequence of continued conflict. Netanyahu sought to obstruct the transition to Palestinian statehood outlined in the Israel-PLO accord. In 1998, U.S. President Bill Clinton intervened, arranging meetings with the two leaders. The resulting Wye River Memorandum of 23 October 1998 detailed the steps to be taken by the Israeli government and PA to complete the peace process.

Arafat continued negotiations with Netanyahu's successor, Ehud Barak, at the Camp David 2000 Summit. Due partly to his own politics (Barak was from the leftist Labor Party, whereas Netanyahu was from the rightist Likud Party) and partly due to immense pressure placed by American President Bill Clinton, Barak offered Arafat a Palestinian state in parts of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip with an outlying suburb of East Jerusalem as its capital. The final proposal proffered by Barak would have meant Israeli annexation of 10% of the West Bank (largely encompassing current settlement blocs) in exchange for a much smaller swath of land in the Negev desert. Many Palestinians claim that accepting the offer would have had the effect of reducing the Palestinian state to "Bantustans:" scattered pieces of territory separated by highways for Israelis, security checkpoints and Israeli settlements. In addition, under the Israeli proposal, Israel would control the Palestinian state's water resources, borders, customs, and defense and a further 10% of the West Bank under nominal Palestinian sovereignty (chiefly along the Jordanian border). Also included in the offer was a return of a limited number of refugees and compensation for the rest. In a move widely criticized abroad and even by a member of his negotiating team and Cabinet, Nabil Amr, Arafat rejected Barak's offer and refused to make a counter-offer. When the Al-Aqsa Intifada, or Second Palestinian Intifada, was launched (2000-present), the peace process completely collapsed. After the start of the Second Intifada, Arafat's wife moved to live with her mother and daughter in Paris.

Recent news and commentary

Arafat's long personal and political survival was taken by most Western commentators as a sign of his mastery of asymmetric warfare and his skill as a tactician, given the extremely dangerous nature of politics of the Middle East and the frequency of assassinations. Some commentators believe his personal survival was largely due to Israel's fear that he could become a martyr for the Palestinian cause if he was to be assassinated or even arrested by Israel. Others believe that Israel kept Arafat alive because they feared Arafat less than Hamas and the other Islamist movements gaining support over Arafat's secular organization. The complex and fragile web of relations between the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab states also contributed to Arafat's longevity as Palestinian leader.

Arafat's ability to adapt to new tactical and political situations was perhaps exemplified by the rise of the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad organizations, Islamist groups espousing rejectionist opposition to Israel and employing new tactics such as "martyrdom operations" (also known as suicide bombings). In the 1990s, these groups seemed to threaten Arafat's capacity to hold together a unified secular nationalist organization with a goal of statehood. They appeared to be out of Arafat's influence and control and were actively fighting with Arafat's Fatah group. Some allege that activities of these groups were tolerated by Arafat as a means of applying pressure on Israel (see PLO and Hamas.) Some Israeli government officials opined in 2002 that the Fatah's faction Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades began attacks on Israel to compete with Hamas. Some sources claim that frequent Israeli military strikes against the Palestinian Authority have made it difficult for Arafat's security infrastructure to effectively counter the increasing influence of groups like Hamas. Spokesmen for Hamas and Islamic Jihad have at times publicly supported Arafat, suggesting that the common goals supersede infighting between these factions.

On May 6, 2002, the Israeli government released a report, based in part on documents captured during the Israeli occupation of Arafat's Ramallah headquarters, with copies of papers signed by Arafat authorizing funding for the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades' activities.

Others point to the constraints of the political situation, and argue that Arafat could neither condemn nor constrain the tactics employed; and that any attempt to do so would endanger his rule or his life, and possibly initiate a disastrous civil war. Furthermore, ending violent resistance activities would amount to a de facto surrender to Israel, which has access to weapons that Palestinians lack. The use of suicide bombers appears to be a permanent feature of this conflict. The number and intensity of attacks rose sharply in the first months of 2002.

In March 2002, the Arab League made an offer to recognize Israel in exchange for Israeli retreat from all territories captured in the Six-Day War and statehood for Palestine and Arafat's Palestinian Authority. Supporters of this declaration saw this offer, which included recognition of Israel by the Arab states, as a historic opportunity for comprehensive peace in the region, while critics of this offer say that it would constitute a heavy blow to Israel's security, while not even guaranteeing Israel the cessation of suicide bombing attacks. Israel ignored what it deemed to be a facile offer.

Shortly afterward, attacks carried out by Palestinian militants killed more than 135 Israelis. Ariel Sharon, who had previously demanded that Arafat speak out strongly in Arabic against suicide bombings, declared that Arafat "assisted the terrorists and made himself an enemy of Israel and irrelevant to any peace negotiations". Israel then launched a major military offensive into the West Bank (see "Operation Defensive Shield".)

Persistent attempts by the Israeli government to identify another Palestinian leader to represent the Palestinian people failed; and Arafat was enjoying the support of groups that, given his own history, would normally have been quite wary of dealing with him or of supporting him. Marwan Barghouti emerged as a leader during the Al-Aqsa intifada but Israel had him arrested and sentenced to 4 life terms.

Arafat was finally allowed to leave his compound on May 3, 2002 after intensive negotiations led to a settlement[10] ; six militants wanted by Israel, which considers them terrorists, who had been holed up with Arafat in his compound, would not be turned over to Israel, but neither would they be held in custody by the Palestinian Authority. Rather, a combination of British and American security personnel would ensure that the wanted men remained imprisoned in Jericho. With that, and a promise that he would issue a call in Arabic to the Palestinians to halt attacks on Israelis, Arafat was released. He issued such a call on May 8, 2002, but, as was the case before, his public call to halt attacks was ignored.

On July 18 2004, U.S. President George W Bush dismissed Arafat as a negotiating partner: "The real problem is that there is no leadership that is able to say 'help us establish a state and we will fight terror and answer the needs of the Palestinians'". (Le Figaro) .

Illness and death

Main article: Death of Yasser Arafat

First reports of Arafat's treatment by his doctors, for what his spokesman said was 'flu' came on October 25, 2004. His condition deteriorated in the following days and he became unconscious for a short period. Following visits by other doctors, and agreement by Israel not to block his return, Arafat was taken on October 29 to the Percy training hospital of the Armies near Paris. On November 3 he lapsed into a gradually deepening coma. Arafat was pronounced dead at 02:30 UTC on November 11 at age 75. The exact cause of his illness is unknown and controversial, "with rumors ranging from cirrhosis of the liver to AIDS to poisoning." [11]

Israel refused Arafat's wish to be buried in or near East Jerusalem due to widespread security concerns. Following a state funeral in Cairo, attended by many Arab leaders, Arafat was laid to rest on November 12 within his former headquarters in Ramallah in the West Bank.

On November 11, Arafat's official functions were transferred. Pending elections, Speaker Rawhi Fattuh succeeded Arafat as President of the Palestinian Authority. Former PM Mahmoud Abbas became leader of the PLO and Foreign Minister Farouk Kaddoumi became head of Fatah. Ahmed Qurei remained as Prime Minster and took additional security responsibilities.

Relations with the Arab world

Many in Europe and the United States assume that all Arab governments supported Yasser Arafat, or assume the Arab nations have united policies and views. In contrast, Arafat had a mixed relationship at best with the leaders of other Arab nations. At various times he has come under withering criticism from Arab leaders and press. In the last few years growing disenchantment with Arafat and his peers has surfaced within the general Arab press. However, he remains by far the most popular Arab leader among the general populace.

Arab Times (Kuwait): 'Mr Arafat should quit his position because he is the head of a corrupt authority. There is no point for him to remain in politics... He has destroyed Palestine. He has led it to terrorism, death and a hopeless situation... All Arab leaders know this fact. It won't be possible for us to gain from the Middle East road map for peace if this man remains in power.'
BBC quoted a Jenin Martyrs' Brigade spokesman: 'With all due respect to President Arafat, the Palestinian Authority cannot continue being monopolised by [Arafat] and his relatives...we have our own ways to show our rejection.'
Al-Quds Al-Araby (London): 'What is happening in Gaza is a healthy phenomenon because it is a revolution against corruption and the corrupt... This is a warning not only to Mr Arafat... but to all Arab regimes which subjugate their people by turning a deaf ear to their calls for comprehensive change.'

Earlier, Muammar al-Qaddafi had deemed him a betrayer of the Palestinian cause and had given his support to Arafat's biggest Palestinian enemy, Sabri Al-Banna (Abu Nidal), whose Fatah-Revolutionary Council split from the PLO in 1974.

Arafat's support from Arab leaders tended to increase whenever he was pressured by Israel; for example, in 2003 when Israel declared it had taken the decision, in principle, to remove him from the Israeli-controlled West Bank.

Financial dealings

In August of 2002, the Israeli Military Intelligence Chief claimed that Arafat's personal wealth was USD $1.3 billion [12]
, though he provided no substantiation for this claim. The U.S. business magazine "Forbes" [13] ranked Arafat as sixth on its 2003 list "Kings, Queens and Despots" [14] , estimating his personal wealth to "at least $300 million", without indicating its source for this claim.

In 2003 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conducted an audit of the Palestinian Authority and stated that Arafat diverted $900 million in public funds to a special bank account controlled by Arafat and the PA Chief Economic Financial Advisor. The IMF did not claim that there were any improprieties and it specifically stated that most of the funds have been used to invest in Palestinian assets, both internally and abroad. [15]

In 2003 a team of American accountants — hired by Arafat's own finance ministry — began examining Arafat's finances. The team claimed that part of the Palestinian leader's wealth was in a secret portfolio worth close to $1 billion — with investments in companies like a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Ramallah, a Tunisian cell phone company and venture capital funds in the U.S. and the Cayman Islands. The head of the investigation stated that "although the money for the portfolio came from public funds like Palestinian taxes, virtually none of it was used for the Palestinian people; it was all controlled by Arafat. And none of these dealings were made public". Though Arafat has always lived modestly, Dennis Ross, former Middle East negotiator for Presidents Bush and Clinton, stated that Arafat's "walking-around money" financed a vast patronage system. According to Salam Fayyad, a former World Bank official who Arafat appointed finance minister in 2002, Arafat's commodity monopolies could accurately be seen as gouging his own people, "especially in Gaza which is poorer, which is something that is totally unacceptable and immoral." [16]

An investigation by the European Union into claims that EU funds were misused by the Palestinian Authority has found no evidence that funds were diverted to finance terrorist activities. The EU "remains convinced that deepening reform in the PA and improving its financial management and audit capacities is the best preventive strategy against the misuse of funds and corruption. The reform of the financial management of the PA is the objective of several key conditions attached to the EU financial assistance." [17]

Claims by unnamed sources in the PA Finance Ministry stated that Arafat's wife, Suha, receives a stipend of $100,000 each month from the PA budget. In an interview with the London-based newspaper Al Hayat, Mrs. Arafat accused Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of spreading rumors about money-laundering to distract media attention away from corruption allegations against himself. In October 2003, French government prosecutors opened a money-laundering probe of Suha Arafat after Tracfin alerted the prosecutors to transfers of nearly $1.27 million each with some regularity from Switzerland to Mrs. Arafat's accounts in Paris.


  • Aburish, Said K., Arafat: From Defender to Dictator, Bloomsbury Publishing, 1998. ISBN 1582340005
  • Bukay, David, Arafat, the Palestinians and Israel, Sussex Academic Press, 2004. ISBN 1845190106
  • Downing, David, Arafat (Leading Lives Series), Heinemann Library, 2002. ISBN 0431138656 children's book
  • Ferber, Elizabeth, Yasir Arafat: A Life of War and Peace, Millbrook Press, 1995. ISBN 1562945858
  • Gowers, Andrew and Tony Walker, Arafat: The Biography, Virgin Books, 2003. ISBN 1852279249
  • Gowers, Andrew and Tony Walker, Behind the Myth: Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Revolution, W.H. Allen, 1990. ISBN 1852272856
  • Hart, Alan, Arafat, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1994. ISBN 0283062207
  • Hart, Alan, Arafat: A Political Biography, Indiana University, 1989. ISBN 0253205166
  • Hart, Alan, Arafat: Terrorist or Peacemaker?, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1984. ISBN 0283990082
  • Headlam, George, Yasser Arafat, Lerner Publications, 2003. ISBN 0822550040
  • Karsh, Efraim Karsh, Arafat's War: The Man and His Battle for Israeli Conquest, Grove Press, 2003. ISBN 0802117589
  • Kiernan, Thomas, Arafat, the Man and the Myth, Norton, 1976. ISBN 0393075036
  • Mishal, Shaul, Palestine Liberation Organization Under Arafat: Between the Gun and the Olive Branch, Yale University Press, 1986. ISBN 0300037090
  • Rubin, Barry M. and Judith Colp Rubin, Yasir Arafat: A Political Biography, Oxford University Press, 2003. ISBN 0195166892
  • Rubinstein, Danny and Dan Leon The Mystery of Arafat, Steerforth Press, 1995. ISBN 1883642108
  • Swisher, Clayton E., The Truth about Camp David: The Untold Story about Arafat, Barak, Clinton, and the Collapse of the Middle East Peace Process, Nation Books, 2004. ISBN 1560256230
  • Wallach, Janet and John Wallach, Arafat: In the Eyes of the Beholder, Carol Pub Group, 1990. ISBN 9993251305
  • Williams, Colleen Madonna Flood, Yasir Arafat (Major World Leaders), Chelsea House Publications, 2002. ISBN 0791069419 children's book

See also

External links

Wikimedia Commons has multimedia related to Yasser Arafat .

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations by or about Yasser Arafat

Biographies and profiles

  • A Life in Retrospect: Yasser Arafat,8599,781566-1,00.html Time magazine retrospective
  • The Nobel e-Museum - Biography of Yasser Arafat
  • Trailer of a documentary with video clips of Arafat's speeches, mostly towards the end of the trailer
  • Recent BBC profile of Arafat
  • ICT - Yasir Arafat: Psychological Profile and Strategic Analysis
  • Interactive biography of Arafat from the Associated Press
  • Arafat the monster
    - Boston Globe Op-ed
  • Life and times of Yassir Arafat,,3-1333366,00.html , Profile: Yassir Arafat,,3-1333352,00.html from Times Online, UK
  • Think Again: Yasser Arafat from Foreign Policy Magazine
  • Someone Was Going to Kill Newsweek Interview of Mahmoud Abbas (June 21 Issue)
  • Obituary, The Guardian,2763,1348450,00.html
  • Arafats Trail Of Blood - Paul Revere Society
  • "Quintessential Arafat" (Includes statements by world leaders on Arafat's death)
  • Yassir Arafat: 1929-2004


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  • Cooley, J.K. (1973), Green March Black September, Frank Cass & Co., Ltd., London ISBN 0714629871

Last updated: 02-07-2005 08:30:36
Last updated: 03-01-2005 14:31:44