Yasser Arafat | أبو عمار

Life and times of Yassir Arafat (RIP)

August 4, 1929
Born in Cairo, Egypt, the fifth child of Abdel Raouf al-Qudwa al-Husseini, a Palestinian merchant. 1933: his mother, Zahwa, dies. Yassir and his infant brother, Fathi, are sent to Jerusalem to live with an uncle….

Arafat moves back to Cairo, and forms Palestinian Students’ League.

August 1956
Attends international student congress in Prague, Czechoslovakia, where he secures membership for Palestine. For first time, he wears the Palestinian headdress, or keffiyeh, that becomes his trademark. January 1, 1965: forms Fatah guerrilla movement. Two days later attempts the first of many attacks on Israel, an abortive bombing of a water canal in Galilee.

March 21, 1968
An Israeli army attack on the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) base at Karameh, Jordan, inflicts heavy losses, but is seen as victory for Mr Arafat and his group. Thousands join the PLO. February 4, 1969: takes over PLO chairmanship, transforming the group into a dynamic force that makes the Palestinian cause known worldwide.

November 13, 1974
Addresses the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York.

June 6, 1982
Israel invades Lebanon to crush the PLO, forcing Mr Arafat to flee Beirut for Tunisia in North Africa. October 1, 1985: narrowly escapes death in an Israeli air raid on the PLO headquarters in Tunis.

April 16, 1988
Khalil al-Wazir, the PLO’s military commander, also known as Abu Jihad, is assassinated in Tunis. Israel is blamed.

December 12, 1988
Accepts Israel’s right to exist, and renounces terrorism.

August 2, 1990
Iraq invades Kuwait. Arafat supports Saddam Hussein.

November 1991
Secretly marries his secretary, Suha Tawil, 28, in Tunis. Their daughter, Zahwa, is born on July 24, 1995, in Paris.

April 7, 1992
Rescued, bruised and shaken, after his plane crash lands in the Libyan desert during a sandstorm, killing the two pilots and an engineer.

September 13, 1993
Signs the Oslo peace accords with Israel on Palestinian autonomy, giving the PLO control of most of the Gaza Strip and 27 per cent of West Bank. Historic handshake with Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli Prime Minister, on the White House lawn.

July 1, 1994
Returning from exile, he triumphantly sets foot on Palestinian soil for the first time in 26 years.

December 10, 1994
Wins Nobel Peace Prize, along with Mr Rabin and Shimon Peres, the Israeli Foreign Minister.

November 4, 1995
A right wing Jew assassinates Mr Rabin at a peace rally in Tel Aviv, Israel. Five days later Mr Arafat makes his first visit to Israel, in a secret trip to offer condolences to Mr Rabin’s widow.

January 20, 1996
Elected president of the Palestinian Authority in the first Palestinian elections.

January 15, 1997
Signs an accord with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, on Israeli pullout from 80 per cent of the West Bank city of Hebron.

October 23, 1998
At a meeting in America, Israel and Palestine agree an interim land-for-peace deal on the West Bank.

July 11, 2000
Seeking a final peace deal, President Bill Clinton convenes “Camp David II” and sequesters Mr Arafat and Ehud Barak, the Israeli Prime Minister, for nine days. Afterwards, the White House declares the summit a failure.

September 28, 2000
Ariel Sharon, the leader of Israel’s opposition Likud party, visits a Jerusalem shrine holy to both Jews and Muslims, provoking clashes that escalate into a second Palestinian uprising.

December 3, 2001
After three suicide bombings, Israel destroys Arafat’s three helicopters in Gaza City, effectively confining him to the West Bank town of Ramallah.

January 18, 2002
Two Israeli tanks and armoured personnel carriers park outside his headquarters, confining him to his office complex, in retaliation after a Palestinian gunman bursts into a dinner and kills six Israelis. In three ensuing military sieges, most of the buildings in his compound are torn down except for his three-storey office.

March 27, 2002
A Palestinian suicide bomber kills 29 people at a Passover holiday meal at Park Hotel in Netanya, prompting the Israeli army to invade the West Bank.

March 29, 2002
The Israeli Cabinet declares him an “enemy”. Troops seize Ramallah, including most of his compound, further pinning him in.

April 2, 2002
Refuses Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s offer of exile, saying he would rather die than leave the West Bank.

June 24, 2002
President Bush calls on the Palestinians to replace him as leader.

April 29, 2003
The Palestinian parliament confirms his deputy, Mahmoud Abbas, as Prime Minister, after pressure from America and Israel to sideline Mr Arafat.

June 4, 2003
At the first ever major Israeli-Palestinian summit without him, America and Israel launch the “road map” peace plan, to end fighting and create a Palestinian state by 2005.

October 21, 2003
Diagnosed with gallstones.

October 27, 2004
Collapses and falls briefly unconscious.

November 11, 2004
President Arafat was pronounced dead at 3:30 am UTC on at the age of 75

Source YasserArafat.info

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