World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Khalil al-Wazir

Khalil al-Wazir
Khalil al-Wazir strategizing
Nickname(s) Abu Jihad
Born (1935-10-10)October 10, 1935
Ramla, British Mandate of Palestine
Died April 16, 1988(1988-04-16) (aged 52)
Tunis, Tunisia
Allegiance Palestine Liberation Organization
Service/branch Al-Assifa
Battles/wars Battle of Karameh
Black September in Jordan
Siege of Beirut
First Intifada
Relations Intissar al-Wazir (wife)

Khalil Ibrahim al-Wazir[note 1] (Chairman Yasser Arafat, al-Wazir had considerable influence in Fatah's military activities, eventually becoming the commander of Fatah's armed wing al-Assifa. The majority of Palestinians viewed him as a martyr who died resisting the Israeli occupation or at least sympathized with his cause,[1][2] while most Israelis and others sources considered him to be a high-profile terrorist for planning the killings of Israelis.[3][4]

Al-Wazir became a refugee when his family was expelled from Ramla during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and began leading a minor fedayeen force in the Gaza Strip. In the early 1960s he established connections for Fatah with Communist regimes and prominent third-world leaders. He opened Fatah's first bureau in Algeria. He played an important role in the 1970–71 Black September clashes in Jordan, by supplying besieged Palestinian fighters with weapons and aid. Following the PLO's defeat by the Jordanian Army, al-Wazir joined the PLO in Lebanon.

Prior to and during Palestinian territories; these eventually became the backbone of the Palestinian forces in the First Intifada. However, he did not live to command the uprising. On April 16, 1988, he was assassinated at his home in Tunis, by Israeli commandos.


  • Early life 1
  • Formation of Fatah 2
    • Syria and post-Six-Day War 2.1
  • Black September and the Lebanon War 3
  • Establishing a movement in the Palestinian territories 4
  • Assassination 5
  • Personal life 6
  • See also 7
  • Notes 8
  • References 9
  • Bibliography 10
  • External links 11

Early life

Khalil al-Wazir was born in 1935 to fedayeen to harass Israelis at military posts near the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula.[5]

In 1954 he came into contact with

  • "Encyclopedia Of The Palestinians: Biography of Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad)", Phillip Mattar.
  • "Official Abujihad Site", Published By Sidata.
  • "ABUJNA Abu Jihad Palestinian News Agency, director founder Abu Faisal Sergio Tapia", Published By Jamal.

External links



  • Morris, Benny (2004). The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge University Press.


  1. ^ Connel, Dan. Rethinking Revolution: New Strategies for Democracy & Social Justice, Red Sea Press
  2. ^ a b c d e f  
  3. ^ a b  
  4. ^ Kushner, Harvey W. (1997). The Future of Terrorism: Violence in the New Millennium. SAGE Publications. pp. 9 / 288.  
  5. ^ a b c d  
  6. ^ a b c Khalil al-Wazir Biography: Article abstract ENotes Incorporate.
  7. ^ Morris 2004, p. 425.
  8. ^ "Wazir, Khalil Ibrahim al-." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 7 March 2008
  9. ^ a b c  
  10. ^ The Fallen Prince −16 Years of the Assassination of Abu Jihad at the Wayback Machine (archived June 28, 2004) International Press Center. 2004-04-16
  11. ^ a b c d  
  12. ^ a b  
  13. ^ a b c d e Palestine Facts: 1963–1988 Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA)
  14. ^ a b Palestine Biography: Khalil al-Wazir Shashaa, Esam, Palestine History.
  15. ^ Sayigh, 1997, p.123.
  16. ^  
  17. ^ a b c "Encyclopedia of the Palestinians (Facts on File Library of World History)".   Excerpt provided by al-Wazir, Khalil
  18. ^  
  19. ^  
  20. ^ Terrorist Suicide Operation Analysis: Savoy Operation GlobalSecurity, 2005-04-27
  21. ^ "Israel's successful assassinations" (in Hebrew).  
  22. ^ Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad): The 17th Palestine National Council Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 14, No. 2, Special Issue: The Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Territories (Winter, 1985), pp. 3–12
  23. ^  
  24. ^ Sayigh, Yezid (1997). Armed Struggle and the Search for State, the Palestinian National Movement, 1949–1993. London: Oxford University Press. p. 618.  
  25. ^ Anita Vitullo, 'Uprising in Gaza,' in Zachery Lockman, Joel Beinin (eds.), Intifada: The Palestinian Uprising Against Israeli Occupation,South End Press, p.50.
  26. ^ Ackerman, Gwen (1997-07-04). "Barak Assassination of Abu Jihad".  
  27. ^ 24 years later, Israel acknowledges top-secret operation that killed Fatah terror chief
  28. ^ List of United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Israel
  29. ^ For Gazan, Her Return Breeds Hope Greenburg, Joel. The New York Times. 1994-08-04. Accessed on 2008-03-30
  30. ^ The PA Ministerial Cabinet List November 2003: Biography of PA Cabinet Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre
  31. ^ The Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Central Bank of Jordan and the Palestinian Monetary Authority Central Bank of Jordan.
  32. ^ Looters raid Arafat's home, steal his Nobel Peace Prize Khaled Abu Toameh The Jerusalem Post. 2007-06-16 Accessed on 2008-02-22. In 2012 Istrael reconnizes the killing of Abou Nidal, the assassination was executed by Moussad Commando "Kissiria" and the help of the commando unit Sayeret Matkal (AFP 01 Nov 2012)
  1. ^ Standardized Arabic transliteration: Khalīl Ibrāhīm al-Wazīr / Ḫalīl ʾIbrāhīm al-Wazīr / ḵalīl ibrāhīm al-wazīr
  2. ^ Standardized Arabic transliteration: Abū Jihād


See also

After Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, looters raided al-Wazir's home, reportedly stealing his personal belongings. Intissar al-Wazir said that the looting "occurred in broad daylight and under the watchful eye of Hamas militiamen."[32]

Al-Wazir married his cousin Intissar al-Wazir in 1962 and had five children with her. They had three sons, named Jihad, Bassem and Nidal, and two daughters, named Iman and Hanan al-Wazir.[29] Intissar and her children returned to Gaza following the Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO and in 1996 she became the first female minister in the Palestinian National Authority.[30] His son Jihad al-Wazir is currently the Governor of the Palestinian Monetary Authority.[31]

Personal life

The United States Department of State condemned his killing as an "act of political assassination",[3] and the UN Security Council approved Resolution 611 condemning "the aggression perpetrated against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Tunisia", without specifically mentioning Israel.[28]

In 2013, Israel unofficially confirmed that it was responsible for his assassination, after an interview by Israeli correspondent Ronen Bergman of Nahum Lev, the Sayeret Matkal officer who led the raid, was cleared for publication - its release had been blocked by military censors for more than a decade. In that interview, Lev gave Bergman a detailed account of the operation.[27]

In 1997, the Maariv newspaper reported on the assassination of al-Wazir. The report claimed that Ehud Barak led a seaborne command center on a navy missile boat off the shore of Tunis that oversaw al-Wazir's assassination. Up until 1 November 2012, Israel however did not take official responsibility for his killing and government spokesman Moshe Fogel and aides to Barak declined to comment on the issue. According to the report, Barak, who was then a deputy military chief, coordinated the planning by the Mossad, as well as the army's intelligence branch, the air force, navy and the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit. Mossad intelligence agents watched al-Wazir's home for months before the raid.[26] The Washington Post reported on 21 April that the Israeli cabinet approved al-Wazir's assassination on 13 April and that it was coordinated between the Mossad and the IDF.[13]

Al-Wazir was assassinated in his home in Tunis at 2 a.m. UTC on April 16, 1988 at the age of 52. He was shot at close range multiple times in the presence of his wife and son Nidal.[2] Al-Wazir was assassinated by an Israeli commando team, reportedly ferried from Israel by boat, aided ashore by Mossad intelligence operatives, and using the IDs of Lebanese fisherman who had been kidnapped to gain access to the PLO compound.[25] Israel accused al-Wazir of escalating the violence of the Intifada, which was ongoing at the time of his assassination.[2] Specifically, he was believed to be the architect of the triple bomb attack at a shopping mall. He was buried in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus on April 21;[13] Arafat led the funeral procession.[2]


The first stage of the Intifada was a response to an incident at the Erez checkpoint, where an Israeli military vehicle hit a group of Palestinian laborers, killing four of them. However, within weeks, following persistent requests by al-Wazir, the PLO attempted to direct the uprising, which lasted until 1991, or 1993, according to various authorities. Al-Wazir had been assigned by Arafat the responsibility of the Palestinian territories within the PLO command. According to author Said Aburish, he had "impressive knowledge of local conditions" in the Israeli-occupied territories, apparently knowing "every village, school, and large family in Gaza and the West Bank". He provided the uprising with financial backing and logistical support, thus becoming its "brain in exile." Al-Wazir activated every cell he had set up in the territories since the late 1970s in an effort to militarily back the stone-throwers who formed the backbone of the Palestinian revolt. He also used the opportunity to reform the PLO.[2] According to author Yezid Sayigh, al-Wazir believed that the Intifada should not have been sacrificed to Arafat solely for use as a diplomatic or political tool.[24]

The Intifada began as an uprising of Palestinian youth against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.[2] On June 7, 1986, about a year before the Intifada started, al-Wazir was deported from Amman to Baghdad, eventually moving to Tunisia days after King Hussein declared that efforts in establishing a joint strategy for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict between Jordan and the PLO were over.[13]

Dissatisfied at the decisive defeat of Palestinian forces during the 1982 Lebanon War, al-Wazir concentrated on establishing a solid Fatah base in the Palestinian territories. In 1982, he began to sponsor youth committees in the territories. These organizations would grow and initiate the First Intifada in December 1987 (the word Intifada in Arabic, literally translated as "shaking off", is generally used to describe an uprising or revolt).

Establishing a movement in the Palestinian territories

When Israel besieged Beirut in 1982, al-Wazir, disagreed with the PLO's leftist members and Salah Khalaf; he proposed that the PLO pull out of Beirut. Nevertheless, al-Wazir and his aide Abu al-Walid planned Beirut's defense and helped direct PLO forces against the IDF.[22] PLO forces were eventually defeated and then expelled from Lebanon, with most of the leadership relocating to Tunis, although al-Wazir and 264 other PLO members were received by King Hussein of Jordan.[13][23]

During his time in Lebanon, al-Wazir was responsible for coordinating high-profile operations. He allegedly planned the Savoy Operation in 1975, in which eight Fatah militants raided and took hostages in the Savoy hotel in Tel Aviv, killing eight of them, as well as three Israeli soldiers.[20] The Coastal Road massacre, in March 1978, was also planned by al-Wazir. In this attack, six Fatah members hijacked a bus and killed 35 Israeli civilians.[21]

[19] Al-Wazir did not play a major role in the

[17].Beirut Then, along with the other PLO leaders, he relocated to [18] During the

Yasser Arafat and Abu Jihad meet Gamal Abdel Nasser upon arrival in Cairo to attend first emergency Arab League summit, 1970

Black September and the Lebanon War

After the defeat of a coalition of Arab states in the 1967 Palestinian National Council (PNC) (the most seats allocated to any guerrilla group), thus strengthening al-Wazir's position. During the Battle of Karameh, in March 1968, he and Salah Khalaf held important command positions among Fatah fighters against the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), which developed his credentials as a military strategist.[16] This eventually led to him staking command of al-Assifa, holding major positions in the PNC,[6] and the Supreme Military Council of the PLO. He was also put in charge of guerrilla warfare operations in both the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel proper.[5][14]

Al-Wazir and the Fatah leadership settled in Damascus, Syria in 1965, in order take advantage of the large number of Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) members there. On May 9, 1966, he and Arafat were detained by Syrian police loyal to air marshal Hafez al-Assad after an incident where a pro-Syrian Palestinian leader, Yusuf Orabi was thrown out of the window of a three-story building and killed. Al-Wazir and Arafat were either considering uniting Fatah with Orabi's faction—the Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of Palestine—or winning Orabi's support against Arafat's rivals within the Fatah leadership. An argument occurred, eventually leading to Orabi's murder; however, al-Wazir and Arafat had already left the scene shortly before the incident. According to Aburish, Orabi and Assad were "close friends" and Assad appointed a panel to investigate what happened. The panel found both Arafat and al-Wazir guilty, but Salah Jadid, then Deputy Secretary-General of the President of Syria, pardoned them.[11]

Syria and post-Six-Day War

He settled in Algeria in 1962, after a delegation of Fatah leaders, including Arafat and Farouk Kaddoumi, were invited there by Algerian President Ahmed Ben Bella. Al-Wazir remained there, opened a Fatah office and military training camp in Algiers and was included in an Algerian-Fatah delegation to Beijing in 1964.[12] During his visit, he presented Fatah's ideas to various leaders of the People's Republic of China, including premier Zhou Enlai,[13] and thus inaugurated Fatah's good relationship with China. He also toured other East Asian countries, establishing relations with North Korea and the Viet Cong.[12] Al-Wazir supposedly "charmed Che Guevara" during Guevara's speech in Algiers.[11] With his guerrilla credentials and his contacts with arms-supplying nations, he was assigned the role of recruiting and training fighters, thus establishing Fatah's armed wing al-Assifa (the Storm).[14] While in Algiers, he recruited Abu Ali Iyad who became his deputy and one of the high-ranking commanders of al-Assifa in Syria and Jordan.[15]

Al-Wazir used his time in Kuwait to further his ties with Arafat and other fellow Palestinian exiles he had met in Egypt. He and his comrades founded [11]

Formation of Fatah

[9] in 1959.Kuwait He continued to teach after moving to [5], finding work as a schoolteacher.Saudi Arabia but he did not graduate. Al-Wazir was detained once again in 1957 for leading raids against Israel and was exiled to [10],University of Alexandria at the architectural engineering He also studied [6].Cairo In 1956, a few months after his release from prison, he received military training in [9]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.