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Leila Khaled

Leila Khaled
Born 9 April 1944
Haifa, Mandatory Palestine
Organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

Leila Khaled (

  • "I made the ring from a bullet and the pin of a hand grenade" by Katharine Viner, The Guardian, January 26, 2001.
  • "The guerrilla's story", BBC, January 1, 2001.
  • Irving, Sarah. Leila Khaled: Icon of Palestinian Liberation. London/New York, Pluto Press, 2012, ISBN 978-0-7453-2951-2.
  • Khaled, Leila. My People Shall Live: The Autobiography of a Revolutionary. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1973. ISBN 0-340-17380-7.
  • MacDonald, Eileen. Shoot the Women First. London: Arrow Books, 1992, ISBN 0-09-913871-9
  • Snow, Peter, and Phillips, David. Leila's Hijack War: The True Story of 25 Days in September. London: Pan Books, 1970. ISBN 0-330-02810-3.

Further reading

  • Leila Khaled – hijacked by destiny, a Friday Times interview at
  • Interview with Aviation Security 5 September 2000 Philip Baum's edited interview with Leila Khaled
  • Leila Khaled: Hijacker – 58 minute Documentary by Lina Makboul
  • Leila Khaled: Hijacker" – Women Make Movies Documentary by Lina Makboul


  1. ^ a b MacDonald, Eileen (1991). "Leila Khaled". Shoot the Women First. New York:  
  2. ^ a b "Something rotten in Sweden - Israel Opinion, Ynetnews". 2011-03-11. Retrieved 2015-10-29. 
  3. ^ "Foreign Terrorist Organizations". Retrieved 2015-10-29. 
  4. ^ "About the listing process". Retrieved 2015-10-29. 
  5. ^ "Council Decision 2012/333/CFSP" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-10-29. 
  6. ^ "Jordan Times". Jordan Times. Retrieved 2015-10-29. 
  7. ^ a b [7]
  8. ^ a b Khaled, Leila (1973). My People Shall Live. London: Hodder & Stoughton.  
  9. ^ a b "I made the ring from a bullet and the pin of a hand grenade" at the Wayback Machine (archived June 29, 2007), The Guardian, January 26, 2001
  10. ^ [8]
  11. ^ "I made the ring from a bullet and the pin of a hand grenade". The Guardian (London). 2001-01-26. 
  12. ^  
  13. ^  
  14. ^ "News". An Phoblacht. 2015-10-01. Retrieved 2015-10-29. 
  15. ^ [9]
  16. ^ "The activistocracy | Features | Governance". Retrieved 2015-10-29. 
  17. ^ "Página inicial" (in (Portuguese)). Retrieved 2015-10-29. 
  18. ^ "PNN | Palestine News Network". 2015-10-24. Retrieved 2015-10-29. 
  19. ^ Interview by Sana Abdallah at the Wayback Machine (archived September 3, 2006), United Press International, July 21, 2003
  20. ^ Murphy, Maureen Clare (2007-04-09). "Violence or nonviolence? Two documentaries reviewed". Electronic Intifada. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  21. ^ "Hijacker". Leila Khaled. Retrieved 2015-10-29. 
  22. ^ "Palestinian Activist Leila Khaled Condemns "Terrorist" IS — Naharnet". 2015-02-06. Retrieved 2015-10-29. 
  23. ^ [10]
  24. ^ "Leila Khaled Portrait Made of 3,500 Lipsticks | Oddity Central – Collecting Oddities". Oddity Central. 2012-03-21. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  25. ^ [11]
  26. ^ "iTunes - Everything you need to be entertained.". Apple. Retrieved 2015-10-29. 
  27. ^ Commentary track (07m09s) on original DVD release (2000) of Doctor Who‍ '​s The Robots of Death
  28. ^ Tony Mitchell. "Global Noise: Rap and Hip Hop Outside the USA". p. 60. Retrieved 2015-10-29. 
  29. ^ "ライラのバラード(英訳詩朗読)/PANTA-響 - 旗旗". Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  30. ^ "(明大)中東フォーラム2012―アラブ民衆蜂起とパレスチナ解放【ライラ・ハリドさん来日】 - 旗旗". Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  31. ^ [12]


  • She was the subject of an artwork portrait made entirely out of lipsticks, "The Icon", created by artist Amer Shomali using 14 colors, and 3500 lipsticks.[24]
  • The song Like Leila Khaled Said from The Teardrop Explodes' 1981 album Wilder is a love song to Khaled. Songwriter Julian Cope said it was a love song to her "cos I thought she was so beautiful. But I know that the whole thing was like bad news."[25]
  • The second CD of Julian Cope's 2012 album Psychedelic Revolution is named "Phase of Leila Khaled". The first CD is named "'Phase of Che Guevara". The album lyrics contain several references to political demonstrations, terrorism and suicide bombers. The accompanying booklet also contains a photo of Leila Khaled.
  • The 10th song named "Leila Khaled" by the Danish Rock band Magtens Korridorer in their 11-track album Friværdi released on 26 September 2005.[26]
  • Writer Chris Boucher has said that he named the character of savage warrior Leela from Doctor Who after Leila Khaled.[27]
  • Mentioned by Fun-da-mental in "Mother India" widely distributed in the United States by Starbucks coffee in the Love India CD (2010)[28]
  • The song "Leila's Ballade" by the Japanese Rock Singer PANTA in his album Oriibu no Ki no shitade in 2007.This song's lyric was written by former Japanese Red Army member Fusako Shigenobu and her daughter Mei Shigenobu.[29] In 2012, Khaled was invited The ceremony for the 40th anniversary of Lydda struggle by Japanese far-left group in Kyoto.[30] PANTA sang it in front of Leila Khaled.[31]
Leila Khaled graffiti on the Israeli West Bank barrier near Bethlehem.
The Icon, Leila Khaled in 3500 lipsticks

In popular culture

In 2015, she denounced [23]

In 2011, Khaled went on a speaking tour in Sweden, including speeches at May Day demonstrations of the Södertörn University College and a seminar arranged by the Left Party.[2]

She was the subject of a film entitled Leila Khaled, Hijacker.[20] The documentary film Hijacker: The Life of Leila Khaled, directed by Palestinian filmmaker, Lina Makboul, premiered in November, 2005, at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.[21]

She is married to the physician Fayez Rashid Hilal, and today lives with their two sons Bader and Bashar in Amman, Jordan.[19]

Khaled is wary of the Arab-Israeli peace process. According to her, "It's not a peace process. It's a political process where the balance of forces is for the Israelis and not for us. They have all the cards to play with and the Palestinians have nothing to depend on, especially when the PLO is not united."[7] She has become involved in politics, becoming a member of the Palestinian National Council and appearing regularly at the World Social Forum.[15][16][17][18]

Khaled has said in interviews that she developed a fondness for the United Kingdom when her first visitor in jail, an immigration officer, wanted to know why she had arrived in the country without a valid visa. She also developed a relationship with the two policewomen assigned to guard her in Ealing and later corresponded with them. Khaled continued to return to the UK for speaking engagements until as late as 2002, although she was refused a visa by the British embassy in 2005 to address a meeting at the Féile an Phobail in Belfast, where she was invited as a speaker. Eventually she managed to speak to people at the Belfast Féile through a video link.[14]

Leila Khaled in Sweden

Later life

The pilot diverted the aircraft to Heathrow airport in London, where Khaled was delivered to Ealing police station. On October 1, the British government released her in exchange for hostages taken in a further hijacking.[13]

On September 6, 1970, Khaled and Patrick Argüello, a Nicaraguan-American, attempted the hijack of El Al Flight 219 from Amsterdam to New York City as part of the Dawson's Field hijackings, a series of almost simultaneous hijackings carried out by the PFLP. The attack was foiled, when Israeli skymarshals killed Argüello before eventually overpowering Khaled. Although she was carrying two hand grenades at the time, Khaled said she had received very strict instructions not to threaten passengers on the civilian flight.[9] (Argüello shot a member of the flight crew.)[12]

El Al Flight 219 (1970)

On August 29, 1969, Khaled was part of a team that hijacked TWA Flight 840 on its way from Rome to Athens, diverting the Boeing 707 to Damascus. She claims she ordered the pilot to fly over Haifa, so she could see her birthplace, which she could not visit.[9] No one was injured, but the aircraft was blown up after hostages had disembarked. According to some media sources,[1] the PFLP leadership thought that Yitzhak Rabin, then Israeli ambassador to the United States, would be on board. This was, however, denied by Khaled and others.[8] After this hijacking, and after a now famous picture of her (taken by Eddie Adams) holding an AK-47 rifle and wearing a kaffiyeh was widely published, she underwent six plastic surgery operations on her nose and chin to conceal her identity and allow her to take part in a future hijacking, and because she did not want to wear the face of an icon.[10][11]

TWA Flight 840 (1969)

Leila Khaled in Damascus after her release from the United Kingdom in 1970

The hijackings

Khaled also spent some time teaching in Kuwait and, in her autobiography, recounted crying the day she heard that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated.[8]

Khaled was born in American University of Beirut.[7] The Palestinian branch of this movement became the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine after the 1967 Six-Day War.

Early life


  • Early life 1
  • The hijackings 2
    • TWA Flight 840 (1969) 2.1
    • El Al Flight 219 (1970) 2.2
  • Later life 3
  • In popular culture 4
  • References 5
  • Sources 6
  • Further reading 7

Khaled came to public attention for her role in a 1969 hijacking and one of four simultaneous hijackings the following year as part of Black September.

[5] and the European Union.[4] Canada,[3]

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