Faysal al-Husayni

Faysal al-Husayni

Faysal al-Husayni son of ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni, grandson of Muza Kazim al-Husayni. Born 17.07.1940 in Baghdad where ‘Abd al-Qadir lived after Arab Revolt, grew up mostly in Cairo and returned to Iraq to train as a scientist and as a military strategist at Iraq Military Academy. Originally joined Arab Nationalists Movement in 1957 received commando training in Egypt in 1963. Went on to work as PLO head of popular organisation in the West Bank from 1964, and received further training as part of PLA in Aleppo, Syria. From 1967 returned to West Bank where worked with PPSF and Fatah, whilst also acting as Arab Nationalists Movement military commander in West Bank from Aug. 1967 until arrested in Oct. 1967 for arms possession (imprisoned for 1 year). On release, worked as an x-ray technician in Jerusalem (1969-1977), studied history in Beirut. Founded Jerusalem-based Arab Studies Society in 1979, whilst resident in Suwana, and joined Islamic Council in 1982, and held under house arrest 1982-1987.

Repeatedly imprisoned by Israel from Apr. 1987-Jan. 1989, but remained active in preparing statements for the intifada. Led preparatory talks for Madrid with James Baker in 1990, and was part of the Palestinian steering committee from 1991, but Israel prevented him from taking a direct role in the talks for 2 years, he became head of Palestinian delegation to Madrid talks in 1993. Headed Fatah High Command in the West Bank from 1994, and so coopted to Fatah - Central Committee, served as PLO representative to Jerusalem on the PLO - Executive Committee (since Apr. 1996), based at Orient House. Then minister without portfolio in PA and member of final status negotiating team. A Hebrew speaker, he often presented the Palestinian viewpoints to Israeli audiences, also a keen researcher of Arab heritage in Jerusalem. Died of a heart attack on 31 May. 2001, whilst acting as 1st PLO leader to visit Kuwait since the Gulf War

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