Arafat and the beginning of Fatah
The leader president was born in Jerusalem on August 4, 1929 as Muhammad Yasser Abdul Ra’ouf Daoud Suleiman Arafat al-Qodwa al-Husseini. At the age of seven he witnessed some of the events of the Palestinian Revolution of 1936 which affected the leader’s life. In 1937, Yasser and his cousin Raji Abu Al-Saud moved to Cairo on a train travel to live with his elder sister Inam, and his brother Fathy at Sakakeni st, Cairo. He was educated in Cairo and participated as a reservist officer in the Egyptian army. He was an active member at a young age through his activities in the Palestine Student Union, which he later became its president. During the 1950s he had the idea of establishing a movement to liberate Palestine with Palestinian nationalists. Later, in 1957 FATAH movement was born as a Palestinian Liberation Movement in Kuwait.
In Jan 1st, 1965 The Military Section of Fatah which called the storm “Al Asifa” was formed. Arafat’s formative years was inundated with personal experiences of war and conflict such as British Mandate in Jeruselm and World War II. Arafat joined Faculty of Engineering at Fouad I University in Cairo, the prominent stage of his life begins, meanwhile his political and military capabilities emerged which formed the characteristics of the leader, The establishment of ” Association of Palestine Students” was in 1951. Arafat was elected as its president in 1953 and reelected in 1954 and 1955. In 1956 the association joined International Union of Students and participated at the first conference in Prague, Czechoslovakia with a delegation included Yasser and Abu Eyad. At the end of 1969, Time magazine published his picture on the cover and awarded him the title of Man of the Year.
Arafat and the PLO
With the rise and the influenc of Yasser Arafat in parallel with the rising popularity and status of Fatah Specially after -Al Asefa- armed struggle. He became a national leader and a hero in the victory of peoples and supporters of Third World problems, left and revolutionaries in Europe and the rest of the world. Even his Kuffiya was recognized by the whole world. In the Fifth Palestinian National Council which was held in Cairo at the Arab League headquarter in February 1969 Arafat was nominated as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO.
Due to his efforts, In 1994, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Yasser Arafat for his efforts to create peace in the Middle East.
Al Karameh Battle:
Yasser Arafat had appropriate conditions for the development of the revolution and struggle against the occupation, where there were large numbers of Palestinian refugees in Jordan. President Yasser Arafat trained many young Palestinians for the resistance operations against the Israeli occupation. Arafat insisted to be in battle with Fatah fighters and leaders. The battle of al-Karameh took place on 21 March 1968, in Jordanian village of al-Karameh where Arafat is based and where Fatah leaders gathered, between Israeli forces, a combination of Palestinian fighters (fedayeen) and forces from the Jordanian army. At dawn on March 21, the Israelis invaded. But quickly ran into trouble.. Israel suffered relatively heavy losses in the process and unexpectedly high number of casualties: 100-200 killed, 500 wounded, 27 tanks were destroyed, Arafat became popular all over the world, and the news of vastly outnumbered fedayeen standing and fighting instead of retreating led to a massive upsurge in publicity and support for the Palestinian resistance movement, and Fatah in particular, the battle thus became a key moment in the development of the Palestinian resistance movement.
Yasser Arafat’s speeches at the United Nations:
November 13th 1974, marked a change for Arafat and the PLO when Arafat delivered a speech at the United Nations General Assembly. He said that those who call us terrorists wish to prevent world public opinion from discovering the truth about us and from seeing the justice on our faces. They seek to bide the terrorism and tyranny of their acts, and our own posture of self-defense.
In his most memorable lines, Arafat said: Today I come bearing an olive branch in one hand, and the freedom fighter’s gun in the other. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.
I repeat, do not let the olive branch fall from my hand. On December 13 th 1988 Arafat delivered a speech in a press conference in Geneva, where he clarified the right of all parties concerned in the Middle East conflict to exist in peace and security, including the State of Palestine, Israel, and their neighbors. In his speech he said “Let me highlight my views before you. Our desire for peace is a strategy and not an interim tactic. We are bent to peace come what may. Our statehood provides salvation to the Palestinians and peace to both Palestinians and Israelis. Self-determination means survival for the Palestinians. And our survival does not destroy the survival of the Israelis as their rulers claim.”
First president of the Palestinian Authority:
In January 1996, elections were held for the Council and the Presidency of the Palestinian Authority, which was a real test of Palestinian democracy and gave the new authority an electoral legitimacy.
On June 6, 2002, the IDF executed a siege after attacking the headquarters with tanks, bulldozers and armored vehicles. Arafat’s office building was partly destroyed, besides other parts of the compound. ON OCTOBER 29, 2004, the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, suddenly became violently ill. The vomiting and stomach cramps were so relentless that Arafat was shortly later transferred from his home in the West Bank city of Ramallah shortly later transferred from his home in the West Bank city of Ramallah – where he had been kept under a kind of house arrest by Israel – to a military hospital in Percy, France, after intervention of French President Chirac, Egypt’s Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah, the French doctors failed to treat or explain the disease.The announcement of Arafat’s death was on November 11, 2004, a French Army guard of honour held a brief ceremony for Arafat, with his coffin draped in a Palestinian flag. Arafat’s body was flown from Paris aboard a French Air Force transport plane to Cairo, Egypt, for a brief military funeral there, attended by several presidents of states, prime ministers and foreign ministers and led mourning prayers preceding the funeral procession.
When the Plane landed in its last destination “Ramallah” Thousands of Palestinian people received it while shedding tears in majestic scene to bid a farewell to their beloved Palestinian leader. This was considered the third Funeral after Paris -France-, and Cairo -Egypt.