Musa Muragha, Saeid (Abu Musa)

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MUSA MURAGHA, SAEID (Abu Musa)

Palestinian military figure born in 1927 in Silwan, Palestine. Saʿid Musa Muragha began a military career in the Jordanian army in 1948, training at the British military academy, Sandhurst. In 1969 he was commander of an artillery battalion. In October of the following year, after the confrontations of Black September 1970 between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Jordanian military, he resigned to join with the Palestinian resistance.

A member of al-Fatah after 1971, he attained the rank of colonel. He was in command of a battalion of the "Yarmuk" brigade in South Lebanon from 1972 to 1977, and fought the Syrians during their intervention in the Lebanese Civil War in 1976. In 1978 he escaped a Syrian attempt to assassinate him. From 1977 to 1982 he was assistant to General Said Sayel (Abu Walid), head of PLO military operations in Lebanon, and directed the PLO's defense in Beirut during the siege of the city by the Israelis in 1982. In February 1983, he was admitted to the Palestine National Council (PNC), but in May he had a falling out with Yasir Arafat, whom he reproached for corruption and nepotism, promoting incompetent officers based solely on their loyalty to him. Muragha's criticism soon became more generally political, and in November he was expelled from the military command of the PLO, along with Muhammad Tariq al-Khadra, Muhammad Zahran, Mahmud Hamdan, and Yusef al-Ajouri, all accused of conspiracy against the authority of Arafat. From then on, Muragha obtained support from Syria, to consolidate, with Khaled al-Amlah (Abu Khaled), his movement, the Fatah–Temporary Command (or Fatah-Intifada), in opposition to Fatah.

In 1985, he joined the Palestinian National Salvation Front (PNSF), which unified all Palestinian movements that were opposed to Arafat. In 1989, when a split occurred in his own movement, Muragha began to lose his influence over it, and he turned to Iran for financial help. In October 1993, opposing the Israeli-Palestinian Oslo Accords, he and his movement joined the Alliance of Palestinian Forces (APF). Muragha has not been active since the early 1990s.

SEE ALSO Alliance of Palestinian Forces; Arafat, Yasir; Black September 1970; Fatah, al-; Oslo Accords; Palestine Liberation Organization; Palestinian National Salvation Front.

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