Shahin, Abd Al-Aziz (Shaheen, Ali Abu; Shahine, Abdu Aziz; 1938–)

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SHAHIN, ABD AL-AZIZ (Shaheen, Ali Abu; Shahine, Abdu Aziz; 1938–)

Palestinian political figure, born in Palestine. After secondary studies in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, he moved to Saudi Arabia, where he worked in the ministry of health. In 1959 he joined Fatah, the new Palestinian movement created by Yasir Arafat, where he was active in the military section. In June 1967, in the course of an operation in which Arafat also participated, Shahin was captured by the Israelis, who kept him incarcerated until 1982. He is said to have led the Fatah organization inside the Israeli prisons. He lived at Dahaniya in the Gaza Strip until 1983, when he was rearrested for "illegal residence." In March 1984 Israel deported him to Lebanon. Two years later he sought refuge in Iraq. In 1988 he coordinated actions with the Western Sector of Fatah that were linked to the Intifada developing in the Occupied Territories. In August 1989 he was elected to the revolutionary council of Fatah. In 1992 he joined the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Tunis, where he became one of the leaders of the Western Sector, responsible for Palestinian actions in the Gaza Strip. In September 1993, in spite of his loyalty to Arafat, he opposed the Oslo Accords. Nevertheless he became the Palestinian Legislative Council deputy from Rafah in the Gaza Strip, and was minister of supply in the Palestinian Authority cabinet from 1996 to April 1993. While in that position he was accused, and is still widely suspected, of corruption—specifically, stealing food and medical supplies supplied by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and reselling it on the black market. He retains Arafat's confidence and served as Fatah's representative at the all-faction negotiations in Gaza in 2002, a position he quit, accusing HAMAS of blocking an agreement.

SEE ALSO Arafat, Yasir; Fatah, al-; Gaza Strip; HAMAS; Intifada; Oslo Accords; Palestine Liberation Organization; Palestinian Authority; Palestinian Legislative Council; United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

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