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Shiqaqi, Fathi (1951–1995)

SHIQAQI, FATHI (1951–1995)

Palestinian, born in the al-Shoura refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, where his family had sought shelter at the time of the 1948 War. Between 1974 and 1980, Fathi Shiqaqi was a student at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank, and then in Egypt, where he earned degrees in medicine and mathematics. The Arab defeat in the 1967 War impelled him to join the Muslim Brotherhood, whose ideas he disseminated, along with Abdulaziz Udeh, in the Palestinian community. In 1979, after the victory of the Iranian Islamic Revolution, he wrote a book in honor of the Ayatollah Khomeini (Khomeini: The Islamic Solution and Alternative), in which he advocated the application of Khomeini's ideas to the Palestinian problem. He founded the al-Taliʿa al-Islamiyya association (Islamic Vanguard). In 1980 he was interrogated by the Egyptian authorities, who suspected him of planning an attack. The following year, he left Egypt for the Gaza Strip, where he began practicing medicine. He quickly joined the ranks of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and became one of the principal leaders, along with Udeh. In 1983, with Munir Shafiq Asal, he created the Brigades of the Islamic Holy War. Imprisoned several times by Israeli authorities between 1984 and 1986, he was banished to Lebanon (together with Udeh) in August of 1988 and there established contacts with the pro-Iranian movements that were active in the country. He settled in Damascus, where he developed ties with leaders of the Shiʿite movements.

In 1990, after the founding of the Palestinian Hizbullah, he became editor of its press organ, Al-Mujahid. In November 1991, with Udeh, he formed a faction within the PIJ known as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad–Shiqaqi-Udeh Faction, which became the mainstream of that organization. In November 1993, opposing the Oslo Accords, his group became a member of the Alliance of Palestinian Forces, thereby joining the ranks of the Palestinian opposition. Between 1994 and 1995, his movement carried out a number of anti-Israeli attacks, but his authoritarianism provoked Udeh to resign. On 26 October 1995 he was assassinated by the Mossad in Malta as he was returning from a visit to Libya.

SEE ALSO Alliance of Palestinian Forces (APF); Arab-Israel War (1948); Arab-Israel War (1967); Bir Zeit University; Gaza Strip; Mossad; Muslim Brotherhood; Oslo Accords; Palestinian Islamic Jihad; West Bank.

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