Arafat has long been a pain in the ass for most western countries with close ties to Israel. A self-proclaimed freedom fighter, he made no secret about using terrorist tactics to accomplish his agenda. His celebrity-like charisma polarized the Palestinian population, forced the U.S. to acknowledge him, and ultimately made him a dead man walking at more than one Intelligence agency’s kill board.
For those of you who weren’t paying attention to his likely assassination, here’s a quick snap shot of the life and death of Yasser Arafat.
The Life and Death of Yasser Arafat
- 1929-Yasser Arafat the fifth child of a Palestinian merchant is born Muhammad Abdul Rahman Abdul Raouf Arafat alQudwa alHussei. Arafat will later claim he was born in Jerusalem
- State of Israel is proclaimed and the first Arab/Israeli war erupts. Arafat is already believed to have been smuggling arms into Palestine to fight the British and the Jews. In 1948 Arafat left his studies in Egypt to fight in Gaza. Arafat’s father is killed in the first Arab/Israeli war.
- 1949 Arafat returns to Cairo
Arafat moves back to Egypt where he is drawn to the Muslim Brotherhood.
- 1958 Helps found the FATAH movement. 1959 the group begins publishing a magazine advocating armed struggle against Israel.
- 1960-The Palestine Liberation Organization founded. Arafat moves to Jordan.
- 1968-The Israeli army attacks a PLO base in the Jordanian town of Karameh. Despite the heavy losses suffered by the Palestinians it is seen as a victory for Arafat and his men inspiring thousands to join the PLO.
- 1969-Arafat becomes the PLO leader.
- 1972-PLO kills Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.
- 1974. Arafat addresses the UN and the PLO is given observer status at the UN.
- 1982- Israeli Defence Minister Ariel Sharon invades Lebanon. Arafat’s forces are driven out of Lebanon where they had established a state within a state
- 1990-Yasser Arafat supports Saddam Hussein when he invades Kuwait. This leads Gulf States to cut off funds for the PLO undermining the international acceptance the Palestinian cause built up over so many years.
- 1993-After months of secret talks in Oslo, Israel and the PLO agree on an interim peace deal which establishes a framework for Palestinian self rule in the West Bank and Gaza. Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shake hands on the lawn of the White House.
- 1994-Arafat returns in triumph to Gaza for the first time in 25 years.
- 1996-In the first Palestinian general elections Arafat is overwhelmingly elected president of the Palestinian Authority. Later that year sections of the PLO charter calling for the destruction of Israel are removed.
- 2000-Palestinians riot after Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon visits the Temple Mount or Haram alSharif in the old city of Jerusalem. The clashes escalate into a second Palestinian uprising. A few months later Ariel Sharon wins the Israeli elections.
- 2001-Following a wave on suicide bombings targeting Israelis Israel destroys Arafats three helicopters in Gaza effectively confining him to his West Bank headquarters in Ramallah. Israel accuses Arafat of instigating terror.
- 2003-U.S. pressures the Palestinian Authority and they appoint a prime minister. Mahmoud Abbas better known as Abu Mazen takes up the power sharing role in April 2003 but resigns later in the year due to differences with Arafat. He is succeeded by Ahmed Qurei also known as Abu Ala. Arafat remains the key decision maker.
- 2004 Oct. Yasser Arafat is most likely assassinated by the Israeli Mossad with deadly polonium (a Russian signature). Doctors say he has a blood disorder but cannot make a diagnosis. On 29 October he is airlifted to a military hospital in France for treatment. A few days later he slips into a coma and on Nov 11 he is declared dead. No one thinks to do an autopsy, until later…
“Most likely,” says a SOFREP intelligence source.