Khalil al-Wazir

Khalil al-Wazir
Abu Jihad al-Wazir.jpg
Khalil al-Wazir strategizing
Nickname(s)Abu Jihad
Born(1935-10-10)10 October 1935
Ramla, British Mandate of Palestine
Died16 April 1988(1988-04-16) (aged 52)
Tunis, Tunisia – buried in Al Yarmuk camp, Syria
AllegianceFatah/Palestine Liberation Organization
Battles/warsBattle of Karameh
Black September in Jordan
Siege of Beirut
First Intifada
RelationsIntissar al-Wazir (wife)

Khalil Ibrahim al-Wazir[note 1] (Arabic: خليل إبراهيم الوزير‎, also known by his kunya Abu Jihad [note 2] أبو جهاد—"Jihad's Father"; 10 October 1935 – 16 April 1988) was a Palestinian leader and co-founder of the nationalist party Fatah. As a top aide of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat, al-Wazir had considerable influence in Fatah's military activities, eventually becoming the commander of Fatah's armed wing al-Assifa.

Al-Wazir became a refugee when his family was expelled from Ramla during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and began leading a minor fedayeen force in the Gaza Strip. In the early 1960s he established connections for Fatah with Communist regimes and prominent third-world leaders. He opened Fatah's first bureau in Algeria. He played an important role in the 1970–71 Black September clashes in Jordan, by supplying besieged Palestinian fighters with weapons and aid. Following the PLO's defeat by the Jordanian Army, al-Wazir joined the PLO in Lebanon.

Prior to and during Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon, al-Wazir planned numerous attacks inside Israel against both civilian and military targets. He prepared Beirut's defense against incoming Israeli forces. Nonetheless, the Israeli military prevailed and al-Wazir was exiled from Lebanon with the rest of the Fatah leadership. He settled in Amman for a two-year period and was then exiled to Tunis in 1986. From his base there, he started to organize youth committees in the Palestinian territories; these eventually became the backbone of the Palestinian forces in the First Intifada.[citation needed] However, he did not live to command the uprising. On 16 April 1988, he was assassinated at his home in Tunis by Israeli commandos.

Early life

Khalil al-Wazir was born in 1935 to Muslim parents in the city of Ramla, Palestine, then under British Mandatory rule. His father, Ibrahim al-Wazir, worked as a grocer in the city.[1][2] Al-Wazir and his family were expelled in July 1948, along with another 50,000–70,000 Palestinians from Lydda and Ramla, following Israel's capture of the area during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.[3] They settled in the Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, where al-Wazir attended a secondary school run by UNRWA.[4] While in high school, he began organizing a small group of fedayeen to harass Israelis at military posts near the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula.[1]

In 1954 he came into contact with Yasser Arafat in Gaza; al-Wazir would become Arafat's right-hand man later in his life. During his time in Gaza, al-Wazir became a member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,[5] and was briefly imprisoned for his membership with the organization, as it was prohibited in Egypt.[6] In 1956, a few months after his release from prison, he received military training in Cairo.[2] He also studied architectural engineering at the University of Alexandria,[7] but he did not graduate. Al-Wazir was detained once again in 1957 for leading raids against Israel and was exiled to Saudi Arabia, finding work as a schoolteacher.[1] He continued to teach after moving to Kuwait in 1959.[6]

Other Languages
العربية: خليل الوزير
español: Khalil al-Wazir
français: Khalil al-Wazir
hrvatski: Abu Džihad
italiano: Abu Jihad
עברית: אבו ג'יהאד
norsk nynorsk: Khalil Wazir
русский: Абу Джихад