Born in Tantura, near Haifa, in 1929; trained as military strategist; prior or 1967, served as chief operations officer and later deputy chief-of-staff of the PLA brigade in Syria; was made PLA chief-of-staff by the PLO Exec. Committee in 1968 but resigned soon after due to Syrian opposition; then became military advisor to the PLO Exec. Committee in early 1969 and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the PLA in June 1969; chief-of-staff of all Palestinian forces from Sept. 1970 but was replaced in 1971 due to Syrian pressure; director of the PLO's Political Department from 1971-1976; independent member of the PLO Exec. Committee from 1984-1991; since 1993, has headed several security committees in talks with Israel; director of the Committee to Study Proper Implementation of the Gaza-Jericho-First Agreement; headed negotiations on Hebron's security arrangements and the safe passage from 1996; named head coordinator of the Palestinian security forces on June 3, 2002 by Pres. Arafat as part of reform measures within the PA. Appointed Minister of Interior on June 9, 2002.
Sources: Palestine Facts