Nabil Amr

(1947- )


Born 1947 in al-Dura.
Married with five children.

Cabinet Position

Minister of Information

Cabinet Responsibilities

Responsible for internal and international Public Relations strategy and message for the Palestinian Authority.

Education

Law degree, Damascus University
Diploma in Media and Radio Broadcasting, Damascus University

Background

For almost four decades, Mr. Amr has been involved in Palestinian politics, serving as a media advisor to PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat. A journalist by training and occupation, Mr. Amr was founder and former Editor-in-Chief of al-Hayat al-Jadida, the official newspaper of the Palestinian Authority. He was Director of the Palestinian Authority radio and TV organizations. For more than 10 years he served as Director of the Voice of Palestine. He was for some time the PLO ambassador to Moscow. Mr. Amr is a member of the Fatah party.

He is a member of the Palestinian negotiation team.

In 1996, Amr was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council, representing Doura, Hebron. In 1998, he was appointed Palestinian Authority Cabinet member for Parliamentary Affairs. He resigned in May 2002, citing differences with Arafat over perceived corruption and chaos within the Palestinian Authority's judiciary and administration.

Amr has authored three books: Testimonies from the Battlefield, chronicling the war in Beirut, 1000 Days in Moscow, chronicling the fall of the former Soviet Union and The Days of Siege and Love.

Analysis

Amr is best known for his public criticisms of Arafat and the Palestinian Authority in an Open letter to Mr. Arafat, published in the al-Hayat al-Jadida newspaper in September 2002.

Risking his life, Amr publicly criticized Arafat for not seriously accepting international brokering for creation of a Palestinian state. The letter reprimanded Arafat for boasting to the Palestinian people that he did not give into any, not one, demand or concession for the creation of the Palestinian state. While Arafat bragged about standing resolute against concessions, the Palestinian people were left struggling without independence. Mr. Amr made a point that in order to gain statehood, perhaps some concessions could and should have been made.

As a result of his public criticism, Amr was called a traitor and his home was shot at by members of the al-Aqsa brigade, a faction of Fatah under Arafat's control. Neither he nor his family was injured.

Amir appears to be a reasonable and balanced member of the new cabinet.

Amr is one of three, newly appointed PA cabinet members who signed the 2001 joint Israeli-Palestinian declaration "No to Bloodshed, No to Occupation, Yes to Negotiations, Yes to Peace". Mr. Arafat's name is not listed.

Mr. Amr is an ally of Mr. Abbas.


Sources: IDF; WorldTribune.com, Feb. 2000; MiddleEastReference.org; IMRA.org, Sept. 2002; AMIN.org, Palestine Media Center