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Ghassan Khatib

(1954 - )


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Born 1954, Nablus. Married with three children.

B.A. Economics and Business Administration, Birzeit University, West Bank
M.A. in Development Studies, Manchester University, United Kingdom
Mr. Khatib is pursuing a doctorate in Middle East Politics at the University of Durham, United Kingdom

As an active member of PNF, Mr. Khatib was in Israeli detention from 1974 - 1977.

Khatib was a member of the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Peace process in 1991, and he was involved in the Washington negotiations from 1991-1993.

Khatib is Director of the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center, a non-governmental organization that conducts public opinion polls and provides media support to journalists in the Palestinian Territories. He is also Director of the Institute of Modern Media at Al Quds University in Jerusalem.

A long-time advocate of Palestinian-Israeli dialogue, Khatib is the Co-founder and Director of BitterLemons.org, a Palestinian-Israeli Internet-based political magazine. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Israel-Palestine Journal, a political journal offering Palestinian and Israeli perspectives.

Khatib is the President of the Board of Directors of the Arab Development Center, an agricultural development organization; a member of the Advisory Board of Palestinian Politics; a member of the Board of Trustees of the Democracy and Worker’s Rights Center and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Friends Schools in Palestine. He was a lecturer at Birzeit University’s Cultural Studies Program.

Khatib was a signatory on the December 2001 statement criticizing the Palestinian Authority's arrest of leftist activists.

Khatib is the Palestinian People's Party representative to the Palestinian Authority. He was appointed Palestinian Authority Minister of Labor in June 2002, the first Labor Minister of the PA. Mr. Khatib retains the position in the new PA cabinet.

Given the professional interest Khatib has invested in bridging Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, one might assume Khatib is like minded to Nabil Amr and Hakam Balawi. But, unlike his two journalist colleagues in the new PA cabinet, Khatib did not sign the 2001 Joint Israeli-Palestinian Declaration "No to Bloodshed, No to Occupation, Yes to Negotiations, Yes to Peace."

Another distinction is that Mr. Khatib represents the Palestinian People's Party, a communist party with headquarters in Ramallah, in the West Bank. He is also secular member of the Palestinian Authority.

It has been written that Prime Minister Abu Mazen "has sought to demote him to the position of Tourism Minister."


Sources: Palestine Media Center; MiddleEastReference.org.uk; Palestine-PMC.org; CNN.com; BitterLemons.org; World Socialist Web Site; CPUSA.org; RamallahOnline, (May 7, 2003); IAP.org, (June 3, 2002)

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