Yasser Abed Rabbo
Born in 1945 in Jaffa.
Married with two children.
Minister of Cabinet Affairs
M.A. in Economics and Political Science, American
University, Cairo, Egypt
Abed Rabbo has worked alongside Yasser
Arafat since the 1960s. In 1968, Abed Rabbo was a founding member
(with Nayef Hawatmeh)
of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), a leftist
group in the PLO. He became
its Deputy Secretary-General in 1973 and headed the Information and
Culture department from 1973 - 1994.
He was part of the Palestinian negotiation team in
1988 - 1990 which involved Jordan
and the U.S. In 1991, Abed Rabbo broke away from the DFLP and formed
Fida, the Palestinian Democratic Union, a group that protested Jordanian
involvement in Palestinian politics. Later the group solidly supported
the Madrid and Oslo
peace processes. Abed Rabbo participated in both Middle East peace
When the Palestinian
Authority was established in 1994, he headed the Information Ministry.
He was later appointed head of the Palestinian Authority's
negotiating team's Final Status talks, but resigned in May 2000.
Although Abed Rabbo and Arafat have worked closely
together for many decades, he and Arafat have disagreed in recent years.
In May 2000, Abed Rabbo learned of secret Palestinian-Israeli negotiations
in Sweden. Arafat knew of the negotiations, but did not involve Abed Rabbo. He then resigned from the PA negotiating team that he previously
In October 2002, when Arafat drafted a new government
authority and asked Abed Rabbo to join, he did not accept.
Over the past few years, he has been an internationally
visible spokesperson for Palestinians. He has published articles in
major U.S. newspapers and toured the U.S. with the group Israeli-Palestinian
Peace Coalition. Abed Rabbo and former Israeli Justice Minister
Yossi Beilin, have developed
a program of joint-information and education forums where they meet
with audiences concerned with Israeli-Palestinian relations, and respond
to questions posed by the intellectuals and audience members.
Abed Rabbo is part of the "old guard"
yet some feel he recognizes the failures of the PLO to bring about a
lasting peace with Israel. Some feel he appears to be someone who will
officially recognize Israel's right to exist and will earnestly work
for a viable peace plan.
In 2001, Abed Rabbo was one of three notable Palestinians
who signed the Joint Israeli-Palestinian Declaration "No to Bloodshed,
No to Occupation, Yes to Negotiations, Yes to Peace," a document
which proposes negotiation instead of terrorism to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict. Mr. Arafat's name is not listed.
As an outspoken official for the elimination of Israeli
occupation, he favors implementation of the Tenet
papers and Mitchell report
for any supervision and monitoring that would occur with implementation
of a peace plan.
IMRA.org; WashingtonPost.com, (Jan.14, 2003); PalestineChronicle.com,
(Mar. 24, 2002); PLO Negotiations Affairs Department; Associated Press,
(Oct. 2002); al-bab.com; PeaceNow.org; Dawn.com, (Jan. 6, 2002).