Born 1934 or 1939, near Tulkarm. Married with four children.
Mr. Balawi holds diplomas in Administration, Journalism and Education.
Mr. Balawi was the Palestinian ambassador to Libya from 1973 -75, and was later appointed ambassador to Tunisia from 1983 - 1994. Upon his return to the territories, he served as secretary of the National Security Council 1994 - 1996. He's been a member of the Fatah Central Committee since 1989.
In 2001, Mr. Balawi was assigned a role to closely watch the West Bank Fatah group in order to retain some control over the local autonomous leaders.
Mr. Balawi is also the Secretary of the Union of Palestinian Journalists and Writers.
There is not much written about Mr. Balawi prior to this year. His role in Palestinian politics appears to be mostly diplomatic and administrative; however, a few points should be noted.
In 2001 Mr. Balawi signed the Joint Israeli-Palestinian Declaration "No to Bloodshed, No to Occupation, Yes to Negotiations, Yes to Peace". He is one of twenty-four well known Palestinians signing their name to the document proposing negotiation instead of terrorism to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Mr. Arafat's name is not listed.
Although Mr. Balawi signed an important document made public to the international community, Mr. Balawi's opponents will cite his involvement for financing terrorist attacks against Israel through Marwan Barghouti, the West Bank's Fatah leader. Mr. Barghouti, a known terrorist recently captured by Israel, has recently confessed to Israeli Shin Bet security services, that money requests for terrorist activities were given to Arafat, and the money was transferred to the terrorists by Mr. Balawi.
Sources: MiddleEastReference.org, Ha' aretz Daily, Australian Jewish Democratic Society, IMRA, Jerusalem Post