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Hamdan Ashour

(1940 - )

Born 1940, Gaza. Married with two children.

Ashour has been a member of Fatah since its creation in 1959. In 1960-1967, he was responsible for organizing Fatah membership in Europe. In 1967, Ashour moved to Lebanon to recruit members. In 1968, he became a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, and is currently its Secretary-General. Ashour is a Fatah representative for Ramallah on the PLO-Central Committee. He has been the head of Preventative Security in the West Bank. He was appointed PA Minister of Housing and Public Works in 2003 by Prime Minister Abu Mazen.

Ashour is a long-time Palestinian activist and politician. He knows Arafat well and is trusted by him, but he is also trusted by Prime Minister Abu Mazen.

In September 2002, Ashour was one of thirteen senior members of the Central Committee and the Revolutionary Council who sent Arafat a proposal initiating to rein in Hamas and restore control of the territories to the Palestinian Authority. The plan included rebuilding the Palestinian security forces with the declared purpose of disarming all the splintered opposition groups, such as the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the DFPF. The plan also included appointing Abu Mazen Prime Minister.

If the proposal upset Arafat, it apparently was not enough to undue years of comradeship between the two men. During the tough deliberations over who Arafat would accept as Security Minister in the new Palestinian Cabinet under Abu Mazen, he proposed Ashour as one of three acceptable candidates.

Sources: Palestine Media Center;;;; Haaretz, (4/23/03 and 9/24/02);, (4/23/03)