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Rafiq Al-Natsheh

(1934 - )

Born 1934. Hebron. Married with four children.

M.A. in Political Science, Cairo University Ph.D. in Political Science, Moscow University

Dr. Rafiq Al-Natsheh worked in the Qatar Ministry of Education from 1956-1970, attaining the Leadership of that Ministry before leaving. He became a member of the Fatah Central Committee in 1980. Dr. Al-Natsheh was the Fatah representative to Saudi Arabia for some years during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

In 1996, he was elected to the PLC representing the Hebron district. In 1998, he was appointed Palestinian Authority Minster of Labor and in 2002 was appointed as the Minister of Agriculture.

Dr. al-Natsheh has authored several books on Palestinian history including Israel: A Settlement Project, Islamic Jerusalem, Sultan Abdel-Hamid the Second and Palestine, and Islam and Palestine.

Some feel Dr. Al-Natsheh's degree did not prepare him for overseeing olive production and water rights, two important responsibilities of the Minister of Agriculture. As manufacturing and tourism economic sectors have declined, olive production has risen to 10% of the gross domestic product for which Dr. Al-Natsheh oversees.

Dr. Al-Natsheh is one of the elder members of the new Palestinian cabinet.

Sources: Palestine Media Center;;;;, (Nov. 4, 2002)