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Salah Khalaf (Also known as Abu Iyad)

Founding member of Fatah, key PLO leader.

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Date of Birth:



Jaffa, Palestine

Place of Birth:

Why Featured?

Salah Khalaf was a foundational member of the Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). His leadership and diplomatic skills significantly shaped the Palestinian resistance movement and the PLO's strategies.

Brief bio

Salah Khalaf, born in Jaffa and later living in Gaza, played a pivotal role in Palestinian politics and the struggle for Palestinian self-determination. A close associate of Yasser Arafāt, Khalaf was instrumental in establishing Fatah and later became a key figure in the PLO. His journey took him from activism to leadership, involving significant roles in security, intelligence, and diplomacy.

Major Milestones


  • 1948: Family forced to exile to Gaza during Israeli’s occupation to their land.

  • 1951: Studied at the University of Cairo, where he met Yasser Arafat.

  • Late 1950s: Helped establish Fatah.

  • 1972: Allegedly involved in the Munich Olympics incident.

  • 1988: Became second in command of the PLO, endorsed peaceful coexistence with Israel.

  • Founding Fatah: Integral in establishing and shaping the Fatah movement...See More

  • Diplomacy: Fostered relationships with regional governments and international entities...See More

  • Security and Intelligence: Innovatively managed PLO's intelligence apparatus.

  • Support for Leftist Groups: Protected and maintained ties with various Palestinian organizations.

Date of Last Update: 
December 18, 2023

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