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Faisal Al Husseini
Jerusalem, Palestine
 (1940-2001)
Faisal Al Husseini - Born on 1940 in Baghdad, Iraq; son of legendary Palestinian guerilla leader Abdel Qader Al Husseini; PLO representative to Jerusalem.
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Faisal Al Husseini

Born on 17 July 1940 in Baghdad, Iraq, to a Muslim Palestinian notable family; son of legendary Palestinian guerilla leader Abdel Qader Al Husseini, who died during the battle for Jerusalem on 8 April 1948; grandson of Musa Qassem Pasha Al-Husseini, Palestinian nationalist during the Ottoman and British eras and former mayor of Jerusalem (March 1918, removed by the British for opposing their pro-Zionist policies in April 1920); and nephew of Hajj Amin Husseini, then Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Studied in Cairo (elementary and secondary education), Baghdad, Damascus; joined the Arab Nationalist Movement (ANM) in 1957; founding member of the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) in 1959; underwent commando training in Egypt in 1963;

Returned to Jerusalem and worked for the PLO after its initial establishment in the city as deputy manager of the Public Organization Dept. (1964-65); received military training at a Syrian officers' academy and joined the Palestinian Liberation Army in 1967; graduate from Damascus Military College 1967;

Worked as x-ray technician in Jerusalem from 1969-1977; studied history in Beirut; returned to Jerusalem and founded the Arab Studies Society in 1979, whose chairman he remained ever since. Placed repeatedly under constant house and city arrest by Israel from 1982-87;

Several times imprisoned under "administrative detention" and without trial, last in October 1990 in the wake of the Al-Aqsa Mosque massacre; classified as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International in June 1987. Member of the Higher Islamic Council, Jerusalem, since 1982; Palestinian spokesperson and highly respected (Fateh) leader during the first Intifada; first prominent Palestinian to hold talks with a senior Likud politician, Moshe Amirav, in Sept. 1987 (together with Sari Nusseibeh and Salah Zuheikah);

Led preparatory talks for Madrid with James Baker in 1990; was part of the Palestinian steering committee to the peace talks from 1991; prevented from a direct role by Israel for two years (for being Jerusalemite); then head of the Palestinian delegation to the peace negotiations from April 1993; long time Arafat's chief representative in the OPT;

Headed Fateh High Command in the West Bank from 1994; one of the pioneers in developing and promoting Israeli-Palestinian dialogue; Palestinian national movement's local mediator for peace; highest-ranking Palestinian official in Jerusalem and the West Bank; PLO Executive Committee member since April 1996 (one of three members from - for the first time - 'inside' the OPT); member of the final status negotiating team. Minister without Portfolio in the PNA, in charge of the Jerusalem file (PLO representative to Jerusalem) since the mid-1990;

Head of the Orient House, the first national address in Jerusalem, subject to many confrontations with Israeli officials and settlers. Supported the peace process and the Oslo process at its outset but turned increasingly skeptical.

Died suddenly of a heart attack on 31 May 2001, whilst acting as 1st PLO leader to visit Kuwait after the 1991 Gulf War; buried next to his father at Al-Aqsa Mosque on 1 June 2001. Struggled all his life for justice and independence in Palestine, based on UN Resolutions 242 and 338 and international law, and pursued tirelessly his dream to see Jerusalem as the capital of a free Palestine.

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Faisal Al Husseini