Success stories of Palestinian achievers from all over the world

Mahmoud Abbas

Personal Info

  • Country of residence: Palestine
  • Gender: Male
  • Born in: 1935
  • Age: 81
  • Curriculum vitae :


Born in Safad in 1935; left as refugee for Syria in 1948; worked as an elementary teacher and later gained a BA in Law from Damascus University (1958); worked as Director of Personnel in Qatar’s civil service in 1957; began, at the same time, to manage and organize Palestinian groups; founding member of Fateh; member of the Fateh Central Committee since 1964; member of the PNC since 1968 and the PLO Exec. Committee since 1980; leading Palestinian figure devoted to the search for a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; advocated negotiations with Israelis, since the early 1970s and initiated dialogue with Jewish and pacifist movements; earned a PhD from the Oriental College in Moscow in History (on Zionism) in 1982; led negotiations with Matityahu Peled that resulted in the announcement of “principles of peace” based on a two-state solution in Jan. 1977; became head of the PLO Arab and International Relations Dept. in 1984 (until 2000); elected by the PLO Exec. Committee to succeed Khalil Al-Wazir (assassinated in April 1988) as chairman of the portfolio on the Occupied Territories in May 1988; coordinated the negotiation process during the 1991 Madrid conference; was the first PLO official to visit Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War in Jan. 1993, and ‘apologized’ to the Gulf countries for the PLO’s stand during the crisis; headed the Palestinian negotiating team to the secret Oslo talks and signed the DoP on 13 Sept. 1993 on behalf of PLO; head of the PLO Negotiating Affairs Dept. from 1994 until his becoming a PM in 2003; signed the Interim Agreement (Oslo II) in Sept. 1995 on behalf of the PLO; returned to Palestine in Sept. 1995 after almost 48 years in exile and took residences in Gaza and Ramallah; authored an account on the Oslo negotiations entitled Through Secret Channels: The Road to Oslo (1995); drafted together with his Israeli counterpart Yossi Beilin the controversial ‘Framework for the Conclusion of a Final Status Agreement Between Israel and the PLO’ (better known as Abu-Mazen-Beilin Plan) in Oct. 1995 (although its existence was denied for five years before being published in Sept 2000); head of the Central Election Commission from 1996 until 2002; was elected in the Jan. 1996 PLC elections in the Qalqilya district; served as head of the Refugee Dept.; became Sec.-Gen. of the PLO Exec. Committee since April 1996; headed (with Uri Savir) the first session of the Israeli-PA final status talks in May 1996; criticized the direction of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in late 2002, calling for an end to all military operations; nominated PM by Pres. Yasser Arafat on 10 March 2003 and sworn in as PM and PA Interior Min. on 30 April 2003; resigned from the Fateh Central Committee in July 2003; submitted his resignation as PM on 6 Sept. 2003 (naming mainly Israel’s unwillingness to implement its road map commitments and undertake constructive measures, but also blaming the international community and the Palestinian side for its lack of support, incitement and accusations); following the death of Yasser Arafat, was elected the new head of the PLO and endorsed by the Fateh Revolutionary Council as its preferred candidate for the Presidential Elections on 25 Nov. 2004; elected as President of PA in the 9 Jan. 2005 Presidential Elections (gaining 62.52% of the votes) and sworn in on 15 Jan.; began to reform the government and security services, incl. forcing top security leaders into retirement. Headed the Fateh 6th convention in Bethlehem in August 4th 2009 and was elected as head of Fateh movement and its central committee. 


Achievements and Awards

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