Mahmoud Abbas was born in Safad in 1935.
He left as a refugee for Syria in 1948 and worked as an elementary teacher. He later gained a BA in law from Damascus University and a Ph.D. from the Oriental College in Moscow in History (on supposed contacts between the Zionist movement and the Nazis).
He worked as director of personnel in Qatar’s civil service and began to manage and organize Palestinian groups.
He was a founding member of Fatah and a member of the Palestine National Council (since 1968) and the PLO Executive Committee.
Abbas has headed the PLO Department for National and International Relations since 1980 and was elected by the PLO Executive Committee to replace Abu Jihad (assassinated in April 1988) as chairman of the portfolio on the Occupied Territories in May 1988.He was elected the Committee’s secretary general in 1996, informally confirming his position as Yasser Arafat’s deputy.
The Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine (Fatah) was founded in the early 1960s by Yasser Arafat and friends of his in Algeria, Fatah was originally opposed to the founding of the PLO, which it viewed as a political opponent. Backed by Syria, Fatah began carrying out terrorist raids against Israeli targets in 1965, launched from Jordan, Lebanon and Egyptian-occupied Gaza (so as not to draw reprisals against Syria). Dozens of raids were carried out each year, exclusively against civilian targets.
He has been charged with involvement in terrorism. Mohammed Daoud Oudeh (Abu Daoud), the mastermind of the Munich Massacre of Israeli Olympic athletes in 1972, charges that his operation was funded by Abbas.”Fatah” is a reverse acronym of the Arabic, Harekat at-Tahrir al-Wataniyyeh al-Falastiniyyeh. The word “Fatah” means “conquest by means of jihad [Islamic holy war]”.In the Fatah emblem, you will note the grenade and crossed rifles, superimposed on the map of Israel in the emblem. This emphasizes the dedication of Fatah, along with the other “liberation” groups, to the “armed struggle” against Israel, a euphemism for terrorism against civilians.