Salah Khalaf


Salah Khalaf

Salah Mesbah Khalaf (Arabic صلاح خلف), also known as Abu Iyad (Arabic أبو إياد) (born 1933 – January 14, 1991) was deputy chief and head of intelligence for the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the second most senior official of Fatah after Yasser Arafat.

Salah Khalef (“Abu Iyad”) has been descibed as “of medium height and sturdy build, undistinguished in a crowd.” When Christopher Dobson, hoping for an interview, was introduced to Khalef in Cairo in the early 1970s Abu Iyad made “so little an impression” during the brief encounter that Dobson did not realize until later that he had already met Israel’s most-wanted terrorist. [http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/pdf-files/Soc_Psych_of_Terrorism.pdf Library of Congress] – Federal Research Division The Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism]

Khalaf was from Jaffa, and studied literature. He moved to Cairo in the early 1950s. There he became a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. In 1951, he met Yasser Arafat at the al-Azhar University during a meeting of the General Union of Palestinian Students. In 1958 he founded the organization of Fatah with Arafat and other Gazan Palestinians in Kuwait.cite book |last=Aburish |first=Said K. |authorlink=Said K. Aburish |coauthors= |title=From Defender to Dictator |year=1998 |publisher=Bloomsbury Publishing |location=New York |isbn=1-58234-049-8 ]

Khalef as a member of Black September was captured by the Jordanians and then released after he appealed to his comrades to stop fighting and to lay down their arms. Dobson reports that, according to the Jordanians, Khalef “was subjected to such ridicule by the guerrillas who had fought on that he reacted by turning from moderation to the utmost violence.”

Khalaf opposed Arafat's alliance with Saddam Hussein and vouched to stay neutral during the Persian Gulf War in 1991. He was assassinated in Tunis in the same year by an Abu Nidal operative.cite book |last=Aburish |first=Said K. |authorlink=Said K. Aburish |coauthors= |title=From Defender to Dictator |year=1998 |publisher=Bloomsbury Publishing |location=New York |isbn=1-58234-049-8 ] He was accused by Israel and the United States of having founded the Black September organization.

Further reading

"My Home, My Land: A Narrative of the Palestinian Struggle", Abu Iyad with Eric Rouleau, New York 1981, ISBN 0812909364

Notes


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