Backgrounder: Profile of members of Palestinian delegation to Washington (5)

10:33, September 03, 2010      

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5. AKRAM HANIYEH

Makram Haniyeh was born in Ramallah in 1953.

Political career: Haniyeh began his political career as an organizer for PLO activities in the West Bank during 1970s and early 1980s, for which he was placed under house arrest by the Israeli authorities from Aug. 1980 until mid-1981. In 1986, Haniyeh was deported by Israel to Algeria for activities connected to Fatah. Once in Tunis, he became an aide to Khalil Al-Wazir, working as the PLO press representative in Tunis, and was considered a link between the Tunisia-based leaders and the home- based leaders in the occupied Palestinian territories. During the Madrid peace talks, Haniyeh liaised between then PLO chairman Yasser Arafat and the media.

Haniyeh returned to Palestine in 1994 and became a political advisor to Arafat as well as a member of final-status talks team. Haniyeh participated in the July 2000 Camp David talks and eventually wrote a book about his experience, entitled The Camp David Papers, (Ramallah, 2000).

Career: Haniyeh began his career in journalism working for the Ash-Sha'ab newspaper in Jerusalem from 1976-79, eventually becoming its editor until 1981. Haniyeh worked for the public relations department at Birzeit University from 1981 until 1984 and served as chairman of the Arab Journalists Union in the occupied Palestinian territories from 1983 until 1985. Upon returning from exile in Tunisia to Palestine in 1994, he established the Al-Ayyam newspaper in Ramallah and has since served as its editor.

Education: Haniyeh has a B.A. in English Literature from the Cairo University. He sits on the Board of Trustees of An-Najah University. Haniyeh writes political essays and short stories. Among his publications is Rites for Another Day, (Arabic, 1986).


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