Khan Younis – Ma’an Today, the 11th of November 2006, is the second anniversary of the death of the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Palestinians continue to look to him as their historical leader, as the most prominent leader that Palestinian history has brought to life. They believe that he set two main goals in front of them: first to achieve an independent Palestinian decision, in which no one can intervene; and the second, to achieve a Palestinian state, on the Palestinian lands, with Jerusalem as its capital.
Milestones in the life of President Arafat:
4th August 1929 Abdulrahman Abdulraouf Arafat Al Qudwah born in Jerusalem.
1948 leaves his study at the University of King Fuad II (later renamed Cairo University) to participate in the war launched by Israel in Palestine
1950 to 1956 continues his engineering study in Cairo University; becomes head of the Palestinian students union
1957 worked as engineer in Kuwait and met his comrades Jiahd Wazir and Salah Khalaf where he formed the Fatah movement in 1959
May 28th 1964 – The formation of the PLO, headed by Ahmad Shqairy in Jerusalem
December 31st 1964 – The first military operation by Fatah members
1967 – The defeat of the Arabs before Israel in the June war
February 4th 1969 – Arafat elected as PLO head
September 1970 "Black September" – thousands of Palestinians killed by Jordanian regime and Arafat moves to Lebanon
October 26th 1973 – The Arab summit in Rabat announces that the PLO is the sole legitimate representative for the Palestinian people
November 13th 1974 – The first time Arafat addressed the world at the UN, saying "I came to you with the olive branch in one hand, and the rifle in the other. So dont let the olive branch fall from my hand."
1982 – Israel invades Lebanon, and the same year in September, Palestinian groups leave Lebanon to other Arab countries. Arafat uses a base in Tunis as his main office.
November 1984; April 1987 – Reelected as PLO chairman
1st October 1985 – Arafat escapes death in Tunis when Israeli war jets attack the country.
7th December 1987 The first Intifada starts in Palestine
16th April 1988 – close friend and comrade Abu Jihad killed in Tunis by Israeli Mossad
15th November 1988 – Declaration of Palestinian state "in exile", and Arafat elected president of the state
14th December 1988 – Arafat launches initiative for peace; the US Reagan administration opens dialogue with the PLO following that initiative
December 1988 Arafat makes announcement about the recognition of Israel
August 1990 Arafat supports Saddam Hussein after his invasion of Kuwait
2nd May 1991 states that the "National covenant could be amended to suit the developments"
25th January 1991 – close comrade Salah Khalaf killed in Tunis
January 1992 – marries Suha Tawil
12th October 1993 chosen by the central council as PA chairman
13th September 1993 shakes hands with Rabin outside the White House
4th May 1994 – signs an agreement with Rabin in Cairo regarding Palestinian autonomy the Gaza/Jericho agreement
1st July 1995 – Arafat returns to the Palestinian territories after 27 years of exile
28th September 1995 – signs another agreement in Washington to further autonomy
20th January 1996 – elected as the PA chairman
5th September 1999 signs agreement with Barak to start the final status negotiations
25th July 2000 breakdown of Camp David negotiations
28th September 2000 – second Intifada starts
30th December 2001 – Israel decides to prevent Arafat from leaving the territories
29th March 2002 – Israeli forces launch the largest incursion in the West Bank (Operation: Defensive Shield) and besiege Arafat in the Ramallah Moqata’ah compound
14th February 2003 – Arafat creates post of Prime Minister, according to a demand from the USA
30th April 2003, Abbas becomes first Prime Minister
6th September 2003 – Abbas resigns
11th September 2003 – Israel decides to get rid of Arafat. Arafat declares "Nobody can get rid of me or force me to leave the territories!"
2nd April 2004 – Sharon states that "No-one guarantees the life of Arafat, and if Arafat leaves the territories, he will not be allowed to return."
18th July 2004 – Arafat appoints Qurei as Prime Minister
27th October 2004 Arafat’s health deteriorates suddenly
29th October 2004 – transported to Paris for treatment
11th October 2004 With friends, his wife, and religious leaders around him, Arafat dies.