Muhammad Youssef al-Najjar

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Muhammad Youssef Al-Najjar
Hassan, Arafat at PNC.jpg
Muhammad Youssef al-Najjar (white shirt) with Yasser Arafat and Khaled al-Hassan at the Palestinian National Council (PNC) summit in Cairo, December 1970.
Born 1930
Died 10 April 1973
Nationality Palestinian
Religion Islam

Muhammad Youssef Al-Najjar (1930 - 10 April 1973), commonly known as Abu Youssef, was a Palestinian militant.

Life[edit]

Originally from Yibna, he began his involvement in the General Union of Palestinian Students. When the Fatah organization formed in the late 1950s, Youssef was an early activist, traveling to Qatar to form similar groups, and taking command of Fatah's military wing.

In 1968, Youssef was appointed to the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Two months before his death, Youssef was interviewed by the Beirut newspaper L'Orient-Le Jour. In it he explained his conviction to the Palestinian cause: "We plant the seeds, and the others will reap the harvest... Most probably we'll all die, killed because we are confronting a fierce enemy. But the youth will replace us."[1] Youssef was alleged to have been linked to the 1972 Munich massacre, in which 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were killed in the crossfire between the German police and the Black September group. This prompted Israel to launch a revenge campaign called Operation Wrath of God, with Youssef as a principal target.

In 1973, Israel sent commandos to Beirut, Lebanon to kill a number of high level PLO officials in the 1973 Israeli raid on Lebanon. Youssef and his wife were killed by gunfire in their bedroom when troops stormed into their Beirut apartment.[2][3]

Legacy[edit]

A Hospital in Rafah was named for him.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Most Probably We'll All Die", Time Magazine, 23 April 1973. Accessed 24 February 2010.
  2. ^ Bell, J. Bowyer. Assassin: Theory and Practice of Political Violence. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2005. ISBN 1-4128-0509-0 p. 138
  3. ^ "Isralis kill 3 guerrilla leaders in Beirut raid". The Miami News (Beirut). AP. 10 April 1973. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "Israel shells Youssef al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah". Ma'an News Agency. Retrieved 1 August 2014.