Ramadan Shalah

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Ramadan Shalah
رمضان شلح
Ramadan Shalah.jpg
Secretary-General of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine
In office
27 October 1995 – 27 September 2018
DeputyZiyad Al-Nakhaleh
Preceded byFathi Shaqaqi
Succeeded byZiyad Al-Nakhaleh
Personal details
Ramadan Abdullah Mohammad Shalah

(1958-01-01)1 January 1958
Shuja'iyya, Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Egypt
Died6 June 2020(2020-06-06) (aged 62)
Beirut, Lebanon
Resting placeYarmouk Camp, Syria
Political partyIslamic Jihad Movement in Palestine
Alma materDurham University (Ph.D)
ProfessionProfessor of Economics

Ramadan Abdullah Mohammed Shalah (Arabic: رمضان عبد الله محمد شلح‎) (1 January 1958[1] – 6 June 2020) was the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) between 27 October 1995 and 2018. PIJ has been designated a terrorist organisation by the United States,[2] the European Union,[3] the United Kingdom,[4] Japan,[5] Canada,[6] Australia,[7] New Zealand[8][9] and Israel. On becoming secretary-general of PIJ, Shalah was designated a Specially Designated Terrorist by the United States on 27 November 1995.[1] In 2006, he was placed on the United States FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list.[10] In April 2018, Shalah suffered a series of strokes, and on 28 September 2018 was replaced by Ziyad al-Nakhalah as PIJ leader. During the 23 years of his leadership of PIJ, the group undertook numerous attacks on Israeli civilians, including suicide bombings; and has suffered extensive operations against its infrastructure carried out by the IDF, which resulted in severe losses to the group, and it appeared significantly weakened by 2004.[11][12]

Early life[edit]

Shalah was born in Shuja'iyya, also called Gaza Sejaiya district, a neighborhood in eastern Gaza City.[10]

Shalah earned a Ph.D. in banking and economics from the University of Durham, England.[10] Professor Sami Al-Arian helped bring Shalah to Al-Arian's university, the University of South Florida, in Tampa, Florida, where Shalah taught as an adjunct professor, and where he was appointed by Al-Arian as head of WISE. Shalah left in 1995 to head PIJ.

Al-Arian would later plead guilty to helping PIJ, and was sentenced to 57 months in prison. Al-Arian said he was shocked to learn Shalah was "anything other than a scholar."[13]

Palestinian Islamic Jihad activity[edit]

Shalah became secretary-general of PIJ in 1995, after the assassination of its previous leader, Fathi Shiqaqi in Malta. On becoming secretary-general of PIJ, Shalah was designated a Specially Designated Terrorist by the United States on 27 November 1995.[1]

Along with fellow PIJ member, Abd Al Aziz Awda, Shalah was indicted in a 53 count indictment in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa, Florida, on Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charges of alleged involvement in racketeering activities for Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a US designated international terrorist organization.[14] Shalah was wanted for conspiracy to conduct the affairs of the PIJ through a pattern of racketeering activities such as bombings, murders, extortion, and money laundering.[10]

For that indictment, Shalah then became one of six alleged and indicted terrorist fugitives among the second and most recent group of indicted fugitives to be added to the United States FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list on 24 February 2006,[10] along with Abd Al Aziz Awda.[15] They were wanted for conspiracy to conduct the affairs of the designated international terrorist organization, known as the "Palestinian Islamic Jihad".


Shalah died on 6 June 2020 in Lebanon after a long illness that included two years in a coma.[16] His funeral was held in Damascus and was attended by, among others the head of the PIJ movement who replaced him, Ziyad al-Nakhalah.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 Chapter 6. Foreign Terrorist Organizations". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  2. ^ US – Office of Counterterrorism
  3. ^ "List of organisations recognized as terrorist groups" (PDF). europa.eu. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2009. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Terrorism Act 2000". Schedule 2, Act No. 11 of 2000.
  5. ^ "MoFA Japan" (PDF). mofa.go.jp. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  6. ^ Public safety Canada Archived 19 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Palestinian Islamic Jihad". Australian National Security. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Lists associated with Resolution 1373". New Zealand Police. 20 July 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d e "FBI — Ramadan Abdullah Mohammad Shalah". FBI. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Palestinian Islamic Jihad -- al-Quds Brigades". Australian National Security. Australian Attorney-General's Department. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  12. ^ "IDF uncovers massive tunnel near Gaza fence Four terrorists killed in Gaza City clashes". icej.org. The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  13. ^ "Professor Talked of Understanding But Now Reveals Ties to Terrorists". New York Times. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  14. ^ U.S. Department of Justice (20 February 2003). "Members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Arrested; Charged with Racketeering and Conspiracy to Provide Support to Terrorists" (PDF). Press Release. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
  15. ^ "FBI — ABD AL AZIZ AWDA". FBI. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  16. ^ "Former chief of Palestinian Islamic Jihad dies — report". www.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 12 September 2020.

External links[edit]