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last updated Jan. 6, 2010 12:35 PM (EST+7)
Abdel Rizeq al-Yahia
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Palestinian politics Fateh PLO army military
Brigadier General Abdel Rizeq al-Yahia, a member of Fateh, served as minister of interior in the Palestinian provisional government. He was initially appointed minister of interior of the emergency government in June 2007.

News on Abdel Rizeq al-Yahia
Hamas says vendetta stifles Islamists in West BankFeb. 2, 2010


General Yahia was born in Tantoura, near Haifa, in 1929. He has a long history of military activity. He joined a Palestinian officer training course in 1948 followed by the Salvation army in 1949. After it was dissolved, he joined the Syrian army. In 1965 he joined the Palestinian Liberation Army and eventually became general commander in the late 1960s until he was succeeded by Yasser Arafat in 1970.

He was director of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s political department from 1979 until 1986, and a member of the executive committee from 1984 until 1996. He participated in the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations during the Oslo Peace Process and headed the security committee during the final status negotiations.

General Yahia became interior minister in June 2002 with ambitions to reform the Palestinian government and reduce Yasser Arafat’s power. However, he resigned after four months due to being undermined by the late president.
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