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Former leader of Islamic Jehad passes away

Former leader of Islamic Jehad passes away

The former head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement on Saturday died in the hospital where he was being treated.

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The group said Ramadan Abdullah Shalah, 62, succumbed to disease.

“We have been witnessing the struggle of the Islamic Jihad Movement since its establishment, and we remember his leadership and national stance with honor and dignity,” it said in a statement and added that Shallah always protected his Arab and Islamic identity by supporting Palestinian resistance.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed condolences to Shallah's family saying with his death, Palestine has lost a great national figure.

Ramadan Abdullah Mohammad Shalah was born on 1 January 1958 in Shuja'iyya, also called Gaza Sejaiya district, a neighborhood in eastern Gaza City.

Shalah earned a Ph.D. in banking and economics from the University of Durham, England. 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.

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 and the FBI added his name to its wanted list in 2017.

Ziad al-Nakhala was chosen to lead the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement in 2018 because of Shallah’s illness.

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