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Palestinian Leader Yasser ArafatThe Middle East once an area of severe fighting and active terrorismis now free of violence due to the actions of one man Yasser ArafatYasser Arafat has helped create a place where the Palestine and Israelipeople can live together This peaceful environment did not come easilythough It took years of work and controversy for Yasser to make the twoArab nations live peacefully together Through Yasser Arafats successfulleadership qualities the once warring nations of Palestine and Israel nowaccept each other and subside peacefully together Yasser Arafat was born in the city of Jerusalem on February 171929 He fled Jerusalem after the establishment of the Israel nation in 1948He attended Cairo University in Egypt where he became president of theUnion of Palestinian students and studied engineering While in Cairo hetrained as a fedayeen the Egyptian word for commando and worked with aconstruction firm He also studied guerrilla tactic and joined the Egyptianarmy Yasser then moved to Kuwait and founded his first rebel group offedayeen soldiers on raids deep into Israeli territory His bold actions gainedhim respect among his Arab piers In 1959 Arafat established another anti-Israeli guerrilla group calledal-Fatah This was the largest of the Palestinian guerrilla units dedicated toundermining and overtaking Israel There were many of these guerrillagroups in the Middle East so they decided to form into one unifiedorganization This created the Palestinian Liberation Organizationcommonly called the PLO Formed in 1964 Arafat was elected chairman in1969 The PLO acted as a government to the Palestinian people but withone exception it had no territory to govern Arafats establishment andleadership of these essential beginning organizations began his success as aleader of his people As leader of the PLO Arafat devoted his life to gaining a permanenthomeland for his people Throughout the 1970s the PLO was associatedwith terrorism Yasser and the PLOs many affiliates used terrorism topersuade Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin to grant land to the Palestinians Oneof the affiliated groups Black September as
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