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Fathi Shaqaqi
File:Shaqaqi of pij.jpg
Born 1951
Died October 26, 1995(1995-10-26) (aged 43-44)
Nationality Palestinian
Religion Islam

Fathi Shaqaqi (Arabic language: فتحي الشقاقي‎), alternatively spelled Fathi Shqaqi or Fathi Shiqaqi (1951 – 26 October 1995), was the Palestinian who founded and led the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organisation and was the initiator of suicide bombings.[1]

He formed along with Sheik Odeh (a.k.a. Abd Al Aziz Awda) the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip during the 1970s, initially as a branch of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad.[2]


Fathi Shaqaqi was born in 1951 under Egyptian rule in Gaza to a refugee family from Jaffa.[3][4][5] His mother died when he was five.[5]

He attended college at the West Bank University of Bir Zeit located in the Palestine territories, where he studied mathematics.[3] In the 1970s he went on to study medicine in Egypt and graduated in 1981.[3] It was here, during his medical training that he became strongly influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood. He returned to Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) where he practiced medicine in Jerusalem. He founded the military group known as Egyptian Islamic Jihad in Palestine in the early 1980s.[3][4] Fathi Shaqaqi's brother Khalil Shiqaqi is the director of the Nablus-based Center for Palestinian Research and Studies (CPRS).


Shaqaqi was shot on 26 October 1995 in front of the Diplomat Hotel in Sliema, Malta by two gunmen thought to have been from Mossad, the Israeli secret service, who were travelling under the false name of Dr Ibrahim Ali Shawesh,[6] had come to Malta four times since 1993. He was on his way to Tripoli to visit Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi who was promising to help finance Shaqaqi’s factions.[7] His assassination produced disarray in Islamic Jihad since no competent successor could replace Shaqaqi.[8] Two assassins carried out the killing. A man on a motorcycle shot Shaqaqi as he was returning to his hotel and shot him in quick succession with a gun equipped with a silencer and a container to hold the used cartridges. Shaqaqi’s killers escaped on the motorcycle. Abandoning the motorcycle, a third individual drove them to the Msida Marina from where they most probably boarded a fast boat which took them out at sea and eventually to a ship offshore from where the whole operation was directed.[7] According to a book about Mossad, Mossad Director-General Shabtai Shavit was on the ship personally directing the operation. The Maltese police were only able to identify Shaqaqi's body three days later. His funeral in Damascus on 1 November 1995 was attended by some 40,000.[3][9]

Since Shaqaqi's death, Palestinian Islamic Jihad has been led by fellow co-founder Sheikh Abdullah Ramadan Shallah, a.k.a. Ramadan Abdullah Mohammad Shallah, who then joined the earlier listing of fellow PIJ co-founder Abd Al Aziz Awda as a "Specially Designated Terrorist" under United States law on 27 November 1995. Both Shallah and Awda were subsequently indicted on 53 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charges, and consequently became two of the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists on 24 February 2006.


  1. "Palestinians swear revenge for assassination". Gaza City. 28 October 1995.,3041425&hl=en. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  2. Who Are the Islamic Jihad? BBC 9 June 2003
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Fathi Shiqaqi". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "As Tough as Iron 5: Fathi Shaqaqi". IBNA. 28 April 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ḍiyāʼ Rašwān (2007). The Spectrum of Islamist Movements. Verlag Hans Schiler. pp. 133. ISBN 978-3-89930-203-5. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  6. Malta and the Accused Mathaba
  7. 7.0 7.1 Mossad's Licence to Kill The Telegraph, 17 February 2010.
  8. David, Steven R. (2003). "Israel’s Policy of Targeted Killing". Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  9. Bio of Fathi Shiqaqi from the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, Jerusalem

External links

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