Profile: Who was Ziad Abu Ein?

Abu Ein spent several years in Israeli prison for his role in a 1979 terrorist attack in Tiberias, then fled to the US.

December 11, 2014 02:17
1 minute read.
Ziad Abu Ein‏

Palestinian Authority Minister Ziad Abu Ein‏ argues with IDF soldiers in Hebron, November 29, 2014. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Ziad Abu Ein, the senior Palestinian official who died on Wednesday after an altercation with IDF soldiers north of Ramallah, was appointed last September as head of the PLO’s Commission Against the Separation Wall and Settlements.

The commission is responsible for monitoring Israeli activities concerning the security barrier and construction in settlements in the West Bank.

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It is also responsible for organizing “popular resistance” activities of Palestinians against the security barrier and settlements.

In his capacity as head of the commission, Abu Ein set out on Wednesday, together with Palestinian activists, to plant olive trees near the village of Turmus Aiya, north of Ramallah.

Prior to his new job, the 55-yearold Abu Ein served for nine years as deputy minister for prisoners’ affairs.

He is also a senior member of Fatah and was a member of the faction’s Revolutionary Council, commonly known as the Abu Nidal terrorist organization.

Abu Ein previously spent several years in Israeli prison for his role in a 1979 terrorist attack in Tiberias. A group of youngsters were celebrating Lag Ba’omer in the city center when a bomb exploded in their midst. Two 16-year-olds – Boaz Lahav and David Lankri – were killed and 36 other youths wounded.


After the attack, he fled to the US. In 1981, he became the first Palestinian ever to be extradited from the US to Israel.

A year later, Abu Ein was sentenced to life imprisonment but was released in the 1985 Jibril prisoner exchange deal. During the second intifada, Abu Ein was held in administrative detention.

Abu Ein was considered a prominent figure in Fatah’s young guard.

He was closely associated with jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life-terms in prison for his role in a series of terrorist attacks against Israelis at the beginning of the second intifada, which erupted in September 2000.

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