Former Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader dies after battle with illness

Ramadan Shallah, head of the militant Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, speaks during a news conference in Beirut. (Reuters)

A former leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group Ramadan Shallah has died after battling illness, al-Manar TV reported on Saturday.

Shallah, 62, served as secretary general of the Iran-backed group from 1995 to 2018.

Al-Manar did not specify the exact nature of the illness.

Labeled a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union and others, the group has waged attacks on Israel and aims to establish an Islamic Palestinian state.

“By losing Shallah we lost a great national man,” said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a statement published by the Palestinian official news agency WAFA.

Shallah was born in Gaza in 1958 and studied in Egypt before earning a Ph.D in economics in the United Kingdom.

He was elected head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad after the killing of the group’s former chief, Fathi Shiqaqi, in 1995.

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Last Update: Sunday, 07 June 2020 KSA 04:51 - GMT 01:51
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