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June 7, 2020 11:57 am

Former Palestinian Islamic Jihad Leader Dies After Battle With Illness

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Palestinian Islamic jihad members display rockets during a military show marking the 32nd anniversary of the organization’s founding, in the central Gaza Strip, Oct. 3, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa.

A former leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist 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.

Labelled 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.

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“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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