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Fathi Shaqaqi
Source: PIJ

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

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.[1]

Among Sunnis, Fathi Shiqaqi was the first individual to publish a booklet which legitimized suicide in jihad. He called it sacrifice. Not only the suicide was legitimized but also the operation.[2]


He was shot in October 26, 1995 in front of the Diplomat Hotel in Sliema, Malta, by Mossad. Shaqaqi, travelling under the false name of Dr Ibrahim Ali Shawesh,[3] had come to Malta four times since 1993. He was on his way to Tripoli to visit Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi who was promising to help finance Shaqaqi’s factions.[4]

Two Israeli assassins, code-named Gil and Ran, carried out the killing.[4] 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 assassins 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 large ship from where the whole operation was directed.[4] The Maltese police were only able to identify the corpse three days later. His funeral in Damascus on 1 November 1995 was attended by some 40,000.[5]

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 November 27, 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 February 24, 2006.

Fathi Shaqaqi's brother Khalil Shiqaqi is the director of the Nablus-based Center for Palestinian Research and Studies (CPRS).


  1. ^ Who Are the Islamic Jihad? BBC
  2. ^ Reuter, Christoph. My Life Is a Weapon. Princeton University Press, 2004, 97.
  3. ^ Malta and the Accused
  4. ^ a b c Mossad's Licence to Kill The Telegraph, 17 Feb 2010.
  5. ^ Bio of Fathi Shiqaqi from the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, Jerusalem

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