Yasser Arafat biography

Key dates in the life of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

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RAMALLAH // Key dates in the life of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

August 4, 1929: Birth of Arafat, whose full name was Mohammed Abdel Rawf Arafat Al Qudwa Al Hussaini, in Cairo.

1948: Arafat takes part in the war that breaks out shortly after the state of Israel is created. He had already taken part in gun-running to Palestinian groups opposed to the creation of a Jewish state.

1959: He founds the Fatah movement with four others, including the current president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.

1964: Creation of the Jordan-based Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) at an Arab League summit in Jerusalem.

1965: First guerrilla attacks against Israel.

June 1967: Israel scores a resounding military victory over the Arab states, seizing the West Bank from Jordanian administration, the Gaza Strip from Egypt, Golan Heights from Syria and east Jerusalem.

February 1969: Arafat is elected to chair the PLO, of which his Fatah group is a major component.

September 1970: The PLO is expelled from Jordan and moves to Beirut.

October 1973: A new Arab-Israeli war results in a stalemate.

November 1974: The United Nations grants observer status to the PLO. "Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter's gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand," Arafat tells the UN General Assembly.

April 1975: Start of the Lebanese civil war, which embroils the PLO.

August 1982: Israel, which has invaded Lebanon, pushes Arafat and his supporters out. The PLO later moves its headquarters to Tunis.

December 1987: Start of the first intifada, or uprising, in the occupied territories.

December 1988: Arafat recognises Israel's right to exist.

January 1992: Marries Suha Tawil, with whom he has a daughter in 1995.

1993: After secret negotiations in Oslo, the PLO and Israel reach an agreement on autonomy for large parts of the territories occupied in 1967. Arafat shakes hands with Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin on the White House lawn in Washington.

July 1 1994: Arafat makes a triumphant return to Palestinian lands after 27 years in exile.

October 1994: He is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Israeli leaders Rabin and Shimon Peres.

January 20, 1996: Arafat is elected the first president of the Palestinian Authority.

December 2001: After a series of Palestinian suicide attacks, Israel confines Arafat to his headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

March 2002: In a new offensive, the Israeli army demolishes most of Arafat's Ramallah HQ.

October 29, 2004: Seriously ill, Arafat is flown to a hospital near Paris.

November 11, 2004: Arafat dies, but the French doctors who tended him do not say what caused his death. The following day he is buried at his Muqata headquarters in Ramallah.

* Agence France-Presse