A nephew of PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat who himself appears to be in the running to “someday” succeed Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas says Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization has sent Arafat’s 1994 Nobel Peace Prize medal to Ramallah.
Arafat was awarded the prize with then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres for their roles in agreeing on the 1993 Oslo Accords. All three men are now deceased.
The medal is to be exhibited among dozens of the PLO chairman’s belongings at a museum scheduled to open in Ramallah on November 9.
The chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) spent most of his time at the Muqata, his headquarters in the Samaria capital city of Ramallah. But he also had a separate headquarters in Gaza, and when he died in Paris in 2004, many of his possession were there as well. Many of those went missing after the Hamas terrorist organization ousted the rival Fatah faction and seized control over Gaza in 2007.
Arafat’s nephew and president of the “Arafat Institute,” Nasser al-Kidwa, said Tuesday that the Nobel Peace Prize medal awarded to his uncle was the sole missing item returned to Ramallah by Hamas.
Al-Kidwa, a diplomat and politician in his own right, has been mentioned more than once by political analysts as a potential candidate to succeed Mahmoud Abbas as the leader of the Palestinian Authority. Arafat’s nephew is a member of the Fatah Central Committee, has served as a former foreign minister and has been a representative for the PLO at the United Nations.
He has also been an Arab League envoy to Libya, according to the Al-Monitor website, which noted that Al-Kidwa has ties to Mohammed Dahlan, the former head of the Gaza-based PA Preventive Security Force. Dahlan had a falling-out with Abbas and has since made his home in the United Arab Emirates.
Hana Levi Julian