Abu Daoud

Abu Daoud

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Mohammad Daoud Oudeh commonly known by his nom de guerre Abu Daoud or Abu Dawud (1936/37, Silwan
Silwan
Silwan or Wadi Hilweh is a predominantly Palestinian village adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem. In recent years a small Jewish minority of 40 families has settled in the area. The village is located in East Jerusalem, an area occupied by Jordan from 1948 until the 1967 Six-day War and by Israel...

 – July 3, 2010, Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

) was a Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 militant known as the planner, architect and mastermind of the Munich massacre. He served in a number of commanding functions in Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

's armed units in Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 and Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

.

Biography


Oudeh lived in Jerusalem until the 1967 Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

, when he was displaced as Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 captured the eastern portion of the city; he resettled in Jordan, where he joined the PLO. In 1970, Daoud was one of the founders of Fatah. From 1971, he was leader of the Black September
Black September (group)
The Black September Organization was a Palestinian paramilitary group, founded in 1970. It was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of eleven Israeli athletes and officials, and fatal shooting of a West German policeman, during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, their most publicized event...

, a Fatah offshoot created to avenge the September 1970 expulsion of the Fedayeen
Fedayeen
Fedayeen is a term used to describe several distinct militant groups and individuals in West Asia at different times in history. It is sometimes used colloquially to refer to suicide squads, especially those who are not bombers.-Overview:...

 Movement from Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 and carry out international operations. The group gained international notoriety for its role in the Munich massacre
Munich massacre
The Munich massacre is an informal name for events that occurred during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Bavaria in southern West Germany, when members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and eventually killed by the Palestinian group Black September. Members of Black September...

 at the 1972 Munich Olympics, in which a number of athletes on the Israeli team were taken hostage by Black September. Eleven Israeli athletes and a German policeman were killed by the end of the multi-day standoff.

After the Black September operations, Oudeh resumed his activity in Fatah and the PLO in close collaboration with Abu Iyad and other officials. He led armed units in Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 during the Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

. In January 1977, Oudeh was intercepted by French police in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 while travelling from Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

 under an assumed name. Under protest from the PLO, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, and Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

, who claimed that because Oudeh was traveling to a PLO comrade's funeral he should receive diplomatic immunity
Diplomatic immunity
Diplomatic immunity is a form of legal immunity and a policy held between governments that ensures that diplomats are given safe passage and are considered not susceptible to lawsuit or prosecution under the host country's laws...

, the French government refused a West German extradition
Extradition
Extradition is the official process whereby one nation or state surrenders a suspected or convicted criminal to another nation or state. Between nation states, extradition is regulated by treaties...

 request on grounds that forms had not been filled in properly and put him on a plane to Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

 before Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 could submit another request. After the 1972 Munich Olympics
1972 Summer Olympics
The 1972 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XX Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Munich, West Germany, from August 26 to September 11, 1972....

 Massacre
Munich massacre
The Munich massacre is an informal name for events that occurred during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Bavaria in southern West Germany, when members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and eventually killed by the Palestinian group Black September. Members of Black September...

, Oudeh fled to Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

, then to Lebanon until the 1975 Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

 broke out, then back to Jordan.

On August 1, 1981, Oudeh was shot five times from a distance of around two meters in the coffee shop of the Sofitel Victoria Hotel in Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

, but he survived the attack, chasing his would-be assassin down to the front entrance before collapsing. Oudeh claimed the attempted assassination was carried out by a Palestinian double agent recruited by the Mossad
Mossad
The Mossad , short for HaMossad leModi'in uleTafkidim Meyuchadim , is the national intelligence agency of Israel....

, and claimed the would-be assassin was executed by the PLO ten years later.

After the 1993 Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

, he moved to Ramallah
Ramallah
Ramallah is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank located 10 kilometers north of Jerusalem, adjacent to al-Bireh. It currently serves as the de facto administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority...

 in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

. Following a trip to Jordan and the publication of his memoirs, Oudeh was banned from returning to Ramallah. He settled with his family in Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, the only country that would take him. He lived on a pension provided by the Palestinian Authority and gave interviews to Aljazeera and other Arab and international media outlets about his life, the Munich events, and Palestinian politics. Oudeh was allowed safe passage through Israel in 1996, so he could attend a PLO meeting in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 to rescind an article in the PLO charter calling for Israel's eradication.

Munich massacre


As a commander of Black September, Daoud was the mastermind behind the Munich massacre. While he planned the operation, he did not personally take part in it. The day before the operation commenced on September 5, 1972, Daoud briefed the assassination squad and issued final instructions over dinner in a restaurant at the Munich railway station.

Then in 2006, Daoud gave several personal interviews after the release of the Steven Spielberg film Munich
Munich (film)
Munich is a 2005 historical fiction film about the Israeli government's secret retaliation attacks after the massacre of Israeli athletes by the Black September terrorist group during the 1972 Summer Olympics. The film stars Eric Bana and was produced and directed by Steven Spielberg...

revived discussions of the massacre. Daoud remained unrepentant regarding his role in the Munich attacks, stating on Germany's Spiegel TV, "I regret nothing. You can only dream that I would apologize." In an Associated Press interview, he legitimized the operation given its success, declaring, "Before Munich, we were simply terrorists. After Munich, at least people started asking who are these terrorists? What do they want? Before Munich, nobody had the slightest idea about Palestine."

Published works


He published his autobiography Palestine: From Jerusalem to Munich in French in 1999. It was later published in English as Memoirs of a Palestinian Terrorist, also titled Palestine-A History of the Resistance Movement, by the Sole Survivor of Black September by Arcade Publishing in hardcover format. The English version is now out of print. The book is a first hand account of the rise of the Palestinian resistance movement from its inception to the attack at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Regarding the book and his subsequently being barred from returning to the West Bank, "The Israeli decision to bar my return is linked to an event which happened 27 years ago, the Munich operation, which we considered a legitimate struggle against the enemy we (the PLO) were fighting."

Death


On July 3, 2010, Oudeh died of kidney failure
Renal failure
Renal failure or kidney failure describes a medical condition in which the kidneys fail to adequately filter toxins and waste products from the blood...

 at Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

 Hospital in Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, Syria. After a funeral service in the Al-Wasim Mosque in Yarmouk with his coffin draped in the Palestinian flag
Palestinian flag
The Palestinian flag is based on the Flag of the Arab Revolt, and is used to represent the Palestinian people , and the Palestinian Authority.-Description:...

, Daoud was buried in the Martyr
Martyr
A martyr is somebody who suffers persecution and death for refusing to renounce, or accept, a belief or cause, usually religious.-Meaning:...

s Cemetery of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp
Yarmouk (camp)
Yarmouk Camp is a district of the city of Damascus, populated by Palestinians, with hospitals and schools. It is located 8 kilometers from the center of Damascus and inside the municipal boundaries but when established in 1957 was outside the surrounding city...

 on the southern outskirts of Damascus. He was survived by five daughters and a son. His daughter Hana Oudeh, in the eulogy, said her father was "a great loving and sincere man whose dream was to go back to Palestine." Representatives of various Palestinian groups, including Fatah and Islamic Jihad
Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine
The Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine known in the West as simply Palestinian Islamic Jihad , is a small Palestinian militant organization. The group has been labelled as a terrorist group by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Australia and Israel...

, attended the funeral. Shortly before his death, Oudeh said in a statement to Israelis, "Today, I cannot fight you anymore, but my grandson will and his grandsons too."

Praise in Palestinian society


In a condolence letter to Daoud's family following his death, Chairman
President of the Palestinian National Authority
The President of the Palestinian National Authority is the highest-ranking political position in the Palestinian National Authority ....

 of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

wrote, "He is missed. He was one of the leading figures of Fatah and spent his life in resistance and sincere work as well as physical sacrifice for his people's just causes."

In 1999, the Palestinian Prize for Culture was granted to Daoud for his book Palestine:From Jerusalem to Munich, in which he describes how he planned and executed the Munich operation. As part of the prize, Abu Daoud was awarded 10,000 French francs.

External links