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Mohammad Oudeh ( ), commonly known as Abu Daoud or Abu Dawud ( ), was a Palestinian politician and militia commander in Fatah and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). He served in a number of commanding functions in Fatah's armed units, including in Lebanonmarker and Jordanmarker. He planned the 1972 Munich massacremarker.

Involvement with Black September

From 1971, Abu Daoud was a leader of the Black September, a Fatah offshoot created to avenge the September 1970 expulsion of the fedayeen movement from Jordanmarker and carry out international operations. The group gained international notoriety for its role in the attempted kidnappingmarker of Israeli athletes in the 1972 Munich Olympics, and then killed the 11 Israeli athletes and a German policeman. The group was disbanded in 1973-1974, but during and after these years, many Black September members were killed in an Israelimarker assassination campaign. On 27 July 1981, Abu Daoud was shot 13 times from a distance of around two meters in a Warsawmarker Victoria (now Sofitel) hotel coffee shop, but surprisingly survived the attack, chasing his would-be assassin down to the front entrance before collapsing.

1970s and 1980s

After the Black September operations, Abu Daoud resumed public work within Fatah and the PLO, in close collaboration with Abu Iyad and other officials. He led armed units in Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War. In January 1977, Abu Daoud was intercepted by French police in Parismarker while traveling from Beirutmarker under an assumed name. Under protest from the PLO, Iraqmarker, and Libyamarker, who claimed that because Abu Daoud was traveling to a PLO comrade's funeral he should receive diplomatic immunity, the French government refused a West German extradition request on grounds that forms had not been filled in properly and put him on a plane to Algeriamarker before Germany could submit another request.

Recent political and media work

Abu Daoud was allowed safe passage through Israel in 1996 so he could attend a PLO meeting convened in the Gaza Stripmarker for the purpose of rescinding an article in its charter that called for Israel’s eradication. As of December 2005 Abu Daoud is 68 and lives in Damascusmarker, Syriamarker; his wife lives in Ammanmarker. He has participated in numerous interviews on Aljazeera and in other Arab and international media outlets about his life, about the Munich events and about Palestinian politics.

Abu Daoud published an autobiography Palestine: From Jerusalem to Munich in French in 1999, and was later going to be published by Arcade Books as Memoirs of a Palestinian Terrorist in English. However Arcade Books dropped the project and publication never occurred. For the work he was awarded the Palestine Prize for Culture in 1999, a 10,000 franc prize.

Quotations

  • "We did not target Israeli civilians. Some of them [the Israeli athletes] had taken part in wars and killed many Palestinians,” he said. “Whether a pianist or an athlete, any Israeli is a soldier."
  • "When I chose a long time ago to be a revolutionary fighter I prepared to be a martyr."
  • "I am not afraid, because people’s souls are in God’s hands, not Israel’s."
  • "If he [[[Steven Spielberg|Spielberg]]] really wanted to make it a prayer for peace he should have listened to both sides of the story and reflected reality, rather than serving the Zionist side alone."
  • "I would be against any operation like Munich ever again. At the time, it was the correct thing to do for our cause. ... The operation brought the Palestinian issue into the homes of 500 million people who never previously cared about Palestinian victims at the hands of the Israelis"


References




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