Jibril Rajoub (Secretary General)

Jibril Rajoub, born in Hebron in 1954, is secretary general of Fatah’s Central Committee. He is a former chief of Preventive Security (PS) in the West Bank and is regarded as a potential candidate to succeed Mahmoud Abbas. He reportedly maintains power bases in the areas of Hebron and Ramallah. 

In 1970 Israel sentenced Rajoub to 17 years in prison for attacking Israeli soldiers, releasing him 1985 as part of a prisoner swap orchestrated by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC). In 1987 he was deported to Lebanon, from where he relocated to Tunis as an adviser to Fatah deputy leader Khalil al-Wazir. He returned to the West Bank in 1994 as part of the Oslo peace process, where he headed PS until his removal by Yasser Arafat in 2002. During that time, he served as the main Palestinian representative responsible for security coordination with Israel and the CIA.

Since 2006, Rajoub has led the Palestine Football Association, and been credited with professionalising the institution and advancing the national team’s standing; he was involved in the unsuccessful 2017 campaign to exclude Israeli settlement clubs from FIFA. Rajoub is also president of the Palestine Olympic Committee.

His brother, Naif Rajoub, is a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) for Hebron currently in Israeli administrative detention.