|Biographical detail : ||Founder member of Palestine Liberation Organisation
Founder member of PLO and staunch defender of Palestinian right, Shafiq al-Hout was a larger-than-life figure. He championed the Palestinians’ right of return to their homeland and a unified, democratic state there for Muslims, Jews and Christians.
Born and raised in Jaffa al-Hout along with his family and the bulk of his generation became refugees and flee in April 1948 after the birth of Israel. His own family sailed to Lebanon.
Starting journalism in early 1960s al-Hout later engaged full-time in Palestinian politics in 1963. He helped found the PLO in May 1964. A representative in Lebanon he survived 10 Israeli assassination attempts, the Lebanese civil war, the Israeli invasion in 1982 and the Sabra-Shatila massacre.
From 1974, al-Hout had been the PLO’s representative at the annual UN general assembly meetings.
Twice a member of the PLO executive, al-Hout left the committee over what he, like many, regarded as the disaster of the Arafat-orchestrated PLO recognition of Israel under the Oslo accords.
He remained a member of the Palestine National Council, the parliament-in-exile, but stayed out of politics, writing his memoirs. He wrote several books on Arab nationalism.
Strong advocate of armed resistance, al-Hout believed his dream would be realised in his lifetime.
Shafiq al-Hout died in Beirut.