For several years, Nasser Al-Qudwa was a familiar face defending the Palestinian cause as the former envoy to the UN.
It was not strange that 68-year-old Al-Qudwa was elected as a member of the Fatah movement’s Central Committee in 2009, as his name has always been linked with that of his uncle, the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.
The decision to hold legislative and presidential elections triggered Al-Qudwa harshly criticised the Palestinian leadership and the Fatah movement. He went on to announce his intention to run in the legislative elections scheduled to be held on 22 May as part of the National Democratic Forum’s slate.
He also announced his support for jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti’s bid for the presidency on 31 July, which could put him in competition with current President Mahmoud Abbas.
So the Central Committee of Fatah decided on Thursday to dismiss Al-Qudwa from the movement.
A statement issued by the movement’s Central Committee and signed by Abbas said the dismissal came after the expiration of a 48-hour period given to Al-Qudwa to withdraw from his intention of running in the elections that “break the movement’s rules of procedure and its decisions and harm its unity.”
Who is Al-Qudwa?
Al-Qudwa was born in April 1953 in Khan Yunis, the Gaza Strip. He obtained a degree in dentistry from Cairo University in 1979.
In 1980-1986, he headed the General Union of Palestine Students in Egypt and held many positions in the Fatah movement and the Palestinian Authority.
He has been affiliated with Fatah since 1969 and has served as a member of the Palestinian National Council since 1975.
Al-Qudwa was elected to the Fatah Revolutionary Council in 1989.In 2009, he was elected a member of Fatah’s Central Committee – the highest leading body of the movement – until his dismissal.
Al-Qudwa represented the PLO as well as Palestine at the UN in 1991-2005 and was appointed foreign minister in 2005-2006 and the head of the Palestinian delegation before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Since 2007, Al-Qudwa has been leading the board of directors of the Yasser Arafat Foundation.
In 2012, he was appointed envoy to the UN and the Arab League on the Syrian issue until 2014, and in 2014 he was selected as envoy to the Secretary-General of the Arab League on the Libyan conflict until 2015.