On this day, April 16, 31 years ago, “Israel” assassinated of PLO’s military mastermind Khalil al-Wazir by Mossad agents carrying Lebanese passports in Tunis, where al-Wazir was living.
It took Israeli intelligence over two decades and many assassination attempts before they managed to hunt him down.
On April 16th, Mossad agents carrying Lebanese passports arrived by sea to Tunis, where al-Wazir was living, and split into groups that organized the complicated assassination process.
Israeli navy vessels, carrying the assassins, were waiting at sea on that day; in the evening, a unit of 26 Israeli commandos reached the beach and headed towards al-Wazir’s home.
The commando team broke into his home while he was working on a memo to leaders of the Palestinian Intifada. They shot him in front of his wife and his son by 70 bullets.
His last words were: “There’s no voice that can be louder than the voice of the Intifada! We’ll keep fighting!”
Al-Wazir was born on 10 October 1935, in the town of Ramla, Palestine. He was forced to leave his hometown in July 1948 when Zionist militias occupied Ramla and evicted its inhabitants. He and his family made their way to Ramallah and Hebron before settling in Gaza.
His parents, Ibrahim Mahmud al-Wazir and Fawziyya Khalil Shaikhu, had four sons (Ghalib, Munzir, Zuhair, and Khalil) and three daughters (Zahira, Nabila, and Zainab). Khalil and his wife, Intisar Mustafa Mahmud al-Wazir (who was also his cousin), had two sons, Jihad and Basim, and three daughters, Iman, Hanan, and Nidal.
When he was a child, al-Wazir attended a UNRWA elementary school in Gaza. He later enrolled at the Faculty of Arts, Department of Journalism, of Alexandria University in Egypt but did not complete his university education. He worked as a teacher in Saudi Arabia for a few months. He then left Saudi Arabia for Kuwait where he worked as a teacher until 1963.
Al-Wazir was a co-founder of the secular nationalist party Fatah and he was the right hand of the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. He was deemed a potent security threat to the Israeli occupation as he contributed in the Palestinian resistance against the occupation.