Sakher Habash, founding member of the Palestinian Fatah movement, dies at 70

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

One of the founding members of the long-ruling Palestinian Fatah movement has died in the West Bank at the age of 70.

Palestinian officials say Sakher Habash died of a stroke on Sunday. The Fatah-led Palestinian Authority issued a statement mourning his death.

Habash helped form Fatah in 1965 and served as a close military aide to the movement’s iconic leader, Yasser Arafat. He spent time in exile with Arafat in Lebanon in the 1970s, and held various top positions within Fatah, including its director of recruitment.

Habash was born in 1939 near Jaffa in what is now Israel. His family fled during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war to a refugee camp in the West Bank.

He is survived by his wife, three sons and a daughter.