Abu Nidal was the founder of Fatah: The Revolutionary Council, a militant Palestinian splinter group. He is believed to have ordered attacks in 20 countries, killing over 300 and injuring over 650. His father owned 6,000 acres of orange groves situated between Jaffa and Majdal, today Ashkelon in Israel.
About Abu Nidal in brief
Abu Nidal was the founder of Fatah: The Revolutionary Council, a militant Palestinian splinter group. The ANO was widely regarded as the most ruthless of the Palestinian groups. Abu Nidal is believed to have ordered attacks in 20 countries, killing over 300 and injuring over 650. The group’s operations included the Rome and Vienna airport attacks on 27 December 1985, when gunmen opened fire on passengers in simultaneous shootings at El Al ticket counters, killing 20. Sabri Khalil al-Banna was born in May 1937 in Jaffa, on the Mediterranean coast of what was then the British Mandate of Palestine. His father owned 6,000 acres of orange groves situated between JaffA and Majdal, today Ashkelon in Israel. The family lived in luxury in a three-storey stone house near the beach, later used as an Israeli military court. His brother told Yossi Melman: ‘I think we must have been the only family in Palestine with a private swimming pool’ Sabri’s mother was the eighth wife of the family’s maids, a 16-year-old Alawite girl. He attended a French mission school, which he attended for one year. When his father died in 1945, when Sabri was seven years old, the family turned his mother out of the house and enrolled him in a prestigious Muslim school in Jerusalem, now known as Umariya Elementary School. He was apparently looked down on by his older siblings, although in later life the relationships were repaired.
He had relations with the Jewish militia that that that had bombs that that killed his father, Avraham Hashomer, a founder of the Jewish defense organization Hashomer Hashomer. He would visit his home in Petah Tikva riding his horse, Dr. Weizmann. But it was war, and the relationships did not help them. Just before Israeli troops arrived in 1948, they fled to their house near Majdal. This time they went to the Majdal house too, but the family fled again and the Israeli troops took the house before they arrived too. He died after a shooting in his Baghdad apartment in August 2002. Palestinian sources believed he was killed on the orders of Saddam Hussein, while Iraqi officials insisted he had committed suicide during an interrogation. ‘He served only himself, only the warped personal drives that pushed him into hideous crime,’ David Hirst wrote in the Guardian on the news of his death. ‘He was the ultimate mercenary… He marketed about ten percent of all the citrus crops sent from Palestine to Europe – especially to England and Germany. He owned a summer house in Marseilles, France, and another house in İskenderun, then in Syria and afterwards Turkey, and a number of houses in Palestine itself.’ ‘My father was the richest man in Palestine. I also remember how we also had stables with Arabian horses, and we children would go down to swim in the sea. We also had a large swimming pool’