Haidar Abdel Shafi, the first lead Palestinian negotiator with Israel, has died.
Abdel Shafi, a Palestine Liberation Organization official in the Gaza Strip since the PLO’s 1964 inception, was a physician well known in Gaza for founding and leading the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. He died Sept. 25 of cancer. He was 88.
Abdel Shafi led the Palestinian half of the joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation to the 1991 Madrid peace talks, partly because he was one of the only Palestinian figures the Israeli government, then led by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, considered untainted by terrorism. He quit as a negotiator in 1993, saying the Olso peace process did not adequately address the Israeli settlements in Gaza and the West Bank.
Abdel Shafi went on to become a prominent critic of corruption in the Palestinian Authority.