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Samir Ghousha, PPSF secretary-general and co-founder, dead at 72

Aug. 3, 2009 11:43 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 4, 2009 9:46 P.M.)
Bethlehem – Ma'an – Samir Ghousha, secretary-general of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front (PPSF) and member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee, died on Monday morning. He was 72.

According to Awni Abu Ghoush, a member of the party's politburo, Ghousha was suffering from cancer at a Jordanian hospital in Amman.

He explained that the former Palestinian leader's body would be transferred back to Palestine on Tuesday, where a formal funeral procession will be held.

"We will exert efforts to bury the body in Ghousha’s city of origin, Jerusalem, which was requested in his will, Abu Ghoush said. "However if we fail, we will bury him in the Martyrs cemetery in Al-Birah," near Ramallah.

Ghousha was born in Jerusalem in 1937, and attended elementary and secondary schools there. He obtained a Bachelor's degree in dentistry from Damascus University in Syria.

The Palestinian figure joined the pan-Arab movement when he was young. After the Palestinian Nakba, he co-founded the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front and was elected its secretary-general in 1971. In 1991, Ghousha was elected a member of the PLO's Central Committee, where he represented the party.

After the formation of the Palestinian Authority, Ghousha was appointed minister of labor in its first administration, but resigned in 1998 in protest of "corruption and the lack of a joint Palestinian strategy."
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