Called the architect of the first Intifada (1987 - 1993), he symbolizes Palestinian unity and resistance. He served as Fatah West Bank Higher Committee Secretary-General (to develop civil society). He's also a PLC member.
He's easily Palestine's most popular leader and would win overwhelmingly if allowed to run for president.
At age 15, he joined Fatah and co-founded its Youth Movement (Shabiba). In 1978, he was arrested and imprisoned for over four years for "membership in a banned organization."
In 1985, he was arrested again and administratively detained uncharged for six months. In 1987, he was expelled to Jordan for "incitement." He liaisoned between exiled PLO members and Fatah during the first Intifada.
In 1989, he was elected to Fatah's Revolutionary Council and the PLO Central Council. In April 1994, he returned to the West Bank. He supports Palestinian independence; a two-state within 1967 borders; peace with Israel; social, political and economic justice; democratic values, and women's rights.
Initially an Oslo supporter, he later rejected it. Settlement expansions betrayed it. As a result, he urged ending negotiations until Israel unconditionally halted them and committed to ending Palestine's occupation.
He denied founding the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, advocates a political solution, rejects violence or submission, but supports "any (legal) action against the Israeli occupation."