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Who is Leila Khaled? A look into the life of a Palestinian revolutionary

Who is Leila Khaled? A look into the life of a Palestinian revolutionary

Have you ever heard of Leila Khaled? If not, it’s time to learn about this fierce Palestinian revolutionary who captured the world’s attention with her daring acts of resistance against Israeli occupation. From hijacking planes in the 1960s and 70s to continuing her fight for justice today, Leila Khaled has become a symbol of strength and resilience for Palestinians and activists around the globe. Join us as we take a closer look at her life and legacy – you won’t want to miss it!

Introduction to Leila Khaled

Leila Khaled is a Palestinian revolutionary who was born in Nablus in 1944. She became involved in the struggle for Palestinian liberation at a young age and played a key role in the 1969 and 1970 hijackings of TWA Flight 840 and El Al Flight 219, respectively. Khaled has been living in exile in Jordan since 1971. Despite being branded a terrorist by Israel and the United States, she remains an iconic figure in the Palestinian resistance movement. In this blog post, we will take a look at her life and times.

Early Life and Background

Leila Khaled was born on April 9, 1944, in the Haifa district of Palestine. Her family were forced to flee their home during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, and they settled in Lebanon. Khaled joined the General Union of Palestinian Students in Beirut while she was attending high school. It was during this time that she became interested in politics and began to identify as a Palestinian nationalist.

After graduating from high school, Khaled moved to Jordan to study English literature at the University of Jordan. She became involved with the Fatah political party and received military training from them. In 1967, she participated in an unsuccessful attempt to hijack an Israeli El Al airliner. She was arrested by Jordanian authorities and spent several months in prison before being released in a prisoner exchange between Israel and Jordan.

Khaled continued her studies after her release from prison, and she eventually earned a Bachelor’s degree in English literature. In 1969, she married Iraqi doctor Fayez Rashid Hassan al-Kawasmi. The couple had two daughters together before divorcing in 1982.

In 1970, Khaled took part in another hijacking attempt, this time successfully diverting an American TWA airliner to Dawson Field near Zarka, Jordan. All passengers and crew were safely released after several days of negotiations, but the plane was destroyed by explosives. Khaled once again found herself imprisoned by Jordanian authorities, but she was later released in another prisoner exchange between Israel and Jordan.

Political Activism

As a young girl, Leila Khaled was fascinated by stories of resistance and revolution. She grew up hearing about the struggle for Palestinian independence and the fight against British colonialism in her homeland. When she was old enough, she joined the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and became a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

During her time with the PFLP, Khaled took part in a number of high-profile operations, including the hijacking of two commercial airplanes in 1969. These actions helped to raise international awareness of the Palestinian cause and put pressure on the Israeli government to negotiate with the PLO.

In later years, Khaled continued to be involved in politics and activism, working for peace and justice in Palestine and around the world. She is an inspiration to many people who are fighting for their own liberation.

Notable Accomplishments

Leila Khaled is a Palestinian revolutionary who was born in Haifa, Palestine in 1944. She is best known for her roles in the 1969 and 1970 hijackings of TWA Flight 840 and EL AL Flight 219. These hijackings brought attention to the Palestinian cause and helped galvanize support for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

Khaled joined the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in 1968. The PFLP was a Marxist-Leninist group that advocated for the overthrow of Israel and its replacement with a secular, democratic state. The PFLP had been involved in a number of terrorist attacks prior to Khaled’s involvement, including the bombing of an Israeli restaurant in 1966 and the 1967 attack on an El Al flight from Rome to Tel Aviv.

Khaled’s first operation was the 1969 hijacking of TWA Flight 840 from Rome to Damascus. The plane was diverted to Damascus, where Khaled and her fellow hijackers demanded the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. After negotiations broke down, Khaled and her accomplices blew up part of the plane before being taken into custody by Syrian authorities.

Just over a year later, Khaled helped carry out the hijacking of EL AL Flight 219 from Amsterdam to New York City. This time, she used plastic explosives to blow up the plane’s landing gear, forcing it to make an emergency landing in Dawson’s Field near Zarqa, Jordan. All passengers and

Reaction to Leila Khaled’s Actions

Leila Khaled became a well-known figure in the Palestinian resistance movement after she hijacked two airplanes in 1969 and 1970 as a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). She was arrested and imprisoned by Israeli authorities after the first hijacking attempt, but was later released in a prisoner exchange.

Khaled’s actions divided opinion among Palestinians, with some seeing her as a heroic freedom fighter and others viewing her as a terrorist. However, there is no doubt that she played a significant role in raising awareness of the Palestinian cause internationally and helping to galvanize support for the struggle against Israeli occupation.

Current Status of Leila Khaled

As of 2019, Leila Khaled is still a member of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and continues to be an advocate for the Palestinian cause. She is currently living in Jordan. In September 2019, she was interviewed by Al Jazeera, where she spoke about her life as a revolutionary and her continued commitment to the Palestinian struggle.


Leila Khaled is one of the most iconic figures in Palestinian history. She has shown tremendous courage and bravery throughout her life, which has been dedicated to fighting for the liberation of her people. From hijackings to armed struggle, she has done everything in her power to bring attention to their plight and push for a just solution. While some may disagree with her tactics or goals, there can be no doubt that she was an influential voice during a crucial time in Palestinian history.

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