Al-Sheikh has headed the Palestinian Authority‘s General Authority of Civil Affairs since 2007. In this capacity, he serves as one of the primary contacts with Israeli authorities regarding civilian matters in the West Bank.
Al-Sheikh previously served as minister for the coordination of civil affairs between 2013 and 2019. While no longer a member of the Palestinian government, al-Sheikh has retained his ministerial rank.
Following the 2014 Gaza war, al-Sheikh was appointed as the PA’s representative on the trilateral Gaza reconstruction committee alongside Israeli and Egyptian representatives. In this capacity, he serves as the Palestinian government’s main contact for the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM).
According to his own biography, Al-Sheikh was detained for eleven years by Israeli forces between 1978 and 1989.* While in Israeli prison, he learned Hebrew. He then became a member of the Unified National Leadership of the Uprising (UNLU) during the First Intifada. Following the Oslo Accords and the establishment of the PA, he served briefly in Preventive Security with the rank of colonel, before becoming secretary general of Fatah in the West Bank in 1999.
He is president of al-Bireh’s youth sports club.
*His official Fatah party profile puts Al-Sheikh in prison between 1977 and 1988.