Major General Jibril Rajoub, born near Hebron in 1954, is secretary general of Fatah’s Central Committee. He is a former chief of Preventive Security in the West Bank and is regarded as a potential candidate to succeed Mahmoud Abbas. He reportedly maintains power bases in the areas of Hebron and Ramallah. He is running in the May 2021 legislative elections on the ‘Fatah Movement‘ list.
Rajoub is a veteran leader of Fatah in the West Bank. In 1970 Israel sentenced Rajoub to 17 years in prison for attacking Israeli soldiers, releasing him 1985 as part of a prisoner swap orchestrated by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC). He was deported to Lebanon in January 1988 following the outbreak of the First Intifada. From there, he relocated to Tunis as an adviser to Fatah’s deputy leader Khalil al-Wazir. He returned to the West Bank in 1994 as part of the Oslo peace process, where he headed the Preventive Security service until his removal by Yasser Arafat in 2002. During that time, he served as the main Palestinian representative responsible for security coordination with Israel and the CIA.
Since 2006, Rajoub has led the Palestine Football Association, and been credited with professionalising the institution and advancing the national team’s standing; he was involved in the unsuccessful 2017 campaign to exclude Israeli settlement clubs from FIFA. Rajoub is also president of the Palestine Olympic Committee.
His brother, Naif Rajoub, was a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) between 2006-2018 for Hebron and is currently in Israeli administrative detention.