Mahmoud Aloul (محمود العالول) was born in 1950 in Nablus. In February 2017 he was made deputy-chairman of Fatah’s Central Committee (which he joined in 2009). He was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) in 2006 and is heading the ‘Fatah Movement‘ list contesting the May 2021 legislative elections. Aloul is also the head of Fatah’s Commission for Mobilisation and Organisation – which oversees Fatah’s local branches, activities and recruitment.
He is considered a leading candidate to succeed Mahmoud Abbas. As deputy-chairman of Fatah, he would likely act as interim chairman of the party pending internal leadership elections.
After being imprisoned for three years and deported to Jordan by the Israeli army after the 1967 war, he joined Fatah, where he became a top adviser to Yasser Arafat and Fatah deputy leader Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad), as well as a commander in Fatah’s military wing in Jordan and then Lebanon. Despite initial opposition from Israel, Aloul was allowed to return to the Occupied Palestinian Territory in 1995. He was then appointed by Arafat as governor of Nablus, a position he filled for ten years, before becoming PA minister of labour.
Aloul is a proponent of peaceful and popular resistance, including through demonstrations and boycotting Israeli products, though in the past he advocated and engaged in armed resistance.