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Ahmed Jabari is a Palestinian military leader; he became involved in his youth in resisting the Israeli occupation and was imprisoned by his authorities, and then joined the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), in which he rose politically and militarily until he became the "deputy commander-in-chief" of its military arm, the Qassam Brigades, which under his supervision became a "disciplined regular army." Israel declared him its "first wanted" and pursued him until it assassinated him in its aggression on the Gaza Strip in 2012.

Birth and upbringing
Ahmed Saeed Khalil al-Jabari was born in 1960 in the Shujaiya neighborhood, east of Gaza City, in southern Palestine, to a family that moved at the beginning of the twentieth century from the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank to the Gaza Strip. He was the father of a family of ten sons and two daughters.

Study and training
Jabari holds a Bachelor's degree in Islamic History from the Islamic University of Gaza. He was fluent in Hebrew.

Functions and responsibilities Jabari assumed organizational and political responsibilities
within Hamas, then moved from its political leadership to the leadership of its military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, where he rose through the command ladder until he became its "chief of staff" and its deputy commander-in-chief, Muhammad Deif.

The experience of resistance
Jabari opened his career in resisting the Israeli occupation as an active fighter in the ranks of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah), and was arrested on charges of joining Fatah military groups that planned a commando operation against the occupation in 1982.

In prison, Jabari had a wide relationship with the leaders of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, such as Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, and Ibrahim al-Muqadma, ending his relationship with Fatah, and then joining this group, which later became called Hamas, before the latter was officially established in 1987.

After his release from Israeli prisons in 1995, he became close to Hamas' political leadership and turned to organizational institutional work within the movement, where he took charge of its Department of Prisoners and Ex-Detainees Affairs, and in 1997 he became an official in the Islamic Salvation Party, which Hamas established to overcome the obstacles imposed on it by the Palestinian Authority, and was elected a member of Hamas' political bureau for two consecutive terms.

During his political activity, Jabari's relationship with the commander-in-chief of the Qassam Brigades in Palestine, Muhammad al-Deif, the first explosives engineer in Hamas, Adnan al-Ghoul, and the prominent military leader Saad al-Arabid, strengthened with them, so he contributed with them – along with Sheikh Salah Shehadeh – to the establishment of the "Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades" and assumed command of the Gaza area organizationally called the "Gaza Brigade", which prompted the PA's Preventive Security Service in 1998 to arrest him for two years on the "charge" of his relationship with the Qassam Brigades.

He was active in leading the operations of the uprising against the occupation and became one of the first generation of Hamas military leaders, so he was the third in the military council of the Qassam Brigades until Israel assassinated Sheikh Shehadeh on July 2000, 22.

When Israel failed in its attempt to assassinate the commander-in-chief of the Qassam Brigades, Muhammad al-Deif, in 2003 – during which he was seriously wounded – Jabari became the "de facto commander" of the Qassam Brigades as Deif's deputy, and the Israeli security and military leadership called him "the chief of staff of Hamas" and the "most difficult figure" in leading its military wing.

Jabari's great military role emerged during the Israeli aggression on Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009, and his star shone and the Israeli media considered him "the architect of the response" to this aggression, which lasted more than twenty days, and called him "the ghost" because of the inability of the Israeli forces to assassinate him or catch him during the aggression.

From his position at the top of the military leadership pyramid of the Qassam Brigades, Jabari achieved – with the testimony of Israeli and Western experts – great achievements in his years in charge of the "Chief of Staff", as he worked to develop the capabilities of the battalions and transform them within a short period of time from the group system to something like a regular army estimated at about 20,<> disciplined fighters, and possesses a diverse arsenal of medium and light weapons that enable him to manage a complete battle.

Jabari proved high leadership capabilities in supervising many of the operations of the qualitative Qassam Military Brigades, and under his command these battalions became – according to the New York Times (November 19, 2012) – adopting "clear training systems and chain of command," and became "highly organized, increasingly professional" and more institutionalized, so that if it loses its leadership, a new leadership rises to replace it, as "with the commander-in-chief there are always other leaders."

According to the New York Times, al-Qassam – led by Jabari – became within two decades "the strongest and widest militia among the many Gaza militias," and the newspaper reported that al-Qassam "divided the Gaza Strip into six geographical areas, each with its own leader, who is under the authority of Jabari, who became "a popular hero whose image is filled with posters and banners throughout the Strip."

"Each of these areas has its own artillery, anti-tank and anti-aircraft (for tanks and aircraft), snipers, engineers and infantry, in addition to special forces for communications, logistics, smuggling, weapons, intelligence and public relations, thus expanding and maturing the al-Qassam Brigades under Jabari's command," she said.

Israel accused Jabari of being responsible for planning and executing a large number of Qassam military operations against it, so he remained wanted "No. 1" by its intelligence services and targeted him with four failed assassination attempts, one of which was on August 18, 2004, when an Israeli aircraft bombed his family home, lightly wounding him, and martyring his eldest son, Muhammad, his brother, brother-in-law, and relatives. The Shin Bet also developed two plans for his abduction, one of which was in mid-2008 as the "highest preferred target."

With his significant military achievements, Jabari, described by Israel as "in the middle between Hamas's military and political levels," rose to prominence in his leadership (beginning in 2009) of the negotiations for the deal of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, whom he himself supervised his capture on June 25, 2006, during the Qassam Brigades' Operation Dissipated Illusion and remained in his custody for six years during which Israel could not find any information about him.

These complex and indirect negotiations with Israel culminated in the exchange of its soldiers Shalit for 1047,2011 Palestinian prisoners, some of them with high sentences, a deal that was completed between October and December <> and which Hamas called "Wafa al-Ahrar." His success in completing the operation led those familiar with him to describe him as "successful in managing prisoners' affairs and success in his military command."

The New York Times described Jabari as "the most practical element within Hamas. , the Hamas strongman responsible for the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit and for the implementation of the ceasefire agreements brokered by Egyptian intelligence."

The newspaper added that Jabari "was not ready to abandon the strategy of 'resistance' against Israel, but he recognized the need for a new approach and was ready to agree to a long-term ceasefire."

People close to him say that "he had a unique faculty in teaching Qassam operatives a lot of security methods, especially with regard to determining ways to respond to the violations of the occupation," helped by his proficiency in Hebrew and his follow-up to the Israeli media, through which he realized what the occupation authorities feared. He was keen to teach the resistance elements Hebrew so that they could understand their enemy closely and correctly.

Jabari lived in complete secrecy, as he completely distanced himself from the media, appearing only in one documentary program in which he talked about himself and the Qassam Brigades, and he was very hidden and did not know his house or phone number because he "had a high sense of security when moving from one place to another," according to people close to him.

Therefore, he appeared only at some Qassam military exercises and on the day of the handover of Israeli soldier Shalit to Egyptian intelligence, where he was held alongside Qassami leader Raed al-Attar. He also appeared at some special events honoring the freed prisoners for minutes before disappearing. But he used to participate in some popular mass celebrations and festivals and sit in the last rows that people do not pay attention to.

On the evening of November 14, 2012, Israeli occupation forces assassinated Ahmad al-Jabari in an airstrike that targeted his car near the public service compound in Gaza City, just a week after he returned from Mecca, where he performed the hajj. His assassination was a prelude to a major Israeli military assault on the Gaza Strip that lasted about ten days.

Until the moment of his assassination, Jabari – whom the Qassam Brigades said in a statement to be "the chief of staff of the resistance in Palestine and the most prominent commander of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades" – remained faithful to his statement that affects him: "As long as the Zionists occupy our Palestinian land, they have nothing but death or departure from it."

Source : Al Jazeera + Websites