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Yāsir ?Arafāt

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Yāsir ?Arafāt, believed to have been born this day in Cairo in 1924, became president of the Palestinian Authority in 1996. He was previously chairman (from 1969) of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and leader of Fatah, the largest of the constituent PLO groups. In 1993 he led the PLO in a peace agreement with the Israeli government. ?Arafāt and Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres of Israel were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1994.