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Encyclopedia Of The Palestinians: Biography of Abd al-Aziz al-Rantisi
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Posted on November 12, 2000

The below article is from Encyclopedia Of The Palestinians edited by Philip Mattar

Rantisi, Abd al-Aziz
physician, Islamic activist
1947- Yibna

Rantese, Abdul Aziz

From a village southwest of Ramla, Rantisi's family fled to the GAZA STRIP during the ARAB-ISRAELI WAR OF 1948. He completed medical studies at the university of Alexandria in Egypt in 1971, after which he returned to practice medicine in Gaza. He served as head of pediatrics at Khan Yunis Hospital until he was dismissed by Israeli authorities in 1983; thereafter, he worked in clinics and was a lecturer at the Islamic University in Gaza.
Rantisi became a leading Islamic activist in Gaza. In 1973, he helped found the Islamic Center in Gaza, which was associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. He was a leading figure within HAMAS after its creation in 1988 and was its effective leader in Gaza after Israel arrested the Hamas spiritual leader, AHMAD YASIN, in May 1989. Rantisi himself served time in Israeli prisons during the INTIFADA and was eventually deported to southern Lebanon along with over 400 other Palestinians in December 1992. He attained international exposure as spokesperson for the deportees. Allowed to return the following year, Rantisi was again imprisoned in December 1993 until his release in April 1997 .
Michael R. Fischbach


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