- Former district leader of the terrorist group al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades
Born in 1977, Ra’ed al-Karmi was the Tulkarm district leader of the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the terrorist faction of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement. He was also the head of the Tulkarm faction of Arafat’s Tanzim, which is the armed wing of Fatah and serves as an informal, unofficial “army” for the Palestinians.
In his career as a terrorist, Al-Karmi, acting under the direct supervision of Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti, was responsible for the deaths of nine Israelis and the wounding of many others. On January 14, 2002, he was assassinated by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) with a car bomb.
In the aftermath of Al-Karmi’s death, Israeli security sources expressed astonishment that he had been walking around freely — in light of the fact that the Palestinian Authority had recently told European Union officials that Al-Karmi was incarcerated in a Tulkarm prison. Al-Karmi “was a terrorist of the deadliest kind,” said Israeli Transportation Minister Ephraim Sneh. “A man like this is a like a ticking bomb. He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.”
The IDF had targeted Al-Karmi for assassination on previous occasions as well. On September 6, 2001, for example, missiles were fired at the jeep in which he was traveling, but missed their mark.