Yasser Arafat (August 4 or August 24, 1929 - November 11, 2004), born Mohammed Abdel-Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini and also known by the kunya Abu `Ammar as Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (1969-2004); President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) (1993-2004); and a co-recipient of the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize alongside Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin, for the successful negotiations of the 1993 Oslo Accords.
Arafat, however, was a controversial and polarizing figure throughout his lengthy career. While his supporters viewed him as a heroic freedom fighter who symbolized the national aspirations of the Palestinian people, his opponents often described him as an unrepentant terrorist with a long legacy of promoting violence. Still others, on the Palestinian side, accused him of being a deeply corrupt politician or a weak leader who made too many concessions to the Israeli government during the 1993 Oslo Accords. However, Arafat has been widely recognized through-out the world for his leading of the Fatah, which he founded in 1957, to the 1993 recognition of Israel and the signature of the Oslo Accords. However, after the beginning of the Intifada al-Aqsa, Ariel Sharon, Israel's Prime Minister confined him to the Moqataa headquarters in Ramallah. With George W. Bush, president of the United States, he declared him "an obstacle to the peace", a claim challenged by the European Union. Following his death on November 11, 2004, which rumors persist of calling an assassination, Mahmoud Abbas, winning the January 2005 presidential elections, replaced him as leader of the PA, while the January 2006 elections witnessed the victory of the Hamas, an Islamist party opposed to the Fatah.