Knowing More Leila Khaled: Icon of Palestinian Liberation

Knowing More Leila Khaled: Icon of Palestinian Liberation

Selasa, 7 November 2023 – 17:30 WIB

Jakarta – Leila Khaled successfully becomes an icon to Palestinian liberation, It’s based on interviews with Laila Khaled carried out in Amman, where she now lives; her autobiography; and on some articles published in the Guardian and in left-wing magazines. 

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Leila’s public image has been almost entirely dictated by her defining hijackings of 1969 and 1970. Since then she has become a mother, teacher, campaigner, a member of the Palestinian National Council and a leader in the General Union of Palestinian Women. 

Leila Khaled

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Like other militants and those labeled “terrorists” – from Northern Ireland to Nicaragua – she has moved from the armed struggle to the political arena. The two hijackings gained her an icon status.

Leila Khaled is a Palestinian activist and Palestinian resistance icon, most notably as a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). 

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Leila is famous for being the first woman to be involved in an airplane hijacking in 1969. Born in 1944 in Haifa, Palestine, Leila Khaled was expelled from her home during the Nakba in 1948.

The event led to massive expulsions and the creation of the state of Israel. As a refugee, she grew up in difficult conditions and was involved in political movements from a young age.

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Leila Khaled joined the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a left-leaning resistance group fighting for the liberation of Palestine. In her struggle, she strongly opposed the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Moreover, she has been internationally recognized since 1969. At that time, she was involved in the hijacking of an El Al plane, an Israeli airline. 

In the incident, the plane was diverted to Syria, and all passengers were released without physical injury. In her interview with New Int, Lelia mentioned that her goal in hijacking the Israeli plane was to free Palestinian prisoners, especially women. 

Leila Khaled

Leila Khaled

Photo :
  • https://www.plutobooks.com/

This action was also carried out to raise international awareness of the Palestinian struggle.

“We want the world to know that we are not just refugees who need help and live in tents, we are a society with a purpose,” Leila Khaled said according to one source.

In the interview, she also said that she did not care about the label attached to her as the first woman to hijack a plane. Leila Khaled revealed that the hijacking itself was not the end goal, it was just one way to get attention. 

“Of course, we knew that we wouldn’t liberate Palestine by hijacking, but this was a way to get international attention,” she said. 

“I had a hand grenade in my pocket and a gun. Then I met my (PFLP) colleague Salim Essawi. We had clear instructions not to hurt anyone. I told the pilot that I was the new captain and showed him the hand grenade. I told him: ‘We are Palestinians from the PFLP. We are refugees and the name of our unit is Che Guevara’.”

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Halaman Selanjutnya

Leila Khaled joined the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a left-leaning resistance group fighting for the liberation of Palestine. In her struggle, she strongly opposed the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Halaman Selanjutnya



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