Who is Majed al-Faraj and What are His Plans for Gaza? – PROFILE

Top PA official Majed Faraj (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Robert Inlakesh

Majed al-Faraj, one of the most powerful leaders in the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) has been catapulted into the international spotlight, after Israeli suggestions that he may take over security control from the Palestinian Resistance movement Hamas in a post-war Gaza.

As the head of the PA’s General Intelligence Service (GIS), Major General Majed al-Faraj, is tasked with asserting his control of the Palestinian Authority’s security apparatus and is responsible for managing the so-called ‘Security Coordination’ with the Israeli occupation forces. 

He is also currently a front-runner as a potential successor to PA President Mahmoud Abbas in the event that the elderly official is rendered incapable of fulfilling his duties.

Early Activism

Majed al-Faraj was born in 1963, in the Dheisheh Refugee Camp, located in the West Bank’s Bethlehem Governorate. His family are originally from the village of Ras Abu Ammar, but were ethnically cleansed in 1948. 

As a youth, he was active in the Fatah political movement and was arrested and imprisoned by Israel’s occupying forces a total of 15 times, even managing to learn how to speak fluent Hebrew while incarcerated during his various stints in military detention. 

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Faraj also studied in UNRWA schools and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in administration from al-Quds University. During his university years, al-Faraj emerged as one of the founding members of Fatah’s Youth Committees.

The GIS head’s father was killed by Israeli occupation forces, in 2002, during a military raid into Dheisheh Refugee Camp and one of his brothers, Amjad, died of a terminal illness after spending six years in Israeli military prison. Amjad al-Faraj was an active member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

PA Security Forces

Following the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994, after the signing of the Oslo Accords by then Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat, al-Faraj quickly joined the PA security forces; specifically the Preventative Security arm. 

Managing two separate governorates at first, he earned a reputation for himself and built strong relations with both the CIA and Mossad intelligence agencies. 

During the years of the late PA President, Yasser Arafat, Faraj slowly built his portfolio and under President Mahmoud Abbas would begin his journey to power. 

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In 2007 Abbas appointed Majed al-Faraj to be the head of Military Intelligence for the Palestinian Authority.

In September 2009, Majed al-Faraj replaced Tawfiq Tirawi as the head General Intelligence Service (GIS), yet his term in office technically expired some 10 years ago. 

In early 2023, PA President Abbas officially declared that he was amending Section 4 of the Palestinian General Intelligence Law of 2005, enabling Majed al-Faraj to remain in his position indefinitely until such time as the PA’s President decides. 

This triggered uproar among leading personalities in the Fatah movement at the time, as it was an indication that Mahmoud Abbas was setting the stage for al-Faraj to take over as PA President; a position which he sees as rightfully belonging to him.

Corruption Allegations

Along with various corruption allegations, Majed al-Faraj is also alleged to have played a key role in the 2013 US special forces operation that led to the capture of Al-Qaeda leader, Abu Anas al-Libi, which led to him being praised for his role in Washington. 

His close relations with the Israeli Shin Bet and Mossad are well documented, in one interview he even bragged about the important role he has played in Security Coordination between PA security forces and the Israeli occupation army.

Security Coordination is reviled by the majority of the Palestinian population, who have repeatedly called on PA President, Mahmoud Abbas, to cancel it. 

In more recent times, Majed al-Faraj has been part of discussions with delegations from the Hamas leadership, during efforts to unify the Palestinian national leadership. 

He was also sent to two separate US sponsored conferences in early 2023, held in Aqaba (Jordan) and Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt), which were designed to coordinate the formation of a PA fighting force that would confront newly formed Palestinian resistance groups in the northern West Bank. Nothing is yet to come of the plans that were first proposed by Michael Fenzel, the US Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

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Post-War Gaza

Proposed by Benny Gantz, a member of Israel’s war government, Majed al-Faraj is now being promoted as the man to take over Gaza’s security apparatus following the war. 

There have been reports that the Fatah security head has already been attempting to weaponize members of prominent families in Gaza’s Rafah area, yet this appears to be nothing substantial at the current moment. 

Although such an attempt to take power in Gaza, would amount to another Fatah-led Coup, which is what led to the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007 to begin with, there is no evidence of a well-oiled plan to implement this vision. 

In order to implement such an initiative, there would have to be a substantial number of the PA’s former employee base activated and the coordination with them would prove difficult, assuming enough of them are still alive, or capable of implementing some kind of a security force. 

If Majed al-Faraj attempts to implement such an Israeli imposed plot, it will prove disastrous on a number of levels and likely fail quickly.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

– Robert Inlakesh is a journalist, writer, and documentary filmmaker. He focuses on the Middle East, specializing in Palestine. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
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  1. Mr. Majed Al-Faraj should work politically and militarily with Hamas, reach a proper compromise with its leadership, and not appear as Judas in the eyes of Hamas, to achieve peaceful co-existence in Palestine. It is to be noted that the face of the Palestinian resistance to the world at present is Hamas. It is in the best interest of all to come up with compromises and a unified stand for a Free Palestine. What’s best is to have a free, orderly and honest election for the people themselves to decide their future and the leaders they would elect to run their government.

  2. Quite a few things that don’t make any sense in regard to the U.S.-Israeli owned ‘Palestinian Authority’. How exactly does it plan to go into Gaza, overpower Hamas, and establish itself as Gaza’s new government? The overwhelming majority of Gaza’s population is in support of Hamas (whom they democratically elected to be their government), and therefore, would never possibly accept the ‘Palestinian Authority’. Even, over in the West Bank, where it pretends to be a government, it’s intensely rejected by the vast majority of Palestinians. The PA is completely bought and paid for by the U.S. and Israel; therefore, it exists only to carry out the orders given to it by the U.S. and Israel.

    • Unfortunately you are correct in saying that the ownership of the PA is not in any way in the interests of Palestine. Until the correct freedom is “allowed” then there can be no lasting peace because the oppression will just continue. My personal feeling is that there should be an international and neutral force to protect Palestine thus allowing it to de establish itself and to elect it’s own free leaders.

      • In terms of an international peacekeeping force, the genocidal Zionist entity will never “allow” something like that inside occupied Palestine. After all, over the past 76 years, it has employed every possible method to completely remove the Palestinian population from its own homeland. And, as long as the genocidal campaign and occupation continues against the Palestinians, then, there can obviously be no kind of peace. Freedom will finally be obtained by the Palestinians, when their homeland (from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea) is finally liberated from the genocidal Zionist entity.

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