Palestinian politician and former Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority from 2003 to 2006. He was a prominent member of the PLO and he previously served as speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
He joined the Fatah, a large branch of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in 1968.
He was important in negotiating the Oslo Accords in 1993 between Palestine and Israel which provided for the creation of a Palestinian interim self-government, the Palestinian National Authority.
He was born and raised just outside of Jerusalem.
He was nominated to be Prime Minister by Yasser Arafat in 2003.