Bruno Kreisky Foundation

for Human Rights

dr Issam Sartawi (Palestine)

Assassinated, posthumously awarded

Issam Sartwawi was born in Akko, Palestine (present-day Israel). He studied medicine in Baghdad, Iraq and the US. He specialized in cardiology before entering into politics in 1967. He joined the Fatah movement in Palestine in 1970, and went on to become the leader of the movement later on. Sartawi was the first person to hold this position who was also a member of the Palestinian national council for a peace policy with Israel.

In 1976 and 1977 he worked together with Arie Lova Eliav and other members of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Council to come to a peaceful solution to the Arabic-Israeli conflict He also led the Palestinian and Israeli delegations in a London seminar about the Palestinian question.

Sartawi received the Bruno Kreisky Prize in 1979 along with Arie Lova Eliav for their promotion of dialogue. The Palestinian doctor and the Israeli politician were awarded the prize for their early work towards peace initiatives, which paved the way for future dialogue.

He was critized widely by radical Palestinian and in 1983 he fell victim to a murder attempt in Albufeira, Portugal.

(Bruno Kreisky Archive)