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Former Palestinian Negotiator Dies in Gaza


A leading Palestinian negotiator and critic of the Oslo peace agreement with Israel has died.

Doctors and family members said Haidar Abdel Shafi died of cancer Tuesday in the Gaza Strip. He was 88.

Shafi led a joint Palestinian and Jordanian team at the Madrid peace conference in 1991 and at peace talks in Washington over the following two years.

He resigned as a negotiator in 1993 over the Oslo peace agreement with Israel. Shafi predicted the peace process would collapse because the deal did not solve the issue of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Trained as a physician in Lebanon and the United States, Shafi returned to his native Gaza in the mid-1940s where he became involved in the Palestinian cause. He advocated unity among warring Palestinian factions.

He was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council in the late 1990s, but resigned from the body before the end of his term in a move widely seen as critical of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

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