Khaled's night


January 19, 2022

Leila Khaled (Arab. ليلى خالد, Laylā Ḫālid; born 9 April 1944 in Haifa, British Palestine) is a Palestinian political activist, influencer of the Palestinian Liberation People's Front (PFLP) and a former terrorist who became world famous after participating in PF in 1969 and 1970. hijacking. She was the world's first female hijacker.

Life stages


Khaled’s family fled Palestine during the Israeli War of Independence in April 1948 when he was four years old and has since lived as a refugee. He spent his childhood in Tire, Lebanon and joined the Arab National Movement in 1959, following the example of his siblings. He studied at the American University of Beirut from 1963 to 1964, but his studies were interrupted due to a lack of family money. He then worked, among other things, as an English teacher in Kuwait. Khaled joined the newly formed PFLP in December 1967. He received combat training at the PFLP camp and worked as a hairdresser to raise money for the organization. He moved to Amman, Jordan in the late 1960s.


Khaled's first hijacking was the hijacking of a TWA flight en route from Rome via Athens to Tel Aviv on August 8, 1969, with Salim K. Essawai, an Iraqi, armed with pistols and explosives. The hijackers forced the plane to fly to Damascus, Syria, where they let the passengers out and blew up an empty plane. Khaled and Essawai were arrested by Syrian authorities but released in October after 45 days in prison. Khaled returned to Lebanon, where he changed his appearance by undergoing six facial surgeries in order to continue his activities without being identified. Khaled’s second failed hijacking was one of several simultaneous hijackings by the PFLP in September 1970. He was scheduled to hijack El Ali flight 219 with Patrick Argüello, a Nicaraguan-American, en route from Amsterdam to New York on September 6. While the plane was flying over England, they broke into the cockpit with handguns and grenades, but Israeli air police managed to disarm Argüello and an American passenger. Khaled has said he used hand grenades only as a deterrent without intending to harm the passengers, but according to other information, he would have thrown a grenade that did not explode. The plane landed at London Heathrow Airport and Khaled was taken into custody at London's Ealing Police Station. Khaled was flown to Cyprus on September 29, 1970, from where he traveled to Egypt along with six other liberated hijackers. The hijackings in which Khaled participated were designed by Wadie Haddad.

Subsequent action

Khaled has not been involved in armed operations since 1970. He married the commander of the Iraqi-born PFLP in 1970, but the alliance ended. From 1973 to 1977, Khaled served in the Lebanese PFLP and the Palestinian Women's League. From 1978 to 1980, he studied history in the Soviet Union in Moscow and Rostov. In Moscow, she met her second husband, who is also a member of the PFLP. They initially moved to Syria and have lived in Amman, Jordan since 1992. They have two children. Khaled has been a member of the Palestinian National Council since 1979 and a member of the PFLP Central Committee since 1993 and of the Politburo since 2005. She was elected First Secretary of the Palestinian Women's Organization, established in Damascus in 1986. Khaled is in the weather

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