“I extend my condolences on the passing away of Dr Ramadan Abdullah to the dear Palestinian nation and all fighters whose hearts are with the Palestinian issue, especially the self-sacrificing ‘Islamic Jihad movement of Palestine’ and also the family of this blessed departed soul,” the Leader said.
“The Palestinian resistance lost a very valuable element. I hope that with the guidance and help of God, the Jihadi efforts of the worthy successors who follow the path of such Mujahideen as Fathi Shaqaqi and Ramadan Abdullah will make up for this loss,” he added.
Shallah, who served as secretary general of the resistance group from 1995 to 2018, died at the age of 62 on Saturday night, according to Lebanon’s al-Manar television network.
He had been in a coma for more than three years. In April 2018, Shallah suffered several heart attacks and was transferred from the Syrian capital, Damascus, where he was based, to Beirut for surgery. He failed to regain consciousness.
Shallah was born in Gaza in 1958 and studied in Egypt before earning a PhD in economics in the United Kingdom.
He led the Islamic Jihad movement for more than 20 years, after its founder, Fathi Shaqaqi, was assassinated in Malta in 1995 in an attack widely attributed to Israel.
In 2018, Shallah’s deputy Ziad al-Nakhalah was named as the new leader of the movement, which was founded in 1981 to realize the Palestinian cause of establishing an independent state.
Alongside the Hamas resistance movement, a Gaza-based ally, the Islamic Jihad has defended Palestinians against the Israeli regime during three deadly wars since 2008.