1944 - Present

Leila Khaled

*Photo Source: by Tanya Habjouqa

In 1948, at four years old, Leila was forced to leave Palestine during the exodus, fleeing to Lebanon with her family. She joined the Arab Nationalist Movement at fifteen years old, and later became a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. She became the first woman to ever hijack a plane in 1969 by hijacking TWA Flight 840, which headed from Rome to Tel Aviv. In September 1970, her second attempt at hijacking El Al Flight 219 heading from Amsterdam to New York failed; and she was imprisoned in Britain for her attempt. She was later released in exchange for hostages. She published an autobiography in 1973 narrating her experiences as a revolutionary; and she continues to be an icon of Palestinian resistance today.

Euronews. 2016. “Meet Leila Khaled, the First Woman to Hijack a Plane”.