Ramallah: One of the founding members of the Palestinian Fatah movement has died in the West Bank at the age of 70.

Palestinian officials said that Sakher Habash died of a stroke on Sunday. The Fatah-led Palestinian Authority issued a statement mourning his death.

Habash helped form Fatah in 1965 and served as a close military aide to the movement's leader, Yasser Arafat.

He spent time in exile with Arafat in Lebanon in the 1970s, and held various top positions within Fatah, including its director of recruitment.

Habash is survived by his wife, three sons and a daughter.