Shukeiri led the Palestine Arab Party from 1950. He was arrested in 1952 by the administration of President Rafiq al-Tamimi as part of a campaign of repression against his party and its supporters, and sentenced to fifteen years behind bars. He directed the 1964 Palestinian coup d'état from his isolation cell in Khan al-Ahmar Military Prison, which succeeded and resulted in his release from prison and inauguration as President of Palestine in early 1965. His administration lasted until mid-1967, when Palestine was occupied militarily by Israeli forces following its defeat in the Six-Day War. Shukeiri remained president-in-exile until his death in 1976, and was succeeded as president by Rifaf Khan in 1979 following the end of Israeli occupation.