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Palestine Liberation Organization

Palestine Liberation Organization
Leader Mahmoud Abbas
Founded 28 May 1964[1]
Headquarters Ramallah, West Bank[2][3]
Ideology Palestinian nationalism
Party flag

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (Madrid Conference in 1991. In 1993, the PLO recognized Israel's right to exist in peace, accepted UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, and rejected "violence and terrorism"; in response, Israel officially recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people.[9]


  • Founding 1
  • Politics 2
    • Organization 2.1
    • Membership 2.2
  • History 3
    • Creation 3.1
    • Executive Committee Chairmen 3.2
    • Leadership by Yasser Arafat 3.3
    • War of attrition 3.4
    • Black September in Jordan 3.5
    • Ten Point Program 3.6
    • Lebanon and the Lebanese Civil War 3.7
    • Tunis 3.8
    • First Intifada 3.9
    • Persian Gulf War 3.10
    • Oslo Accords 3.11
    • Second Intifada 3.12
  • Palestinian National Charter 4
  • Status at the United Nations 5
  • Diplomatic representation 6
  • Recognition by Israel and the Oslo Accords 7
  • Political status and actions 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
    • Bibliography 10.1
  • External links 11
    • Official sites 11.1
    • History and overview 11.2
    • Documents 11.3
    • Analysis 11.4
    • General 11.5


Conceived by the Arab states at the first Arab summit meeting, the 1964 Arab League summit (Cairo), its stated goal was the "liberation of Palestine" through armed struggle.[10] The original PLO Charter (issued on 28 May 1964[11]) stated that "Palestine with its boundaries that existed at the time of the British mandate is an integral regional unit" and sought to "prohibit... the existence and activity" of Zionism.[10] It also called for a right of return and self-determination for Palestinians. Palestinian statehood was not mentioned, although in 1974 the PLO called for an independent state in the territory of Mandate Palestine.[12] The group used multi-layered guerrilla tactics to attack Israel from their bases in Jordan (including the West Bank), Lebanon, Egypt (Gaza Strip), and Syria.[13]



Orient House, the former PLO headquarters in Jerusalem

The PLO has a nominal legislative body, the

  • PLO in Oxford Islamic Studies Online
  • Collection of Documents, Biographies and other information on the Palestine Liberation Organization published by the Jewish Virtual Library
  • The Palestinian Vision of Peace (2002) as stated by the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department
  • Documents regarding the Soviet Ministry of Defense 1983 special operation requested by Yasir Arafat: delivery of two German-built coast guard cutters belonging to the PLO from Syria to Tunis – (PDF in Russian) from the Soviet Archives [1] collected by Vladimir Bukovsky
  • Photo enlargement shows Palestinians marching in West Berlin, 15 November 69.
  • Collection of over 150 PLO posters


  • Commentary on the Palestine National Charter published by the Jewish Virtual Library
  • Dean Peter F. Krogh Discusses the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict from the Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archives


  • Statement of Proclamation of the Organization (1964)
  • Palestinian National Charter (1968) published by The Avalon Project at Yale Law School
  • Palestinian National Charter (1964) published by the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations
  • PLO Political Program Adopted at the 12th Session of the Palestine National Council Cairo, 8 June 1974 published by the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations]
  • Decisions and Actions related to the Palestine National Charter (1996) at the Wayback Machine (archived January 18, 2008) published by the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations]
  • Unofficial Translation of the Statement by the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization 1996 document above
  • Draft constitution (2003) as published by the Palestine National Authority Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Constitution of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (1968)


  • Brief history of the Palestine Liberation Organization by

History and overview

  • PLO Negotiations Affairs Department
  • Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations

Official sites

External links

  • Yezid Sayigh, “Struggle Within, Struggle Without: the Transformation of PLO politics since 1982,” International Affairs vol. 65, no. 2 (spring 1989) pages 247–271.
  • Hajjar, Lisa (2005). Courting conflict: the Israeli military court system in the West Bank and Gaza (Illustrated ed.). University of California Press.  


  1. ^ Arabs Create Organization For Recovery of Palestine New York Times; 29 May 1964; "JERUSALEM, (Jordanian Sector) 28 May (Reuters) -The creation of Palestine liberation organization was announced today..."]
  2. ^ a b In West Bank, Ramallah looks ever more like capital: "Abbas opened new Ramallah headquarters for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which was headquartered in East Jerusalem in the years between its establishment in 1964 and Israel's capture of the land in 1967. "God willing, the headquarters of the PLO will return to Jerusalem soon," Abbas said at the 23 November opening ceremony of the building, which the PLO is renting."
  3. ^ a b Abbas: Referendum law is ‘obstacle to peace’: "...Abbas told reporters in Ramallah, where he inaugurated a new headquarters for the PLO."
  4. ^ a b Madiha Rashid al Madfai, Jordan, the United States and the Middle East Peace Process, 1974–1991, Cambridge Middle East Library, Cambridge University Press (1993). ISBN 0-521-41523-3. p. 21:"On 28 October 1974, the seventh Arab summit conference held in Rabat designated the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and reaffirmed their right to establish an independent state of urgency."
  5. ^ Geldenhuys, Deon (1990). Isolated states: a comparative analysis. Cambridge University Press. p. 155.  
  6. ^ United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3210. "Invites the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, to participate in the deliberations of the General Assembly on the question of Palestine in plenary meetings."
  7. ^ United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3236. "Having heard the statement of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, …"
  8. ^ United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3237
  9. ^ Kim Murphy. "Israel and PLO, in Historic Bid for Peace, Agree to Mutual Recognition," Los Angeles Times, 10 September 1993.
  10. ^ a b 1964 Palestinian National Covenant
  11. ^ Helena Cobban, The Palestinian Liberation Organisation(Cambridge University Press, 1984) p.30
  12. ^ The PNC Program of 1974, 8 June 1974. On the site of MidEastWeb for Coexistence R.A. – Middle East Resources. Page includes commentary. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  13. ^ Arab-Israeli Conflict, Encarta
  14. ^ Esam Shashaa, 1974 – PLO representative of the Palestinian people, Zajel, An-Najah National University (Palestine), 26 September 2004. Retrieved 27 December 2006.
  15. ^ United Nations General Assembly Resolution 60/39, 1 December 2005. Accessed online on the Jewish Virtual Library, 27 December 2006.
  16. ^ William L. Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East, Westview Press (2004). ISBN 0-8133-4048-9.
  17. ^ Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations, Decisions and Actions Related to the Palestine National Charter
  18. ^ PLO Central Council Members
  20. ^ Palestinian Factions, CRS Report for Congress, Aaron D. Pina, 8 June 2005: "Damascus based faction that is politically close to Syria and is a Marxist group that suspended its participation in the PLO after the 1993 Israel-Palestinian Declaration of Principles. The PFLP-GC split from the PFLP (established by Dr. George Habbash) in 1968, claiming it wanted to focus more on fighting and less on politics."
  21. ^ a b c d FUNDING EVIL, How Terrorism Is Financed – and How to Stop It By Rachel Ehrenfeld
  22. ^ Statement of Proclamation of the Organization, Palestine Liberation Organization, Jerusalem, 28 May 1964. Online on the site of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  23. ^ The Palestinian National Charter, Adopted in 1964 by the 1st Palestinian Conference. Online on the site of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  24. ^ Al Fatah Chief To Lead Palestinian Liberation; Associated Press; 6 Feb 1969
  25. ^ FATAH WINS CONTROL OF PALESTINE GROUP;New York Times; 5 Feb 1969
  26. ^ Ben-Tzedef, Eviatar (2008-03-24). "Inferno at Karameh". nfc (in עברית). Archived from the original on 21 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  27. ^ a b Political Program Adopted at the 12th Session of the Palestine National Council, Cairo, 8 June 1974. Online on the site of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  28. ^ (Hebrew) news site.
  29. ^ Smith, op. cit., p. 357
  30. ^ Smith, op. cit., 376
  31. ^ Shaul Mishal, Ranan D. Kuperman, David Boas (2001). Investment in Peace: Politics of Economic Cooperation Between Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority. Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 1-902210-88-3 p 64
  32. ^ Helena Cobban, The Palestinian Liberation Organisation: People, Power and Politics, p3
  33. ^ Rashid Khalidi, The Iron Cage, The Story of the Struffle for Palestinian Statehood, p 180
  34. ^ Rashid Khalidi, The Iron Cage, The Story of the Struffle for Palestinian Statehood, p164
  35. ^ Yasser Arafat obituary, (Committee for a Worker’s International) 11 November 2004. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  36. ^ King Hussein, Address to the Nation, Amman, Jordan, 31 July 1988. On the Royal Hashemit Court's official site in tribute to King Hussein. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  37. ^ Steven J. Rosen (2012). "Kuwait Expels Thousands of Palestinians". Middle East Quarterly. From March to September 1991, about 200,000 Palestinians were expelled from the emirate in a systematic campaign of terror, violence, and economic pressure while another 200,000 who fled during the Iraqi occupation were denied return. 
  38. ^ a b Violent globalisms: conflict in response to empire by Cornelia Beyer
  39. ^ Encyclopedia of the Palestinians; by Philip Mattar; 2005
  40. ^ a b Israel-PLO Recognition – Exchange of Letters between PM Rabin and Chairman Arafat – 9–1 Sept, 993
  41. ^ Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations. "Status of Palestine at the United Nations". United Nations. Retrieved 9 December 2010. : "On 2 April 1986, the Asian Group of the U.N. decided to accept the PLO as a full member."
  42. ^ United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (2002). "Government structures". United Nations. Retrieved 5 December 2010. : "At present, the PLO is a full member of the Asian Group of the United Nations".
  43. ^ United Nations General Assembly Resolution 52/250: Participation of Palestine in the work of the United Nations (1998): "Palestine enjoys full membership in the Group of Asian States".
  44. ^  
  45. ^ The law and practice of the United Nations by Benedetto Conforti
  46. ^ "A/67/L.28 of 26 November 2012 and A/RES/67/19 of 29 November 2012". Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  47. ^ a b c Palestine: What is in a name (change)? - Inside Story. Al Jazeera English. Retrieved on 2013-08-25.
  48. ^ "Israel defies UN after vote on Palestine with plans for 3,000 new homes in the West Bank". The Independent. 1 December 2012. 
  49. ^ Abbas has not taken practical steps toward seeking membership for Palestine in UN agencies, something made possible by the November vote
  50. ^ "Palestinians’ UN upgrade to nonmember observer state: Struggles ahead over possible powers". Washington Post. 30 November 2012. 
  51. ^ Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations - State of Palestine Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations. Retrieved on 2013-08-25.
  52. ^ Khoury, Jack. (2013-01-05) Palestinian Authority officially changes name to 'State of Palestine' Israel News Broadcast. Haaretz. Retrieved on 2013-08-25.
  53. ^ Gharib, Ali (2012-12-20). """U.N. Adds New Name: "State of Palestine.  
  54. ^ The Palestinian Diaspora: Formation of Identities and Politics of Homeland, By Helena Lindholm Schulz, Juliane Hammer, Routledge, 2003 p. 81
  55. ^ Mozgovaya, Natasha. (2010-07-22) U.S. upgrades status of Palestinian mission in Washington Israel News Broadcast. Haaretz. Retrieved on 2013-08-25.
  56. ^ "At the threshold of peace Mutual recognition ends 3 decades of strife between Israel and PLO ISRAELI-PLO PEACE TALKS". Retrieved 6 April 2010. 
  57. ^ U.S. Code TITLE 22 > CHAPTER 61 > § 5201. Findings; determinations, Legal Information Institute, Cornell Law School. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  58. ^ 22 USC CHAPTER 61 – ANTI-TERRORISM – PLO, Office of the Law Revision Counsel (United States). Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  59. ^ "Prosecution Of Arafat Rejected". The Washington Post. 22 April 1986. 
  60. ^ Hajjar, 2005, p. 53.


See also

The most notable of what were considered terrorist acts committed by member organizations of the PLO were:

The PLO began their militancy campaign from its inception with an attack on Madrid Conference in 1991.[21] Most of the rest of the world recognized the PLO as the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people from the mid-1970s onwards (after the PLO's admission to the UN as an observer.)[60]

Political status and actions

In 1993, PLO chairman Palestinian people.[40][56] This led to the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993.

Recognition by Israel and the Oslo Accords

The Palestine Information Office was registered with the Justice Department of the United States as a foreign agent until 1968, when it was closed. It was reopened in 1989 as the Palestine Affairs Center.[54] The PLO Mission office, in Washington D.C was opened in 1994, and represented the PLO in the United States. On 20 July 2010, the United States Department of State agreed to upgrade the status of the PLO Mission in the United States to "General Delegation of the PLO".[55]

Diplomatic representation

The UN has authorised Palestine to title its representative office to the UN as 'The Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations',[51] and Palestine has started to re-title its name accordingly on postal stamps, official documents and passports,[47][52] whilst it has instructed its diplomats to officially represent 'The State of Palestine', as opposed to the 'Palestine National Authority'.[47] Additionally, on 17 December 2012, UN Chief of Protocol Yeocheol Yoon decided that "the designation of 'State of Palestine' shall be used by the Secretariat in all official United Nations documents".[53]

[50].International Criminal Court, against Israel in the the State of Palestine with the right to sue for control of the territory that is rightfully theirs in the International Court of Justice and with the legal right to bring war-crimes charges, mainly those relating to Israel's unlawful occupation of Palestine the Law of the Seas Treaty and the International Criminal Court. It shall permit Palestine to claim legal rights over its territorial waters and air space as a sovereign state recognised by the UN. It shall also provide the citizens of [49] The vote was a historic benchmark for the

On Thursday, 29 November 2012, In a 138-9 vote (with 41 abstaining) General Assembly resolution 67/19 passed, upgrading Palestine to "non-member observer state" status in the United Nations.[46][47] The new status equates Palestine's with that of the Holy See.The change in status was described by The Independent as "de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine".[48]

By September 2012, with their application for full membership stalled due to the inability of Security Council members to 'make a unanimous recommendation', the Palestine Authority had decided to pursue an upgrade in status from "observer entity" to "non-member observer state". On 27 November it was announced that the appeal had been officially made, and would be put to a vote in the General Assembly on November 29, where their status upgrade was expected to be supported by a majority of states. In addition to granting Palestine "non-member observer state status", the draft resolution "expresses the hope that the Security Council will consider favourably the application submitted on 23 September 2011 by the State of Palestine for admission to full membership in the United Nations, endorses the two state solution based on the pre-1967 borders, and stresses the need for an immediate resumption of negotiations between the two parties."

After the [44] On 7 July 1998, this status was extended to allow participation in General Assembly debates, though not in voting.[45]

The United Nations General Assembly recognized the PLO as the "representative of the Palestinian people" in Resolution 3210 and Resolution 3236, and granted the PLO observer status on 22 November 1974 in Resolution 3237. On 12 January 1976 the Asia group on 2 April 1986.[41][42][43]

Status at the United Nations

Palestinian National Charter

The Second or Al-Aqsa Intifada started concurrent with the breakdown of talks at Camp David with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. The Intifada never ended officially, but violence hit relatively low levels during 2005. The death toll both military and civilians of the entire conflict in 2000–2004 is estimated to be 3,223 Palestinians and 950 Israelis, although this number is criticized for not differentiating between combatants and civilians. Members of the PLO have claimed responsibility for a number of attacks against Israelis during the Second Intifada.

Second Intifada

Some Palestinian officials have stated that the peace treaty must be viewed as permanent. According to some opinion polls, a majority of Israelis believe Palestinians should have a state of their own—a major shift in attitude after the Oslo Accord—even though both Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres opposed the creation of a Palestinian state, both before and after the Accord. At the same time, a significant portion of the Israeli public and some political leaders (including the current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) express doubt over whether a peaceful, coherent state can be founded by the PLO, and call for significant re-organization, including the elimination of all terrorism, before any talk about independence.

On 9 September 1993, Arafat issued a press release stating that "the PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security".[40]

In 1993, the PLO secretly negotiated the Oslo Accords with Israel.[38] The accords were signed on 20 August 1993.[38] There was a subsequent public ceremony in Washington D.C. on 13 September 1993 with Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin.[39] The Accords granted the Palestinians right to self-government on the Gaza Strip and the city of Jericho in the West Bank through the creation of the Palestinian Authority. Yasser Arafat was appointed head of the Palestinian Authority and a timetable for elections was laid out which saw Arafat elected president in January 1996, 18 months behind schedule. Although the PLO and the PA are not formally linked, the PLO dominates the administration. The headquarters of the PLO were moved to Ramallah on the West Bank.[2][3]

Oslo Accords

After the Gulf War in 1991, Kuwaiti authorities forcibly pressured nearly 200,000 Palestinians to leave Kuwait.[37] The policy which partly led to this exodus was a response to the alignment of PLO leader Yasser Arafat with Saddam Hussein.

Persian Gulf War

A month later, Arafat declared in Geneva that the PLO would support a solution of the conflict based on these Resolutions. Effectively, the PLO recognized Israel's right to exist within pre-1967 borders, with the understanding that the Palestinians would be allowed to set up their own state in the West Bank and Gaza. The United States accepted this clarification by Arafat and began to allow diplomatic contacts with PLO officials. The Proclamation of Independence did not lead to statehood, although over 100 states recognised the State of Palestine.

In 1987, the First Intifada broke out in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Intifada caught the PLO by surprise,[35] and the leadership abroad could only indirectly influence the events. A new local leadership emerged, the Unified National Leadership of the Uprising (UNLU), comprising many leading Palestinian factions. After King Hussein of Jordan proclaimed the administrative and legal separation of the West Bank from Jordan in 1988,[36] the Palestine National Council adopted the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in Algiers, proclaiming an independent State of Palestine. The declaration made reference to UN resolutions without explicitly mentioning Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.

First Intifada

It is suggested that the Tunis period (1982–1991) was a negative point in the PLO's history, leading up to the Oslo negotiations and formation of the Palestinian Authority (PA). The PLO in exile was distant from a concentrated number of Palestinians and became far less effective.[33] There was a significant reduction in centres of research, political debates or journalistic endeavours that had encouraged an energised public presence of the PLO in Beirut. More and more Palestinians were abandoned, and many felt that this was the beginning of the end.[34]

On 1 October 1985, in Operation Wooden Leg, Israeli Air Force F-15s bombed the PLO's Tunis headquarters, killing more than 60 people.

In 1982, the PLO relocated to Tunis, Tunisia after it was driven out of Lebanon by Israel during Israel's six-month invasion of Lebanon. Following massive raids by Israeli forces in Beirut, it is estimated that 8,000 PLO fighters evacuated the city and dispersed.[32]


In 1982, after an attack on a senior Israeli diplomat by Lebanon-based Palestinian militants in Lebanon, Israel invaded Lebanon in a much larger scale in coordination with the Lebanese Christian militias, reaching Beirut and eventually resulting in ousting of the PLO headquarters in June that year. Low-level Palestinian insurgency in Lebanon continued in parallel with the consolidation of Shia militant organizations, but became a secondary concern to Israeli military and other Lebanese factions. With ousting of the PLO, the Lebanese Civil War gradually turned into a prolonged conflict, shifting from mainly PLO-Christian conflict into involvement of all Lebanese factions – whether Sunni, Shia, Druze, and Christians.

After the appointment of Ariel Sharon to the post of Minister of defence in 1981, the Israeli government policy of allowing political growth to occur in the occupied West Bank and Gaza strip changed. The Israeli government tried, unsuccessfully, to dictate terms of political growth by replacing local pro-PLO leaders with an Israeli civil administration.[31]

Opposition to Arafat was fierce not only among radical Arab groups, but also among many on the Israeli right. This included [30]

The population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip saw Arafat as their best hope for a resolution to the conflict. This was especially so in the aftermath of the Camp David Accords of 1978 between Israel and Egypt, which the Palestinians saw as a blow to their aspirations to self-determination. Abu Nidal, a sworn enemy of the PLO since 1974, assassinated the PLO's diplomatic envoy to the European Economic Community, which in the Venice Declaration of 1980 had called for the Palestinian right of self-determination to be recognized by Israel.

By the mid-1970s, Arafat and his Fatah movement found themselves in a tenuous position. Arafat increasingly called for diplomacy, perhaps best symbolized by his Ten Points Program and his support for a UN Security Council resolution proposed in 1976 calling for a two-state settlement on the pre-1967 borders. But the Rejectionist Front denounced the calls for diplomacy, and a diplomatic solution was vetoed by the United States. In 1975, the increasing tensions between Palestinian militants and Christian militias exploded into the Lebanese Civil War, involving all factions. On 20 January 1976, the PLO took part in the Damour massacre in retaliation to the Karantina massacre. The PLO and Lebanese National Movement attacked the Christian town of Damour, killing 684 civilians and forcing the remainder of the towns population to flee. In 1976 Syria joined the war by invading Lebanon, which began the 29‑year Syrian occupation of Lebanon, and in 1978 Israel invaded South Lebanon, in response to the Coastal Road Massacre, executed by Palestinian militants based in Lebanon.

In the late 1960s, and especially after the expulsion of the Palestinian militants from Jordan in Black September events in 1970–1971, Lebanon had become the base for PLO operations. Palestinian militant organizations relocated their headquarters to South Lebanon, and relying on the support in Palestinian refugee camps, waged a campaign of attacks on the Galilee and on Israeli and Jewish targets worldwide. Increasing penetration of Palestinians into Lebanese politics and Israeli retaliations gradually deteriorated the situation.

Lebanon and the Lebanese Civil War

Israel claimed to see the Ten Point Program as dangerous, because it allegedly allows the Palestinian leadership to enter negotiations with Israel on issues where Israel can compromise, but under the intention of exploiting the compromises in order to "improve positions" for attacking Israel. The Hebrew term for this is the "Plan of Stages" (Tokhnit HaSHlabim). During the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in the 1990s, some Israelis repeated this suspicion, claiming that the Palestinians' willingness to compromise was just a smoke-screen to implement the Ten Point Program. After the Oslo Accords were signed, Israeli right-wing politicians claimed (and still claim) that this was part of the ploy to implement the Stage Program as Yasser Arafat himself admitted in Arabic many times. The Ten Point Program was never officially cancelled by the Palestinians.[28]

Despite the fact that the ten point program calls for the elimination of Israel, it led to several radical PLO factions (such as the Steadfastness and Confrontation Front to condemn Egyptian attempts to reach a separate peace with Israel (eventually resulting in the 1979 Camp David Accords).

In 1974, the PNC approved the Ten Point Program[27] formulated by Fatah's leaders, which calls for the establishment of a national authority over any piece of captured Palestinian land, and to actively pursue the establishment of a democratic state in Israel/Palestine. The Ten Point Program was considered the first attempt by PLO at a peaceful resolution, though the ultimate goal was "completing the liberation of all Palestinian territory, and as a step along the road to comprehensive Arab unity."[27]

Ten Point Program

The PLO suffered a major reversal with the Jordanian assault on its armed groups in the events known as Damascus and Beirut, all devoted to armed resistance to either Zionism or Israeli occupation, using methods which included direct clashing and guerrilla warfare against Israel. After Black September, the Cairo Agreement led the PLO to establish itself in Lebanon.

Black September in Jordan

This conflict culminated in Jordan's expulsion of the PLO to Lebanon in July 1971.

From 1967 to September 1970 the PLO, with passive support from Jordan, fought a war of attrition with Israel. During this time, the PLO launched artillery attacks on the moshavim and kibbutzim of Bet Shean Valley Regional Council, while fedayeen launched numerous attacks on Israeli forces. Israel raided the PLO camps in Jordan, including Karameh, withdrawing only under Jordanian military pressure.[26]

War of attrition

The PLO at this time did not clearly either accept or reject a two state solution.

The resounding defeat of Syria, Jordan and Egypt in the Fatah gained control of the executive bodies of the PLO. Arafat was appointed PLO chairman at the Palestinian National Congress in Cairo on 4 February 1969.[24][25] From then on, the Executive Committee was composed essentially of representatives of the various member organizations.

Leadership by Yasser Arafat

(acting [for Arafat] to 11 November 2004)
(in exile in Jordan to April 1971; Lebanon 1971 – December 1982; and Tunis December 1982 – May 1994)

Executive Committee Chairmen

Although Egypt and Jordan supported the creation of a Palestinian state on land that they recognised as being occupied by Israel, they would not grant sovereignty to the Palestinian people in lands under Jordanian and Egyptian military occupation, amounting to 53% of the territory allocated to Arabs under the UN Partition Plan. Hence, Article 24: "This Organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank, the Gaza Strip or in the Himmah Area."

In spite of the 1949 Armistice Agreements, the Arab states remained unreconciled to Israel's creation as they had been to the proposed partition of Palestine in 1948. Therefore, the Palestinian National Charter of 1964[23] stated: "The claims of historic and spiritual ties between Jews and Palestine are not in agreement with the facts of history or with the true basis of sound statehood... [T]he Jews are not one people with an independent personality because they are citizens to their states." (Article 18).

Due to the influence of the Egyptian President Nasser, the PLO supported 'Pan-Arabism', as advocated by him – this was the ideology that the Arabs should live in one state. The first executive committee was formed on 9 August, with Ahmad Shuqeiri as its leader.

The Palestinian National Council convened in Jerusalem on 28 May 1964. Concluding this meeting the PLO was founded on 2 June 1964. Its Statement of Proclamation of the Organization[22] declared "... the right of the Palestinian Arab people to its sacred homeland Palestine and affirming the inevitability of the battle to liberate the usurped part from it, and its determination to bring out its effective revolutionary entity and the mobilization of the capabilities and potentialities and its material, military and spiritual forces".

[21] The



Former member groups of the PLO include:

Present members include:

The PLO has no central decision-making or mechanism that enables it to directly control its factions, but they are supposed to follow the PLO charter and Executive Committee decisions. Membership has fluctuated, and some organizations have left the PLO or suspended membership during times of political turbulence, but most often these groups eventually rejoined the organization. Not all PLO activists are members of one of the factions – for example, many PNC delegates are elected as independents.


[19] The PCC makes policy decisions when PNC is not in session, acting as a link between the PNC and the PLO-EC. The PCC is elected by the PNC and chaired by the PNC speaker.[18] Other institutions are the

Initially, as an armed guerrilla organization, the PLO was responsible for violent actions performed against Israel in the 1970s and early 1980s, regarded as terroristic activities by Israel and regarded as a war of liberation by the PLO. In 1988, however, the PLO officially endorsed a two-state solution, contingent on terms such as making East Jerusalem capital of the Palestinian state and giving Palestinians the right of return to land occupied by Palestinians prior to 1948, as well as the right to continue armed struggle until the end of "The Zionist Entity."[16] In 1996, the PLO nullified the articles of the PLO's Charter, or parts of it, which called for the destruction of Israel and for armed resistance.[17]

Yasser Arafat was the Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee from 1969 until his death in 2004. He was succeeded by Mahmoud Abbas (also known as Abu Mazen).

. United Nations General Assembly to be the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and holds a permanent observer seat in the [15] and by the United Nations[14][4]

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