Palestine Liberation Organization
(PLO)

The Palestinian National Covenant, 1968 
Declaration of Independence 
Palestine-Related Documents: 

Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO):

In May 1964, 422 Palestinian national figures meeting in Jerusalem under the chairmanship of Ahmad Shuqeiri and following an Arab League decision, founded the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and laid down the structure of the Palestine National Council (PNC), the PLO Executive Committee, the National Fund and the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) as well as approving a Palestinian national covenant and basic law; since then the PLO has been an umbrella organization for various Palestinian factions and resistance groups; became independent when taken over by Fatah with Arafat as chairman in 1969 and then acquired a more central role in mobilizing Palestinians as well as international support; created a number of organizations to provide education, health etc. and to relieve the conditions of the Palestinian people and formed a quasi-governmental structure performing tasks in the areas of internal security, military operations, finances, information, foreign relations etc..

Early ideology followed-pan-Arabism; highest executive body is the Executive Committee consisting of 12 member elected by the PNC and which has full operational authority over all PLO-organizations and prepares the budget; gaining a more independent identity under Arafat's guidance, the focus was on primacy of Palestinian interests and the role of the national (rather than the united) struggle which is considered a root of Palestinian nationalism; recognized by the UN General Assembly as the representative of the Palestinian people (Resolution 3210) on October 14th 1974, and gained the status of observership; in 1965 granted access to the Security Council; declared Palestinian independence on November 15th 1988; announced in Geneva in December 1988, the recognition of Israel's right to exist and its renunciation of terrorism; headquarters was Lebanon Until PLO's evacuation in the course of the 1982 war; reestablished its headquarters in Tunis where it stayed until it moved to the Palestinian autonomous areas (Gaza and Jericho) following the Declaration of Principles of September 13th 1993 and Cairo Agreement of May 4th 1994 in July 1994; now: Palestinian Authority (PA).

Palestinian National Council (PNC):

Legislative body of the PLO; ultimate decision-making authority of the Palestinians; formulates policies, issues guidelines to the executive Committee, and nominates its members; in effect the Palestinian parliament in-exile with representatives of al sections of the Palestinian community such as resistance groups, trade unions and professional organizations; declared Palestinian independence on November 15th 1988; Current membership is 483, selected either by appointment or election, depending on local conditions in the countries where Palestinians live; 84 seats for representatives from the OPT are left vacant.
 

PLO Executive Committee (EC):

Highest executive body; consisting of 18 members elected by the PNC; full operational authority over all PLO organizations and budget; directs the activities of the PLO in accordance with the Covenant and the Basic Law; members have ministerial positions in the various PLO departments responsible for foreign affairs, higher education, military, the OPT, national relations (with Arab states), popular organizations, information and culture, administration, social affairs, economics, planning, health and finance (PNF).

Palestine Central Council (PCC):

Established in 1973 as consultative body to the EC; became a consultative and legislative body at the 20th PNC in 1991; membership is now elected form among members of the PNC (present: 95 members); meets regularly every six months and plays the role of the PNC when PNC is not in session.

Palestinian Liberation Army (PLA):

Formed in 1964 as military component of the PLO; until 1967 centered in Gaza with links to Egypt; under Arafat's early PLO leadership followed the strategy of guerilla warfare; most of the forces were deployed in Syria and Lebanon with headquarters in Damascus; some units deployed in the OPT following the DOP of 13 September 1993 and Cairo Agreement of 4 May 1994.



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