Palestinian Liberation Organisation.
In Arabic: Munazzimat At-Thrir Al-Filastiniyya.
Founded in 1964 to liberate Palestine and achieve Palestinian self-determination
The Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) was founded in 1964 with the purpose of liberating Palestine, achieving Palestinian self-determination, and securing the return of the refugees. It was conceived at an Arab League summit in Cairo, and backed the use of armed struggle to achieve its goals. The PLO’s first meeting occurred in Jerusalem, on May 28, 1964, when 422 Palestinian figures met to elect a leader, Ahmed Shuqeiri. The conference also set up a legislative body, the Palestinian National Council (PNC), the PLO Executive Committee, a National Fund, and the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA), and also drafted a National Covenant and Basic Law. After Shuqeiri’s resignation in December 1967, Yahya Hamoudeh became head of the PLO, before Yasser Arafat succeeded him in 1969. The PLO became an umbrella organisation for various Palestinian factions and acquired a central role in mobilising Palestinians worldwide and focusing international support for their cause. The PLO established departments to provide education, health, and other relief services for Palestinians, and formed a quasi-government with its own security services, information offices and foreign policy. On October 14, 1974, the United Nations General Assembly recognised the PLO as the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people”. Two weeks later, on October 28, it was similarly recognised at the Arab League’s Rabat Summit as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. On November 15, 1988, the PLO declared Palestinian independence from their base in Algiers, and the following month, also recognised the existence of Israel in its 1967 borders and renounced terrorism. In 1993, Israel recognised the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Since the death of Arafat on November 11, 2004, the PLO has been headed by Mahmoud Abbas.
The PLO is responsible for negotiating the permanent status issues towards a final agreement with Israel.
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