Palestine Liberation Organization
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Palestine Liberation Organization(PLO), coordinating council for Palestinian organizations, founded (1964) by Egypt and the Arab League and initially controlled by Egypt. Composed of various guerrilla groups and political factions, the PLO is dominated by Al Fatah, the largest group, whose leader, Yasir ArafatArafat, Yasir or Yasser
, 1929–2004, leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the coordinating body for Palestinian organizations, and head of Al Fatah, the largest group in the PLO.
..... Click the link for more information. , was chairman of the PLO from 1969 to 2004 and established Palestinian control over the organization. Other groups in the PLO include the Syrian-backed As Saiqa and the Marxist-oriented Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
The PLO was initially committed to the dissolution of Israel, mainly through the use of armed force. Since its founding, the organization has sponsored innumerable guerrilla raids on Israeli civilian and military targets. although it has disclaimed responsibility for many of the Palestinian movement's more spectacular acts of terror. In 1974 the PLO received UN recognition, and a government in exile was recognized by Arab nations as a basis for a future Palestinian state, to be formed from land regained from Israel along the west bank of the Jordan River. In 1976 the PLO was granted full membership in the Arab League.
In 1982 the PLO was weakened when, after the Israeli siege of BeirutBeirut
, Arab. Bayrut, Fr. Beyrouth, city (1996 est. pop. 1,200,000), W Lebanon, capital of Lebanon, on the Mediterranean Sea, at the foot of the Lebanon Mts. Beirut is an important port and financial center with food processing industries.
..... Click the link for more information. , Lebanon (see Arab-Israeli WarsArab-Israeli Wars,
conflicts in 1948–49, 1956, 1967, 1973–74, and 1982 between Israel and the Arab states. Tensions between Israel and the Arabs have been complicated and heightened by the political, strategic, and economic interests in the area of the great powers.
..... Click the link for more information. ), PLO guerrillas in West Beirut were dispersed to other Arab countries. In 1988 the PLO responded to the Palestinian uprising, or IntifadaIntifada
[Arab.,=uprising, shaking off], the Palestinian uprising during the late 1980s and early 90s in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, areas that had been occupied by Israel since 1967. A vehicular accident that killed four Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in Dec.
..... Click the link for more information. , in the West BankWest Bank,
territory, formerly part of Palestine, after 1949 administered by Jordan, since 1967 largely occupied by Israel (2005 est. pop. 2,386,000), 2,165 sq mi (5,607 sq km), west of the Jordan River, incorporating the northwest quadrant of the Dead Sea.
..... Click the link for more information. and Gaza StripGaza Strip
, (2007 pop. 1,416,543) rectangular coastal area, c.140 sq mi (370 sq km), SW Asia, on the Mediterranean Sea adjoining Egypt and Israel, in what was formerly SW Palestine, now officially administered by the Palestinian Authority.
..... Click the link for more information. by proclaiming the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. The PLO also equivocally recognized Israel's right to exist and renounced terrorism.
In 1991 the Lebanese army, with Syrian backing, forced the PLO out of its strongholds in S Lebanon, and PLO relations with the West deteriorated because of PLO support of Iraq in the Persian Gulf WarPersian Gulf Wars,
two conflicts involving Iraq and U.S.-led coalitions in the late 20th and early 21st cent.
The First Persian Gulf War, also known as the Gulf War, Jan.–Feb.
..... Click the link for more information. . In 1993, a peace agreement between the PLO and Israel was reached providing for mutual recognition and a transition to a degree of Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In 1994, Arafat appointed an interim 19-member Palestinian AuthorityPalestinian Authority
(PA) or Palestinian National Authority,
interim self-government body responsible for areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip under Palestinian control.
..... Click the link for more information. (PA), under his direction, to administer Palestinian affairs in the areas of self-rule; the Palestinian Authority has since become independent of the PLO. Under a 1995 accord, self-rule was extended over a two-year period to all major Arab cities and villages in the West Bank, except East Jerusalem.
Arafat was elected president of the Palestinian-controlled territory in 1996. In the same year the PLO formally revoked all clauses in its founding charter that called for the dissolution of Israel, and Arafat pledged to fight terrorism. Agreements in the late 1990s gradually increased the area of the West Bank under Palestinian control, but violence resumed in 2000 after further negotiations with Israel stalled. Following Arafat's death in 2004, Mahmoud AbbasAbbas, Mahmoud
, 1935–, Palestinian leader, also known as Abu Mazen. He was born in Saffed, Palestine (now in Israel), but his family fled during the 1948–49 Arab-Israeli conflict and lived in Syria. Educated at Damascus Univ.
..... Click the link for more information. succeeded him as PLO chairman and in 2005 as Palestinian president. In the Palestinian legislative council elections in 2006, HamasHamas
[Arab., = zeal], Arabic acronym for the Islamic Resistance Movement, a Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist organization that was founded in 1987 during the Intifada; it seeks to establish an Islamic state in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip (the former
..... Click the link for more information. won a majority of the seats in a victory that in part was a rejection of the corruption and failures associated with the PLO. Subsequently there was fighting between Al Fatah and Hamas forces in 2006 and 2007, and when Hamas seized control in Gaza in June, 2007, Abbas dismissed the Hamas-led government, accusing it of an attempted coup. Attempts since then to establish a national unity government including both Al Fatah and Hamas have been unsuccessful, and tensions between the two continued, but in 2017 negotiations led to a preliminary deal between Hamas and Al Fatah to return the Gaza Strip to PA control.
Palestine Liberation Organization
(PLO; Munazzamat al-Tahrir al-Filastiniyah), the group uniting the majority of organizations in the Palestinian resistance movement, a movement struggling to secure the legitimate rights of the Arab people of Palestine. Created in 1964, the PLO was recognized as the only legal representative of the Arab people of Palestine at the conference of Arab heads of state in Algiers (November 1973) and at a number of other conferences and meetings. It has observer status at the United Nations and is a member of the Arab League. There are PLO bureaus in almost all Arab countries and in a number of countries in Europe and Asia. Armed forces of the Palestinian resistance movement are stationed in Lebanon, Syria, and other Arab countries.
The supreme body of the PLO is the Palestine National Council (PNC), which usually convenes once a year. Sessions of the PNC elect the executive committee of the PLO to provide political and organizational leadership for the PLO’s activities between sessions. Yasir Arafat has been chairman of the executive committee since February 1969.
The main information organs of the PLO are the Palestine Information Agency (WAFA) and the weekly Filastin al-Thawrah (Palestine Revolution). [18–1424–2; updated]