Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)

Umbrella political organization representing the Palestinian people in their drive for a Palestinian state. It was formed in 1964 to centralize the leadership of various groups. After the Six-Day War of 1967, the PLO promoted a distinctively Palestinian agenda. In 1969 Yasir 'Arafat, leader of Fatah, the PLO's largest faction, became its chairman. From the late 1960s the PLO engaged in guerrilla attacks on Israel from bases in Jordan, from which it was expelled in 1971. PLO headquarters moved to Lebanon. In 1974 'Arafat advocated limiting PLO activity to direct attacks against Israel, and the Arab community recognized the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of all Palestinians. It was admitted to the Arab League in 1976. In 1982 Israel invaded Lebanon and expelled PLO forces based there. In 1988 the PLO leadership, then based in Tunis, declared a Palestinian state and the following year elected 'Arafat its president. It also recognized Israel's right to exist, though several militant factions dissented. In 1993 Israel recognized the PLO by signing an agreement with it granting Palestinian self-rule in parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The PLO became an integral part of the Palestinian National Authority. See also Palestine; Lebanese civil war; Hamas; intifadah.


Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Arabic Munazzamat al-Tahrir al-Filastiniyyah

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