Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) – Israeli Palestinian Conflict – Part Twelve
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)
The Arab League Summit of 1964 (the first summit of the Arab League held January 13-16 in Cairo) initiated the creation of an organization representing the Palestinian people. The Palestinian National Council (the legislative body of the PLO) convened in Jerusalem on May 28, 1964 and the PLO was founded on June 2, 1964. Its Statement of Proclamation of the Organization 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.
Due to the influence of Egyptian President Nasser, the PLO supported ‘Pan-Arabism’, an ideology espousing the unification of the countries of North Africa and West Asia from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Sea referred to as the Arab World. This is not to be confused with Arab nationalism which asserts that Arabs constitute a single nation. The first executive committee was formed on August 9, 1964.
In spite of the 1949 Armistice Agreements, the Arab states did not reconcile Israel’s creation as they had in the proposed partition of Palestine in 1948. Therefore, the Palestinian National Charter of 1964 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)
Although Egypt and Jordan supported the creation of a Palestinian state on land that they recognized 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.