Статья: Palestinian liberation organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has been the embodiment of the
Palestinian national movement. It is a broad national front, or an umbrella
organization, comprised of numerous organizations of the resistance movement,
political parties, popular organizations, and independent personalities and
figures from all sectors of life. The Arab Summit in 1974 recognized the PLO
as the "sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" and
since then the PLO has represented Palestine at the United Nations, the
Movement of Non-Aligned Countries (NAM), the Organization of the Islamic
Conference (OIC), and in many other fora. In addition to its broad national
and political goals, the PLO has dealt with numerous tasks with regard to the
life of the Palestinian people in their main communities and throughout the
world through the establishment of several institutions in such realms as
health, education and social services. As such, the PLO is more than a
national liberation movement striving to achieve the national goals of the
Palestinian people, including the establishment of a Palestinian state with
Jerusalem as its capital.
The PLO was established in 1964 with Arab support. At that time, the PLO was
headed by Mr. Ahmed Al-Shukairy and, since then, has undergone significant
changes in its composition, leading bodies, political orientation, and even the
locales of its headquarters. The leading bodies of the PLO are the Palestine
National Council (PNC), the Central Council, and the Executive Committee.
Political pluralism has remained a defining feature of the organization, as
have democratic internal dialogue and attempts to reach decisions by consensus
in its bodies, recognizing the presence of many differing views and competing
alliances throughout different periods. In 1968, the organization witnessed the
beginning of the engagement of the Feda’iyeen organizations (armed
struggle organizations), particularly Fateh. In 1969, Yasser Arafat, leader of
Fateh, became the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO and, in 1971,
he became the General Commander of the Palestine Forces. His name has been
synonymous with the PLO and with the Palestinian national movement.
Since the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and the
convening of general elections in January 1996 in the Occupied Palestinian
Territory, including Jerusalem, which were preceded by the return of most
Palestinian leaders to their homeland, the Authority’s role and
responsibilities continue to increase, in some ways at the expense of the
PLO. In the Palestinian territory, as well as outside, Islamic groups remain
outside the PLO, which traditionally has not mixed religion and politics.
In general, the current Palestinian situation is constantly changing and
progressing towards the establishment of a state and the building of a
Palestinian democracy. These changes will affect the PLO, but there is no
doubt that, at least for some time, the PLO will continue its role as a very
important Palestinian structure for the Palestinian people in the Occupied
Territories, in the refugee camps, and throughout the world.
I. Palestine National Council
The PNC, which is the highest decision-making body of the PLO, is considered
to be the parliament of all Palestinians inside and outside of the Occupied
Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem. The PNC normally sets PLO
policies, elects the Executive Committee and makes the necessary changes in
its own membership, as well as changes to the Palestine National Charter (a
special meeting is required) and to the Fundamental Law of the organization.
The PNC also elects a speaker, two deputies and a secretary, who make up the
Bureau of the Council. The Council has its own standing committees for
various aspects of its work, such as its legal and political committees. The
composition of the PNC represents all sectors of the Palestinian community
worldwide and includes numerous organizations of the resistance movement,
political parties, popular organizations (each of the above is represented by
specific quotas) and independent personalities and figures from all sectors
of life, including intellectuals, religious leaders and businessmen. The
current membership of the PNC stands at X, including all of the 88 elected
members of the Palestine Legislative Council (PLC).
II. Central Council
The Central Council, which was established by the PNC in 1973, is the second
leading body of the PLO. The Council functions as an intermediary body
between the PNC and the Executive Committee. At present, the membership
stands at 124, including 15 representatives of the PLC. The last meeting of
the Central Council took place in Gaza on 10 December 1998.
III. Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is the daily leading body of the PLO and it
represents the organization at the international level. The Committee is
elected by the members of PNC and it is responsible to the PNC. Its main
function is to execute the policies and decisions set out by the PNC and the
Central Council. The Committee is also responsible for adopting a budget and
for overseeing the functioning of the departments of the PLO, the
responsibilities of which are distributed among its members. Decisions of the
Committee are taken by a simple majority. Its membership stands at 18,
including its Chairman.
IV. Palestine National Fund
The Fund is managed by a board of directors and by a chairman who is elected
by the PNC and who automatically serves on the Executive Committee. The other
members of the board are appointed by the Executive Committee, with a maximum
of 11 members. Revenues for the fund come from two sources - a fixed tax on
the wages earned by all Palestinians living in Arab countries and collected
by those respective governments and from financial contributions by Arab
governments and peoples, an amount that in the past was substantial.
V. Palestine Liberation Army
The Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) was established as the official military
branch of the PLO in 1964, in accordance with the resolutions of the 1st
Palestinian Conference (the 1st PNC). At that time, three brigades
were established: Ein Jalut in Gaza and Egypt, Kadissiyah in
Iraq, and Hiteen in Syria. In practice, those brigades were dominated
by the general command of the armed forces of their respective host countries.
Over time, however, changes were made to the PLA’s structure, including, for
instance, the establishment in 1968 of commando units in Gaza to fight against
the Israeli occupation, known as Kuwat al-Tahrir Al-Sha’biya (Popular
Liberation Troops). Recently, with the establishment of the Palestine National
Authority (PNA), important parts of those brigades in Egypt and Jordan were
absorbed into the PNA security forces.
The Organization has established departments that are responsible for several
important spheres of work, each headed by a member of the Executive Committee.
The departments include the Political Department, the Department of Returnees,
the Department of Culture and Information, and the Department of Popular
Organizations. Of these, the Political Department is the largest. It directs
and supervises the work of Palestinian representation abroad, including
Palestinian embassies, missions and offices. The Political Department also
represents the PLO and the State of Palestine at international conferences,
such as those of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries (NAM) and the
Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). (For the addresses of all
embassies look under the Directory of Palestinian Embassies & Missions for
the addresses of all embassies).
VII. Palestinian Institutions
The institutions of the PLO have achieved significant accomplishments through
the myriad of social, economic and health services that they provide to
Palestinian communities. Among the most important of these institutions are
· Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS): Established in 1968 in Jordan, the
PRCS provides medical and health care to the Palestinian people. The PRCS
started out with only several small clinics and grew into a substantial
medical network with hospitals and medical centers throughout the region.
· Palestinian Martyrs Works Society (SAMED): SAMED provided, throughout an
important period, the economic infrastructure of the Palestinian community.
It had been established in 1970 originally to provide vocational training to
the children of Palestinian martyrs.
· Sons of Martyrs: This organization owns several important facilities in the
region that take care of the children of Palestinian martyrs.