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Function of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)

Satisfactory Essays
Function of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)

Functioning as a Palestinian government, the Palestine Liberation

Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964 as a political body representing the

Palestinians in their efforts to reclaim their country from the Israelis.

Originally an umbrella organization of refugee and military groups, it

was ultimately joined by professional, labour and student associations and

also by some individuals.

The purpose of the PLO is to help the Palestinians "to recover their

usurped homes" and to replace Israel with a secular Palestinian state. To

that end, it has been responsible for commando acts both in Israel and in

other countries.

The PLO works through three parts:

1.the Executive Committee, a decision-making body

2.the Central Committee, an advisory body

3.the Palestine National Council which is generally viewed as an

assembly of the Palestinian people

Yasser Arafat has been the head of the PLO since 1968.

In 1974 at an Arab summit in Rabat, Morocco, the PLO was recognized as

the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people". Subsequent

to this, Arafat addressed the United Nations where the organization was

given official observer status.

In 1970 the PLO commandos fought a short but bloody war with the

Jordanian army after which they were expelled from that country and settled

in Lebanon. Little by little, they became a state within a state, and thus

contributed to the disintegration of Lebanon after 1975.

The aftermath of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 was to

disperse some 12,000 PLO members to Syria and other Arab countries. Those

loyal to Arafat made their headquarters in Tunis, where an Israeli bombing

raid in 1985 severely damaged their headquarters and other buildings.

Palestine is the ancient name of a Middle Eastern country situated on the

eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Its size has varied greatly

throughout its history and its exact borders are even now in dispute.

Its location at the junction of trade routes linking three continents

has meant that it was a melting pot for religious and cultural influences.

It has also, unfortunately, been a natural battleground for the region's

powerful states and thus subject to domination by them, the first of these

being Egypt in the third millennium BC.
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