The Palestinian Charter
When the Arab League held its summit in Port
Sa'ed in Egypt in 1964, it was decided that a Palestinian political body should
be formed to took after the Palestinian interests. Ahmed Shoqaire was nominated
as the contact person in charge of implementing that decision. He contacted the
Palestinian communities living in the Arab states, and as a result of which the
Palestinian National Council held its first meeting between May 5 - June 2,
1964, in Jerusalem. The Palestinian National Council (PNC) decided to establish
the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and decided to endorse the
Palestinian National charter and PLO's basic law. The Palestinian National
Charter consisted of 29 clauses.
After the 1967 defeat and the increase of
military fighting activities, the charter was amended by the Palestinian
National Council in its fourth session held between August 10- 17, 1968. After
the amendment the charter clauses became 23, while some parts were abolished
such; as the introduction that preceded the charter.
This document shows how fake the allegations of
the Israeli previous government headed by Netanyahu and media about an alleged
Palestinian non commitment to implement the Palestinian commitments in the peace
Palestine is the homeland of the Palestinian Arab
people and an integral part of the great Arab homeland, and the people of
Palestine are part of the Arab nation.
Palestine with its boundaries that existed at the
time of the British mandate is an integral regional unit.
The Palestinian Arab people possesses the legal
right to its homeland, and when the liberation of its homeland is completed they
will exercise self-determination solely according to its own will and choice.
The Palestinian personality is an innate, persistent
character that will not extinct, and is inherited by sons from parents.
The Zionist occupation, and the dispersal of the
Palestinian Arab people as a result of the disasters that befell it, do not
deprive it from its Palestinian personality and affiliation and do not nullify
The Palestinians are the Arab citizens who were
living permanently in Palestine until 1947, whether they were expelled or
remained there. Whoever is born to a Palestinian father after that date, within
Palestine or outside is a Palestinian.
Jews who were living permanently in Palestine until
the beginning of the Zionist invasion will be considered Palestinians. (For the
Zionist invasion is considered to have begun in 19171.)
The Palestinian affiliation and the material,
spiritual and historical ties with Palestine are permanent realities. The
upbringing of the Palestinian individual in an Arab and revolutionary fashion,
the undertaking of all means of forging consciousness and training the
Palestinians, in order to acquaint him profoundly spiritually and materially
with his land, and prepare him for the conflict and armed struggle, as well as
for the sacrifice of his property and life to restore his homeland, until the
liberation is achieved is a national duty.
The phase in which the people of Palestine is living
is that of national struggle for the liberation of Palestine. Therefore the
contradictions among the Palestinian national forces are of minimal importance
that must be suspended in the interest of the main conflict between Zionism and
Colonialism on the one side and the Palestinian Arab people on the other. On
this basis, the Palestinian masses, whether in the homeland or in exile,
organizations and individuals, comprise one national front which acts to restore
Palestine and liberate it through armed struggle.
Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine
and is therefore a strategy and not a tactic. The Palestinian Arab people
affirms its absolute resolution and abiding determination to pursue the armed
struggle and to march forward towards the armed popular revolution, to liberate
its homeland and restore its right to a natural life, and to exercise its right
of self-determination and national sovereignty.
Fedaeyeen’s (freedom fighters) action forms the
nucleus of the popular Palestinian war of liberation. This requires its
promotion, extension and protection, and the mobilization of all the Arab and
Palestinian masses and scientific capacities of the Palestinians, their
organization and involvement in the armed Palestinian revolution to ensure the
continuation of the revolution, its advancement and victory.
The Palestinians will have three mottoes: National
unity mobilization and liberation. (The text of this clause came in agreement
with the 10th clause of the old version of the national charter, that stipulates
the Palestinian people’s right to choose any political, economic or social
system they believe suitable for their country)
The Palestinian Arab people believes in Arab unity.
In order to fulfill its role in realizing this, it must preserve, in this phase
of national struggle, its Palestinian personality and the conscience, thereof
increase consciousness of its consistence and resist any plan that tends to
disintegrate or weaken it.
Arab unity and the liberation of Palestine are two
complementary aims. Each one paves the way for the realization of the other.
Arab unity leads to the liberation of Palestine and that leads to Arab unity.
Working for both goes hand in hand.
The destiny of the Arab nation, indeed the very Arab
existence, depends on the destiny of the Palestinian issue. The endeavor and
effort of the Arab nation to liberate Palestine flows from this connection. The
people of Palatine assumes its vanguard role in realizing this sacred national
The liberation of Palestine from the Arab view point
is a national duty to repulse the Zionist, imperialist invasion from the great
Arab homeland and to purge it from the Zionist presence . This full
responsibility falls upon the Arab nation, peoples and governments, with the
Arab Palestinian people at their lead. For this purpose the Arab nation must
mobilize all its military, human, material and spiritual capacities to
participate actively with the Palestinian people in the liberation of Palestine.
They must grant and offer the people of Palestine all possible help and every
material and human support and afford it means and opportunities enabling it to
continue assuming its vanguard role in pursuing its armed revolution until the
liberation of its homeland, especially in the present stage of armed Palestinian
The liberation of Palestine from a spiritual view
point will prepare an atmosphere of tranquillity and peace for the Holy Land in
the shade of which all the holy places, will be safeguarded, and freedom of
worship and free access to all will be guaranteed without distinction or
discrimination of race, color, language or, religion. For this reason the people
of Palestine looks for the support of all spiritual forces in the world.
The - liberation of Palestinian from a human point
of view will restore to the Palestinian human being dignity, glory and freedom.
For this the Palestinian Arab people looks for the support of those in the world
who believe in dignity and freedom for mankind.
The liberation of Palestine from an international
view point, is a defensive act necessitated by the requirements of self-defense.
For this reason the Arab people of Palestine are desiring to befriend all
peoples, and looks for the support of the states that love freedom , justice and
peace in restoring the legal situation in Palestine, establishing security and
peace in its territory, and enabling its people to exercise national sovereignty
The partition of Palestine in 1947 and the
establishment of Israel is null and void from the very beginning, whatever time
has elapsed because it was done contrary to the wish of the people of Palestine
and their national right to their homeland and contradicts with the principles
embodied in the charter of the UN, the first of which is the right of self-
The Balfour Declaration, the mandate document and
what has been based upon them are considered null and void. The claim of a
historical or spiritual tie between Jews and Palestine does not tally with the
historical realities nor with the constituencies of statehood in their true
sense. Judaism in its character as a religion of revelation, is not a
nationality with an independent existence. Likewise, the Jews are not one people
with an independent personality. They are rather citizens of the states to which
The Palestinian Arab people in expressing itself
through the armed Palestinian revolution, rejects every solution that is a
substitute for a complete liberation of Palestine. and rejects all alternative
plans that aim at the settlement of the Palestinian issue or its
Zionism is a political movement organically related
to the world imperialism and is hostile to all movements of liberation and
progress in the world. It is a racist and fanatic movement in its formation,
aggressive, expansionist, and colonialist in its aims, fascist and nazi in its
means. Israel is the tool of the Zionist movement and is a human and geographic
base for the world imperialism. It is a concentration and a way for imperialism
to the heart of the Arab homeland, to strike at the hopes of the Arab nation for
liberation, unity and progress.
The demands of security peace and the requirement of
truth and justice oblige all states that maintain friendly relations with
people, and loyalty of citizens to their homeland, to consider Zionism an
illegitimate movement and to prohibit its existence and activity.
The Palestinian Arab people believes in the
principle of justice, freedom, sovereignty, self-determination, human dignity
and the right of peoples to exercise them.
To realize the aims of this charter and its
principles the Palestine Liberation Organization will undertake its full role in
The Palestinian Liberation Organization which
represents the forces of the Palestinian revolution, is responsible for
mobilizing the Palestinian Arab people in their struggle to restore their
homeland, liberate it, and exercise the right of self-determination on it. This
responsibility extends to all military, political and financial matters, and all
else that the Palestinian issue requires on the Arab and international arena.
The Palestine Liberation Organization will cooperate
with_Arab states, each according to its capacities and will maintain neutrality
in their mutual relations in light of the requirements of the battle for the
liberation, and will not interfere in the internal affairs of any Arab state.
The Palestinian Arab people affirms the originality
and independence of its national revolution and rejects every manner of
interference, guardianship or subordination.
The Palestinian Arab people possesses the prior and
original right for liberating and restoring its homeland and form its relations
with other states according to the later’s stands on the Palestinian issue the
extent of their support for the Arab Palestinian people in their revolution to
realize their aims.
The fighters and pears of arms in the battle of
liberation are the nucleus of the popular army which will be the protection arm
of the Palestinian Arab people.
This organization shall have a flag, oath, and
anthem all of which will be determined in accordance with a special system.
To this charter- is attached a law known as the
basic law of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in which the
organization’s structure is determined, its committees, institutions and the
special function of every one of them, and all the requisite duties assigned to
them in accordance with this charter.
This charter can not be amended except by a
two-thirds majority of all the members of the National Assembly in a special
session called for this purpose.
Initiatives based on the Palestinian National
First: The ten-point program:
The twelfth session of the Palestinian National
Council was held on June 1, 1974. The decisions taken in that session reflect
the Palestinian reaction to the developments on the regional and international
political arena following the October war in 1973. The details of the program
Emphasize PLO's stand on the UN resolution
242 as it ignores our national rights and deals with our national issue as a
refugees' problem. So dealing in any way with this resolution is rejected,
be it on Arab or international level including the Geneva conference.
The PLO uses all means the most important of
which is armed struggle in its fight to liberate the Palestinian land and
establish the national independent Palestinian authority, on every liberated
part from the Palestinian land. Achieving this requires creating a change in
the power balance in our nations' favor.
The PLO struggles against any design to
create a Palestinian entity in return for recognizing and normalizing
relations with Israel and its safe borders, and leads to giving up the
Palestinian national rights and depriving our people from their right to
return and self-determination on our land.
Any partial liberation is just one part of
the realization of PLO's strategy to establish the democratic Palestinian
state as decided by the PNC.
Jointly fight with Palestinian - Jordanian
front aiming at establishing a Jordanian national democratic role in Jordan
that unites with the Palestinian entity that struggles and fights.
The PLO struggles for a strong unity between
the two nations and all Arab freedom forces that support this program.
In light of this program, the PLO fights to
foster a stronger national unity that should be enhanced to a standard that
facilitates for easier execution of its national aims.
After establishing the Palestinian authority,
it should struggle for unity between conflict-involved countries, as a step
towards a complete liberation of the Palestinian land as part of the
The PLO struggles to strengthen its
solidarity with the socialist countries and world liberal forces to foil all
Zionist and imperialist designs.
In light of this program, the revolution
leadership is to decide a tactic that serves our issue and allows us to
realize our aims.
It is noted that the ten- Point Program ignored
the ninth clause of the charter that considers armed struggle to be the only way
to liberate Palestine and takes that to be a strategy, this is noted when the
program called for using all possible means ("means" here refers to
the public and diplomatic means, including participation in Geneva's conference
for negotiations). The program also ignored the clause (12) of the Palestinian
charter, that rejects all alternative solutions for completely liberating
Palestine, this is noted when the program called for establishing the
Palestinian people's national authority on every liberated part from the
Palestinian land until it is completely liberated.
Here we can say that the program set the stage for a Palestinian acceptance to a
realistic political settlement to the conflict, that facilitates for the
Palestinian right to self-determination in Palestine.
This change reflects improvement in the Palestinian political thought, arising
from PLO's liberal policy, and the international dimension of the Palestinian
struggle acquired when the PLO was accepted in the UN.
The Palestinian Peace Initiative
In the 19th session of the PNC, held in Algeria
on Nov. 11, 1988, it was decided to come up with the Palestinian peace
initiative which included the Declaration of Independence and establishing the
Independent Palestinian State.
The following is the Declaration of
independence and political decisions taken in the PNC's 19th session.
State of Palestine
Declaration of Independence
November 15th, 1988
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the
Palestine, the land of the three monotheistic
faiths, is where the Palestinian Arab people was born, on which it grew,
developed and excelled. Thus the Palestinian Arab people ensured for itself an
everlasting union between itself, its land, and its history.
Resolute throughout that history, the Palestinian
Arab people forged its national identity, rising even to unimagined levels in
its defense, as invasion, the design of others, and the appeal special to
Palestine's ancient and luminous place on the eminence where powers and
civilizations are joined. All this intervened thereby to deprive the people of
its political independence. Yet the undying connection between Palestine and its
people secured for the land its character, and for the people its national
Nourished by an unfolding series of civilizations
and cultures, inspired by a heritage rich in variety and kind, the Palestinian
Arab people added to its stature by consolidating a union between itself and its
patrimonial Land. The call went out from Temple, Church, and Mosque that to
praise the Creator, to celebrate compassion and peace was indeed the message of
Palestine. And in generation after generation, the Palestinian Arab people gave
of itself unsparingly in the valiant battle for liberation and homeland. For
what has been the unbroken chain of our people's rebellions but the heroic
embodiment of our will for national independence. And so the people was
sustained in the struggle to stay and to prevail.
When in the course of modern times a new order of
values was declared with norms and values fair for all, it was the Palestinian
Arab people that had been excluded from the destiny of all other peoples by a
hostile array of local and foreign powers. Yet again had unaided justice been
revealed as insufficient to drive the world's history along its preferred
And it was the Palestinian people, already
wounded in its body, that was submitted to yet another type of occupation over
which floated that falsehood that "Palestine was a land without
people." This notion was foisted upon some in the world, whereas in Article
22 of the charter of the League of Nations (1919) and in the Treaty of Lausanne
(1923), the community of nations had recognized that all the Arab territories,
including Palestine, of the formerly Ottoman provinces, were to have granted to
them their freedom as provisionally independent nations.
Despite the historical injustice inflicted on the
Palestinian Arab people resulting in their dispersion and depriving them of
their right to self-determination, following upon U.N. General Assembly
Resolution 181 (1947), which partitioned Palestine into two states, one Arab,
one Jewish, yet it is this Resolution that still provides those conditions of
international legitimacy that ensure the right of the Palestinian Arab people to
By stages, the occupation of Palestine and parts
of other Arab territories by Israeli forces, the willed dispossession and
expulsion from their ancestral homes of the majority of Palestine's civilian
inhabitants, was achieved by organized terror; those Palestinians who remained,
as a vestige subjugated in its homeland, were persecuted and forced to endure
the destruction of their national life.
Thus were principles of international legitimacy
violated. Thus were the Charter of the United Nations and its Resolutions
disfigured, for they had recognized the Palestinian Arab people's national
rights, including the right of Return, the right to independence, the right to
sovereignty over territory and homeland.
In Palestine and on its perimeters, in exile
distant and near, the Palestinian Arab people never faltered and never abandoned
its conviction in its rights of Return and independence. Occupation, massacres
and dispersion achieved no gain in the unabated Palestinian consciousness of
self and political identity, as Palestinians went forward with their destiny,
undeterred and unbowed. And from out of the long years of trial in ever-mounting
struggle, the Palestinian political identity emerged further consolidated and
confirmed. And the collective Palestinian national will forged for itself a
political embodiment, the Palestine Liberation Organization, its sole,
legitimate representative recognized by the world community as a whole, as well
as by related regional and international institutions. Standing on the very rock
of conviction in the Palestinian people's inalienable rights, and on the ground
of Arab national consensus and of international legitimacy, the PLO led the
campaigns of its great people, molded into unity and powerful resolve, one and
indivisible in its triumphs, even as it suffered massacres and confinement
within and without its home. And so Palestinian resistance was clarified and
raised into the forefront of Arab and world awareness, as the struggle of the
Palestinian Arab people achieved unique prominence among the world's liberation
movements in the modern era.
The massive national uprising, the Intifadah, now
intensifying in cumulative scope and power on occupied Palestinian territories,
as well as the unflinching resistance of the refugee camps outside the homeland,
have elevated awareness of the Palestinian truth and right into still higher
realms of comprehension and actuality. Now at last the curtain has been dropped
around a whole epoch of prevarication and negation. The Intifadah has set siege
to the mind of official Israel, which has for too long relied exclusively upon
myth and terror to deny Palestinian existence altogether. Because of the
Intifadah and its revolutionary irreversible impulse, the history of Palestine
has therefore arrived at a decisive juncture.
Whereas the Palestinian people reaffirms most
definitively its inalienable rights in the land of its patrimony.
Now by virtue of natural, historical and legal
rights, and the sacrifices of successive generations who gave of themselves in
defense of the freedom and independence of their homeland;
In pursuance of Resolutions adopted by Arab
Summit Conferences and relying on the authority bestowed by international
legitimacy as embodied in the Resolutions of the United Nations Organization
And in exercise by the Palestinian Arab people of
its rights to self-determination, political independence and sovereignty over
The Palestine National Council, in the name of
God, and in the name of the Palestinian Arab people, hereby proclaims the
establishment of the State of Palestine on our Palestinian territory with its
capital Jerusalem (Al-Quds Ash-Sharif).
The State of Palestine is the state of
Palestinians wherever they may be. The state is for them to enjoy in it their
collective national and cultural identity, theirs to pursue in it a complete
equality of rights. In it will be safeguarded their political and religious
convictions and their human dignity by means of a parliamentary democratic
system of governance, itself based on freedom of expression and the freedom to
form parties. The rights of minorities will duly be respected by the majority,
as minorities must abide by decisions of the majority. Governance will be based
on principles of social justice, equality and non-discrimination in public
rights of men or women, on grounds of race, religion, color or sex, and the
aegis of a constitution which ensures the rule of law and an independent
judiciary. Thus shall these principles allow no departure from Palestine's
age-old spiritual and civil heritage of tolerance and religious coexistence.
The State of Palestine is an Arab state, an
integral and indivisible part of the Arab nation, at one with that nation in
heritage and civilization, with it also in its aspiration for liberation,
progress, democracy and unity. The State of Palestine affirms its obligation to
abide by the Charter of the League of Arab States, whereby the coordination of
the Arab states with each other shall be strengthened. It calls upon Arab
compatriots to consolidate and enhance the emein reality of state, to mobilize
potential, and to intensify efforts whose goal is to end Israeli occupation.
The State of Palestine proclaims its commitment
to the principles and purposes of the United Nations, and to the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. It proclaims its commitment as well to the
principles and policies of the Non-Aligned Movement.
It further announces itself to be a peace-loving
State, in adherence to the principles of peaceful co-existence. It will join
with all states and peoples in order to assure a permanent peace based upon
justice and the respect of rights so that humanity's potential for well-being
may be assured, an earnest competition for excellence may be maintained, and in
which confidence in the future will eliminate fear for those who are just and
for whom justice is the only recourse.
In the context of its struggle for peace in the
land of Love and Peace, the State of Palestine calls upon the United Nations to
bear special responsibility for the Palestinian Arab people and its homeland. It
calls upon all peace-and freedom-loving peoples and states to assist it in the
attainment of its objectives, to provide it with security, to alleviate the
tragedy of its people, and to help it terminate Israel's occupation of the
The State of Palestine herewith declares that it
believes in the settlement of regional and international disputes by peaceful
means, in accordance with the U.N. Charter and resolutions. With prejudice to
its natural right to defend its territorial integrity and independence, it
therefore rejects the threat or use of force, violence and terrorism against its
territorial integrity or political independence, as it also rejects their use
against territorial integrity of other states.
Therefore, on this day unlike all others,
November 15, 1988, as we stand at the threshold of a new dawn, in all honor and
modesty we humbly bow to the sacred spirits of our fallen ones, Palestinian and
Arab, by the purity of whose sacrifice for the homeland our sky has been
illuminated and our Land given life. Our hearts are lifted up and irradiated by
the light emanating from the much blessed Intifadah, from those who have endured
and have fought the fight of the camps, of dispersion, of exile, from those who
have borne the standard for freedom, our children, our aged, our youth, our
prisoners, detainees and wounded, all those ties to our sacred soil are
confirmed in camp, village, and town. We render special tribute to that brave
Palestinian Woman, guardian of sustenance and Life, keeper of our people's
perennial flame. To the souls of our sainted martyrs, the whole of our
Palestinian Arab people that our struggle shall be continued until the
occupation ends, and the foundation of our sovereignty and independence shall be
Therefore, we call upon our great people to rally
to the banner of Palestine, to cherish and defend it, so that it may forever be
the symbol of our freedom and dignity in that homeland, which is a homeland for
the free, now and always.
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the
"Say: 'O God, Master of the Kingdom,
Thou givest the Kingdom to whom Thou wilt,
and seizes the Kingdom from whom Thou wilt,
Thou exalted whom Thou wilt,and Thou
abasest whom Thou wilt; in Thy hand
is the good; Thou are powerful over
Decisions taken by the PNC in its 19th
Depending on all that is mentioned before, the
PNC out of its responsibility towards the Palestinian people and their national
rights and aspirations for peace, quoting the declaration of independence of
Nov. 11, 1988, and in response to the human will, to strengthen international
reconciliation and nuclear disarmament, and peacefully settle regional
conflicts, the council affirms PLO's will to reach a comprehensive political
settlement to the Arab - Israeli conflict, the essence of which is the
The comprehensive political settlement should be reached within the framework of
the UN, international law and legitimacy, and UN resolutions, the last of which
are resolutions 505, 607 and 608, and resolutions taken by the Arab Summits that
all affirms the Arab Palestinian right to return, self-determination and the
establishment of the independent Palestinian national State on the Palestinian
national soil. The comprehensive settlement should also ensure peace and
security to all states in the region.
In realizing that the PNC stresses the
The necessity of having the international
conference effectively convened under the UN and with the participation of
the permanent members of the Security Council and with the equal
participation of the conflicting sides including the PLO, the only
legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
The conference should be based on UN
resolutions 242 and 338, and ensuring the legitimate national rights of the
Palestinian people, the top most of which is the self-determination right,
so that the UN charter can be implemented in regard to the self
determination right for nations and the illegality of occupying land by
force , or military invasion and the UN resolutions concerning the
The full Israeli withdrawal from all the land
it occupied since 1967, and that includes the Arab Jerusalem.
The cancellation and termination of all
Israeli practices that led to annexing the Palestinian land, and the removal
of all the settlements built by Israel on the Palestinian land since 1967.
Working for placing the occupied Palestinian
land including the Arab Jerusalem under the UN supervision for a limited
period, in order to protect our people and land, and to create a suitable
atmosphere for the success of the international conference, and to reach a
comprehensive political settlement.
Solving the issue of the Palestinian refugees
on the basis of the UN resolutions issued in this regard.
Ensuring the freedom of religious expression
and the free access for everyone to perform their rituals in the holy
shrines in Palestine.
The UN Security Council decides and ensures
the implementation of the peace keeping arrangements between the concerned
countries in the region including the Palestinian people.
The Independance declaration and the political decisions taken by the PNC's
19th session included a dramatic important political change, as they
First: Adopting the UN resolution 181 that
divides Palestine, for a Jewish and Arab State, as a legal basis for
establishing the Palestinian state.
Second: Adopting the UN resolutions 242 and
338 that consider using force in occupying Palestine as illegal.
Following the 1982 war and relocating the PLO to
Tunis and the ignition of the Intifadah in the late 1987, the PLO decided to
come up with a new peace initiative that was realized in the PNC's 19th session
held in Algeria on Nov. 12, 1988, in which the Palestinian state and
independence were declared.
The main objective behind holding that session was to adopt the UN resolution
242. But that could not have been realized without declaring the Palestinian
state which also could not have been declared without adopting the UN resolution
That is why the declaration of independence mentioned the historical injustice
that befell the Palestinian people, and lead to depriving them from the right of
self-determination and made them refugees after the UN resolutions 181 and 242
were issued. Yet the UN resolution 181 still provides a legal basis for
establishing national sovereignty and independence for the Palestinian people
under the international legitimacy.
So, as the Palestinian state was declared, then
it became possible that the UN resolution 242, can be adopted as it calls on
Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian land it occupied in 1967.
However consent on UN Security Council's
Resolutions 242 was not reached within the context of the Declaration of
Independence document, but ensued afterwards in a political statement issued by
the PNC in its ordinary session, asserting:
- The council affirms the PLO's determination to
reach a comprehensive political settlement.
- It reiterates the need for holding an
international conference on the basis of UN Security Council's resolutions
242 and 338, and unwavering the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
Henceforth, it has been vividly apparent that the
political statement of the council did not use a direct phrase which implies
"recognizing resolution 242", and only said that "holding the
conference was to be made on the basis of the two relevant UN Security Council
The National Council has issued during its 19th
session in 1988 three important decisions which represent a new change in the
Palestinian position namely:
- The Declaration of Independence: Which
states:"Pursuant to the national and historic right of the Palestinian
people to its homeland, by virtue of all international legitimacy
resolutions embodied by all UN resolutions issued to this effect since 1947,
and the course of our revolutionary struggle, the council declares in the
name of God and the Palestinian people the establishment of the Palestinian
state over its Palestinian land naming the Holy City of Jerusalem as the
capital of this declared state."
- The political statement: The first part of it
was designated to the Palestinian Intifadah (uprising) as to its escalation
The second part thereof covered the political scope leaning to the
declaration of independence.
The second part of the political statement has ascertained the resolute
determination of the PLO to approach a comprehensive settlement for the
Arab- Israeli conflict within the framework of the UN charter, principles of
international legitimacy, the provisions of international law and the
relevant resolutions of the UN, the last of which were 605, 607, 608, as
well as the decisions issued by the Arab summits.
- The formation of a provisional government:“A
provisional government will be established for the state of Palestine as
soon as possible and according to circumstances and development of
events.” The Central Council and the PLO Executive Committee were mandated
to set a date for the formation of the government ... etc.
The Palestinian National charter and the
Declaration of Principles (DOP)
The Declaration of Principles document signed
in Washington on Sept. 13, 1993 stems from the Palestinian and Israeli
consent that the time is most appropriate to end decades of confrontation,
and conflict and it is for recognition on the basis of reciprocity, of their
legitimate political rights and seek to live in peaceful coexistence,
dignity and mutual security for the sake of approaching a just, permanent
and comprehensive settlement and for a historic reconciliation through the
The DOP is based on international legitimacy
resolutions manifested by all UN relevant resolutions on the Palestinian
problem. The PLO commitment stressed by the DOP, the Cairo provisional
accord, the exchanged letters of recognition signed on Sept. 9, 1993, the
interim Palestinian - Israeli agreement over the West Bank and Gaza Strip
known as (Oslo 2) signed in Washington on Sept. 28, 1995, and the Central
Council's decision signed on October 28, 1993 which approved the Oslo Accord
and its appendixes, have all confirmed:
First: Amending the
Palestinian National charter by abrogating such articles which
contradict with the letters exchanged between the PLO and the government
of Israel on Oct. 9-10, 1993.
Second: The Palestinian
National Council mandates the Legal Committee to redraft the national
charter and submits it to the Central Council at its first meeting.
The 21st session of the Palestinian
National Council “Independence Session” and the Palestinian National
Consensus was reached for holding the 2lst
session of the Palestinian National Council, the second to be held on the
Palestinian soil after the first was held under the chairmanship of Ahmad
Shoqaire in 1966.
The council, comprising 669 members, calls for forging a new national
charter to substitute the 1968 charter.
This session was primarily aimed at discussing the issue of amendments to
the charter, and consequently the PLO Executive Committee was asked to
convene a special session for this purpose.
Disparity was evident since the first session of the council after a big
number of members failed to attend. The reasons and motives for this
non-attendance varied, some related to its timing and others to its
location. Two trends emerged on the question of amending the charter:
- The first trend:
Opposes any amendments, changes or
abrogation whatsoever in any of the charter's articles before Israel has
complied with its commitments for the mutual recognition.
The chairman of the PLO has signed a
letter in which he emphasized that those articles of the charter and
paragraphs which deny the Israeli right to exist and contradict, with
pledges stressed in this letter, became of no use and no more valid and
therefore the PLO will submit to the PNC the deemed amendments to the
charter for endorsement. This trend advocates that the legal
understanding of mutual recognition between governments, states, and
international communities is not only a political procedure but also an
important legal act palatable and accepted by the international law as
one of the main criteria for recognition as a legitimate government or
- The second trend:
Calls for an outright implementation of
the requested amendments for the sake of maintaining the peace process
irrespective of the extent of the Israeli government's compliance with
its commitments so as not to give the Israeli side the opportunity to
evade its responsibilities and commitments.
The PNC has approved with an overwhelming
majority the amendment of sub- paragraphs in the Palestinian National
charter which are inconsistent with the DOP and the letters exchanged
between the government of Israel and the PLO.
This amendment which abrogated those articles
calling for the destruction of Israel, was adopted by a majority of 504
voting in favor 54 against and 14 abstained and the absence of members of
the Popular and Democratic Fronts for the Liberation of Palestine.
The decision was taken after the PNC was
presented with a report submitted by the Legal Committee on the issue of
amending the charter. It was mentioned in the draft summary that the
Palestinian National Council decided to amend the Palestinian charter and to
cancel all articles that contradict, with the letters exchanged between the
PLO and the government of Israel. The PNC, asked the Legal Committee to
draft a new charter for the PLO, and that should be presented to the
Palestinian Central Council on its first upcoming meeting.
The articles of the Palestinian charter that
Israel calls for amending them are:
Palestine is the homeland of the Palestinian
Arab people and an integral part of the great Arab homeland, and the people
of Palestine are part of the Arab nation.
Armed struggle is the only way to liberate
Palestine and is therefore a strategy and not a tactic. The Palestinian Arab
people affirms its absolute resolution and abiding determination to pursue
the armed struggle and to march forward towards the armed popular
revolution, to liberate its homeland and restore its right to a natural
life, and to exercise its right of self-determination and national
The partition of Palestine in 1947 and the
establishment of Israel is null and void from the very beginning, whatever
time has elapsed because it was done contrary to the wish of the people of
Palestine and their national right to their homeland and contradicts with
the principles embodied in the charter of the UN, the first of which is the
right of self-determination.
The Balfour Declaration, the mandate document
and what has been based upon them are considered null and void. The claim of
a historical or spiritual tie between Jews and Palestine does not tally with
the historical realities nor with the constituencies of statehood in their
true sense. Judaism in its character as a religion of revelation, is not a
nationality with an independent existence. Likewise, the Jews are not one
people with an independent personality. They are rather citizens of the
states to which they belong.
The Palestinian Arab people in expressing itself
through the armed Palestinian revolution, rejects every solution that is a
substitute for a complete liberation of Palestine. and rejects all
alternative plans that aim at the settlement of the Palestinian issue or its
Zionism is a political movement organically
related to the world imperialism and is hostile to all movements of
liberation and progress in the world. It is a racist and fanatic movement in
its formation, aggressive, expansionist, and colonialist in its aims,
fascist and nazi in its means.
Israel is the tool of the Zionist movement and is a human and geographic
base for the world imperialism. It is a concentration and a way for
imperialism to the heart of the Arab homeland, to strike at the hopes of the
Arab nation for liberation, unity and progress.
The special session held by the PNC and
the charter amendment
The PNC held a special session on April 24,
1996 and listened to the report made by the legal committee, reviewed the
current political conditions, which the Palestinian people and the Arab
nations encounter, and so the PNC decided: "Depending on the
Independence Declaration and the political statement adopted by the PNC in
its 19th session in Gaza on Nov. 11, 1988 which stressed resolving conflicts
by peaceful means and adopting the principal of two states, the PNC decides
Amend the articles in the National charter that contradict with the
letters exchanged between the PLO and the government of Israel on Sept.
The PNC authorizes the Legal Committee to draft a new charter to be
presented at the first meeting to be held by the Central Council.
Palestine Ministry of Information