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 process.
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 that.
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 are:
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 complete unity.
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.
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.
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 genius.
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 course.
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 sovereignty.
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 since 1947;
And in exercise by the Palestinian Arab people of its rights to self-determination, political independence and sovereignty over its territory,
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 Palestinian territories.
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 fortified accordingly.
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 Merciful:
"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 everything."
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.
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 Palestinian issue.
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 evolved:
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 181.
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:
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 Resolutions."
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 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 peace process.
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.
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:
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 state.
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 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
First: Amend the articles in the National charter that contradict with the letters exchanged between the PLO and the government of Israel on Sept. 9-10, 1993.
Palestine Affairs Council