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  • Palestinians hold their flags during a rally for the liberation of Palestine, 2019.

    Palestinians hold their flags during a rally for the liberation of Palestine, 2019. | Photo: Twitter/ @FreePali1948

Published 28 May 2020
Opinion

Palestinians are challenged to enforce their territories against the occupation of Israel.

On May 28, Palestinians celebrate 56 years of the founding of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and remember the words of Yasser Arafat who told them that the main challenge for the people is to achieve an independent state.

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In 1964, The Palestinian National Council, at its first meeting held in East Jerusalem from May 28 to June 2, created the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

The PLO has worked since its inception to achieve self-determination for the Palestinians. To advance this historical longing, it changed its initial goal and accepted a formula based on the existence of two states, Palestine and Israel, which share Jerusalem as their capital.

However, the alliance between the governments of Israel and the United States, as well as President Donald Trump's "Deal of the Century", is putting the Palestinian population at risk.

ACHIEVEMENTS

1974. Jordan's King Hussein and the Arab League recognized the PLO as "the only legitimate spokesperson for the Palestinian people". Palestine's President Yasser Arafat made a historic appearance before the United Nations General Assembly, where he stated, "I have been carrying an olive branch and a revolutionary rifle. Do not let the branch fall from my hand".

The UN General Assembly gave the PLO the status of representative of the Palestinian people and granted it the status of observer.

1987. The spontaneous and unarmed Intifada achieves international sympathy for young people who faced the powerful Israeli army with stones.

1988. The Palestinian National Council issued the Declaration of Independence on November 15, 1988, establishing an independent Palestinian state with the 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital.

1993. Arafat recognizes the State of Israel in an official letter sent to the Israeli Prime Minister Isaac Rabin. In response, Israel recognizes the PLO as "legitimate representative of the Palestinian people". The Oslo Accords and the Palestinian National Authority begin.

2012. By an overwhelming majority, the United Nations General Assembly admitted Palestine on Nov. 29 as an “observer state”. The vote does not imply the admission of Palestine as a full member of the UN, but it gives the Palestinians renewed legitimacy in their fight against the Israeli occupation.​​​​​​​

CHALLENGES

International analyst Tulio Ribeiro believes that the PLO must seek mechanisms to end the internal political rupture between the organization's two most important groups: Al Fatah, which was led by Arafat (1929-2004) and now headed by Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, and the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), which governs the Gaza Strip.

The PLO also has the permanent task of alerting the international community to hold Israel accountable for its ​​​​​​​systematic policies of displacement and oppression of Palestine.

Yasser Arafat put it this way: "The most important challenge for us is to create a Palestine that will lead to an independent state, a new democratic state."​​​​​​​

President Trump's announcement to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, the "Deal of the Century", and the Israeli authorities' decision to annex land from the occupied West Bank, have clouded the Palestinian goal of creating an independent state.

In mid-May, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that he will end all agreements signed with Israel and the United States, due to plans by the new Israeli government to annex parts of the West Bank.

"Palestine must increasingly collect legal victories drawn from UN resolutions condemning Israel's violations of international law," Ribeiro stressed.​​​​​​​

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