Palestinian Liberation Organization
Definition/Scope: The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964 as a Palestinian nationalist umbrella organization dedicated to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. After the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, control devolved to the leadership of the various fedayeen militia groups, the most dominant of which was Yasser Arafat’s Al-Fatah. In 1969, Arafat became chairman of the PLO’s Executive Committee. In the early 1980s, PLO became fragmented into several contending groups but remains the preeminent Palestinian organization. The United States considers the PLO an umbrella organization that includes several constituent groups and individuals holding differing views on terrorism. At the same time, US policy accepts that elements of the PLO have advocated, carried out, or accepted responsibility for acts of terrorism. PLO Chairman Arafat publicly renounced terrorism in December 1988 on behalf of the PLO. The United States considers that all PLO groups, including Al-Fatah, Force 17, Hawari Group, PLF, and PFLP, are bound by Arafat’s renunciation of terrorism. The US-PLO dialogue was suspended after the PLO failed to condemn the 30 May 1990 PLF attack on Israeli beaches. PLF head Abu Abbas left the PLO Executive Committee in September 1991; his seat was filled by another PLF member.
Used For:Palestine Liberation Organization
Broader Terms:Arab League