Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) | Just Vision Skip to main content

The glossary is comprised of nearly 250 terms related to the Israeli-Palestinian context. Given the rapidly shifting landscape, these terms cannot capture the full range of nuances, narratives and historical events. This tool is meant as a starting point and we encourage you to continue your exploration of this topic through further research. Last update and review: September 2015.

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)

Founded in 1964, the PLO is an umbrella political organization and the embodiment of the Palestinian national movement. It was established in order to centralize the different Palestinian resistance groups that came into being after 1948. In 1969, Yasser Arafat, representing the Fatah movement, became chair of the organization, a position he held until his death in 2004. Some of the other groups within the PLO are the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). From the early 1970s through the early 1990s, the PLO operated politically and militarily from bases in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Tunisia. The PLO first gained international legitimacy when Arafat addressed the United Nations General Assembly in November 1974 and the organization was granted observer status to the United Nations. In the 1993 Oslo Accords, the PLO both received recognition from Israel as the representative of the Palestinian people and recognized Israel's right to exist. Since Oslo, the PLO has seen its leadership absorbed into the Palestinian Authority. Though Hamas was not part of the PLO, there have been in recent years unity agreements between Fatah and Hamas, and a unity government deal was reached in June 2014. See "Palestine Liberation Organization," Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations.