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Palestine Liberation Organization

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), coordinating body (founded 1964) of Palestinian groups recognized (1974) by the UN and the Arab states as the sole official representative of the Palestinian people. Of the many groups that make up the PLO, Fatah, led by Yasir Arafat, is predominant. The guerrilla groups of the PLO were driven out of Jordan in 1970, after a bloody civil war. They were next based in Lebanon, until the Israeli invasion (1982) dispersed them to several Arab countries, notably Tunisia and Syria. In 1988 the PLO proclaimed an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territories occupied by Israel since the June 1967 war. That proclamation was rejected by Israel and the United States, and the occupation continues. The goals of the PLO and its tactics have shifted over the years and are still subject to dispute within the organization. Some factions favor the destruction of the Israeli state, while others have conditionally recognized Israel, demanding a Palestinian state in return. Despite opposition of some Palestinian factions, political negotiations between the PLO and the Israelian government resulted in reproachement in the 1990s and limited Palestinian autonomy in some territories.

See also: Arafat, Yasir.

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21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Palestine to Pennsylvania