|PASSIA Diary 2002|
Dictionary of Palestinian Political Terms:
[ A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P R S T U V W ]
|From PASSIA's Publications|
Property Law Israeli
Law adopted in March 1950, classifying anyone who was a citizen or resident of
one of the Arab states or a Palestinian citizen on
ABU MAZEN-BEILIN PLAN Officially: ‘Framework for the Conclusion of a Final Status Agreement Between Israel and the PLO’ of 31 Oct. 1995; its existence was denied for five years before being published in Sept 2000. Plan drawn up by the PLO's Abu Mazen and Israeli deputy FM Yossi Beilin (Labor). Proposed Israel's annexation of 4-5% of the West Bank and transfer of Israeli territory to the Palestinian state; for Jerusalem: to be the capital of Israel, while nearby Abu-Dis would become the capital of the Palestinian "state"; and on refugees: to form an International Commission for the final settlement of all aspects of issue.
Organization for the Liberation of
ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION Imprisonment by Israel of Palestinians from the WBGS without charge or trial for a period of up to six months, renewable; based on the ‘Law on Emergency Powers (Detention)’ adopted by the Knesset in 1979.
Allon Plan One of the first settlement schemes, elaborated by
Yigal Allon (Labor) in July 1967 and officially adopted by the Israeli govt. in
June 1968. Main points included the maximization of Israeli security while
minimizing the inclusion of Arab inhabitants, annexation of the strategically
important and sparsely populated
Committee of Inquiry regarding
continued Jewish immigration into
Arab League see League of Arab States.
Liberation Front (ALF - Jabhat At-Tahrir Al-‘Arabiyya) Iraqi-sponsored, Pan-Arabist, leftist military PLO faction, founded as a guerrilla
group in 1969 by Iraqi Ba’athists to
influence the Palestinian resistance movement; originally led by Zeid
Heidar, now by Abdul Rahim Ahmed.
Ideology similar to As-Saiqa, but carries out fewer operations. Based in
ARAB REVOLT (1916-1920) Arab uprising that began June 1916 against the
Ottoman Empire, triggered by the British promise (Hussein-MacMahon
correspondence) to create a great Arab Kingdom (Hijaz, Syria and Iraq), if the
people of the region revolted against Istanbul. The Arab revolt left its marks,
incl. the colors of its flag black, green, white and red (used today by
BALFOUR DECLARATION Letter sent on
September Military confrontation
between the Jordanian army and Palestinian guerrillas in
Brezhnev Plan Six-point plan for the Middle East presented by Soviet Pres. Brezhnev in Sept. 1982, incl.: the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force (thus the need for a complete Israeli withdrawal from all Arab territories occupied since 1967, incl. East Jerusalem); the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinians to self-determination and to the establishment of their own independent state; safeguarding the right of all states in the region to secure an independent existence and development; termination of the state of war and the establishment of peace between the Arab States and Israel; and the elaboration and adoption of international guarantees of a peaceful settlement.
Based on the decision of the 1920
San Remo Conference awarding the mandate for
Bypass Road Term that
emerged with the Oslo Accords, referring to roads used by the Israelis to link
settlements with each other and with
Cairo Agreement see Gaza-Jericho Agreement
CORPUS SEPARATUM (lit.: separate body) The
status proposed for
Agreement reached between PLO members and Israeli government officials,
secretly negotiated in
Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP - Al-Jabha
Ad-Dimuqratiyya li-Tahrir Filastin) Left-wing Palestinian group led by its founder Nayef
Hawatmeh (Abu Nouf). Formed as Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of
Palestine (PDFLP) after splitting from the PFLP in Feb. 1969 following a
leadership dispute (calling for more Maoist approach and a socialist policy) and became ‘DFLP’ in Aug. 1974. Began a dialogue with
the Israeli extreme left in 1970, and played a major role in placing the idea
of a democratic Palestinian state, with equal rights for Jews and Arabs, on the
political agenda in 1973 (two-state solution). Adopted pragmatic positions and
tried to find a midway position between Arafat and his opponents. Member of the
UNLU during the first Intifada. Split in 1990-91
over policy differences with Yasser Abed Rabbo forming the non-Marxist Fida. Refused to attend the
DEPORTATION Punitive measure prohibited without exception by
Art. 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) but used by
DUnUm Unit of land area used in
EUROPEAN UNION SPECIAL ENVOY to the Middle East Peace Process is Miguel Angel
Moratinos Cuyaube (appointed in Dec. 1996), a Spanish diplomat and former
Fahd Plan Eight‑point peace
plan to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict proposed by Prince Fahd of Saudi
Arabia (Aug. 1981): creation of a Palestinian state, Arab recognition of
Israel's right to exist, and the UNSC establishing guarantees for peace in the
region. Endorsed at the Arab League summit in
FATEH Acronym for Harakat At-Tahrir Al-Filistiniya (Palestinian Liberation Movement),
with the first letters in reverse order giving (Fateh = conquest). Formally
FATEH Revolutionary Council (Fateh RC) Anti-Arafat faction established by Sabri Khalil Al-Banna (Abu Nidal); produced magazine Filastin Ath-Thawra; also referred to as Abu Nidal Organization. Split from Fateh in 1974 and - after an assassination attempt on Abu Mazen - expelled from the PLO with Al-Banna sentenced to death. It became known for military operations in Europe (such as at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972), at times under the name Black September. Believed to be behind assassinations of PLO ‘moderates’ in the late 1970s/early 1980s (e.g., Said Hamami). Close to Libya and Egypt. Listed as a ‘terrorist’ organization by the US State Dept.
FATEH Uprising Led by former Fateh Col. Sa’ed Musa Muragha (Abu Musa), broke away from mainstream Fateh in 1983, aflter blaming Arafat’s corruption for ineffective response to Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. Based in Damascus, with guerrillas in Syria and Lebanon, and opposes any political settlement with Israel.
FEZ PLAN Peace proposal agreed on at the Arab League summit in Fez, Morocco, in Sept. 1982. The plan offered implicit recognition of Israel in exchange for Israeli withdrawal from all occupied lands, establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and recognition of the PLO as representative of Palestinian people. The PNC endorsed the plan while Israel and some PLO factions rejected it.
FIDA (Al-Ittihad Ad-Dimuqrati Al-Filastini - Palestinian Democratic Union) Reformist movement established in March 1990 as a split faction of the DFLP; headed since by Yasser Abed Rabbo, who also represents FIDA in the PLO Exec. Committee. Consists mainly of West Bank residents. Advocates democratization in the Palestinian arena and focuses on a party system that reflects political pluralism and democracy. Critically supports the Oslo process. The Sec.-Gen. is Saleh Ra’fat.
Gaza-Jericho Autonomy Agreement Also referred to as Cairo or Oslo I Agreement; signed on 4 May 1994, outlining the first stage of Palestinian autonomy - in Gaza and Jericho - incl. Israeli redeployment and the establishment of a Palestinian self-government authority. Israel remains in control of the settlements, military locations, and security matters. The stipulated interim period ended on 4 May 1999 and triggered a heated debate among the Palestinians as to whether to declare unilaterally a Palestinian state.
General Unions Well-established PLO-affiliated popular organizations, often older than the PLO, representing important sectors of Palestinian society worldwide. There are General Unions of Palestinian Students, Workers, Women, Teachers, Writers & Journalists, Jurists, Engineers, Doctors, Artists, Artistic Performers, Farmers, and Economists.
GENEVA CONFERENCES (1)Conference for Peace in the Middle East in Dec. 1973 in Geneva, attended by Egypt, Israel, the US, the USSR, Jordan and the UN Sec.-Gen. Created working groups but achieved no further results.
(2)Acknowledging that separate solutions like Camp David did not solve much and that the exclusion of Palestinian representatives would not lead to a fair and lasting peaceful solution, the UNGA call for an International Conference. It convened 23 Aug.-7 Sept. 1983 in Geneva, attended by 137 states and boycotted by Israel and the US. At the end, the ‘Geneva Declaration’ was adopted, calling for a peace conference under the auspices of the UN with full participation on an equal footing of all parties to the conflict incl. the PLO, plus the US, the USSR and other countries concerned. This declaration was endorsed by the UNGA in Res. 38/58C on 13 Dec. 1983.
Green Area Areas zoned by municipal authorities for open space in which no construction is allowed so as to maintain a minimum of greenery in a city. Often used, however, to block Palestinian development and absorb the land for settlement expansion.
Green LINE Term used following Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 to refer to the post-1948 War cease-fire line (proper name is ‘1949 Armistice Line’), i.e., the "border" separating pre-1967 Israel from the OPT. The demarcation line (laid down in the Armistice Agreements of 1949) is the internationally recognized border (it is worth noting that Israel has not specified the boundaries of its state until this day).
Gush Emunim (‘Bloc of the Faithful’). Israeli extra-parliamentary religious lobby that believes the ‘Greater Land of Israel’ is the fulfillment of the Zionist dream and a step in the messianic redemption process and, therefore, opposes the return of territory conquered by Israel in 1967. Since 1967, the single most active settlement movement in the OPT, with over half of all settlements in the West Bank affiliated with its various administrative, ideological and pedagogic divisions.
HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement) Abbreviation of Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamiyya – means ‘zeal’. Not a PLO member; fundamentalist political movement grown out of religious associations. Served as the Muslim Brotherhood’s link to the first Intifada. Emerged shortly after the outbreak of the Intifada in Jan. 1988, and was initially tolerated, if not encouraged, by Israel as an alternative to the PLO. Spiritual leader and founding father is Sheikh Ahmad Yassin (freed from an Israeli jail after 9 years on 1 Oct. 1997); other founding leaders are - Fattah Dukhan, Mohd. Shama’, Dr. Ibrahim Al-Yazuri, Issa An-Najjar, Salah Shehadeh and Abdul-Aziz Rantisi. The Hamas Covenant, issued in Aug. 1988, declared that all of Palestine is Islamic trust land and can never be surrendered to non-Muslims, and proclaimed jihad against Israel. Advocates an Islamic state in all of historic Palestine and the application of Shar’ia Law. Worked independently from the UNLU during the Intifada but does not question the PLO’s role as representative of the Palestinian people at an international level. Agreed to abide by decisions of the PNC in 1989, but called for elections to it (1991). Gained popularity through charitable efforts and the provision of educational and health services. Has been responsible for many attacks on Israeli targets (mostly carried out by its military wing, the Izz Eddin Al-Qassem units). Strongly opposes Oslo; member of the ‘Alliance of Palestinian Forces’ opposed to the peace process. Boycotted the Palestinian elections of Jan. 1996. After Fateh, largest Palestinian faction, but shows signs of a rift between a moderate dialogue-based approach (Gaza) and one of violence (advocated by the Amman-based leadership). Listed as ‘terrorist’ organization by the US State Dept.
Haram Ash-Sharif The Noble Sanctuary, one of the three most important sites in Islam spread over 135 dunums comprising nearly 1/6th of Jerusalem’s Old City. Both Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock are located on the compound, which in its entirety is regarded as a mosque. Jews refer to the area as “Temple Mount”, claiming it is the location of the “Second Temple,” destroyed by the Romans.
Haycraft Commission Of Inquiry issued its report in Oct. 1920, attributing the recent disturbances to Arab fears about increasing Jewish immigration into Palestine.
Hebron AgreemenT Reached on 15 Jan. 1997; Israel agreed to withdraw from 80% of the city (H1), but retained control over an enclave with 450 settlers and 35,000 Palestinians in the city’s center (20%, H2). H2 includes the Old City, Ibrahimi Mosque and seven settlements (Abraham Avino, Bet Hadassah, Bet Romano, Ramat Yashai - Tel Rumaida, Nahum Horse/Yehuda Barqoush, Bet Hashasha, Rachel Salonique).
Hizbullah (‘Party of God’) Iranian-backed Islamic organization, based in predominantly Shi'ite areas of South Lebanon.
Hope-Simpson Commission of Inquiry into the Palestinian uprisings in 1929. The Commission recommended in Aug. 1929 that Jewish immigration and land purchase should be restricted as it threatens Arab agriculture and development.
Hussein-McMahon Correspondence The July 1915-Jan. 1916 correspondence between Sherif Hussein of Mecca and Sir Henry McMahon, British High Commissioner in Egypt, which concluded with an understanding on Arab post-war independence from the Ottoman Empire, including Palestine. Based on this correspondence, Sherif Hussein launched the Arab Revolt and declared Arab independence from Ottoman rule in June 1916.
Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip Also referred to as Taba or Oslo II Agreement. Concluded in Taba on 26 Sept. 1995 and signed in Washington on the 28th. Outlines the 2nd stage of Palestinian autonomy, extending it to other parts of the West Bank, which is divided into Area A (full Palestinian civil jurisdiction and internal security), Area B (full Palestinian civil jurisdiction, joint Israeli-Palestinian internal security), and Area C (Israeli civil and overall security control). Furthermore, the election and powers of a Palestinian Legislative Council were determined. (Oct. 1997 was the target date for the completion of further redeployment and Oct. 1999 for reaching a final status agreement.)
INTIFADA (‘Civil Uprising’; Arabic, lit.: ‘shaking off’)
(1) What is today referred to as “first Intifada” erupted in Gaza on 9 Dec. 1987 after four Palestinians were killed when an Israeli truck collided with two vans carrying Palestinian workers. Ensuing clashes spread rapidly to the rest of the OPT. The Intifada was carried by youth and directed by the Unified National Leadership of the Uprising - a coalition of the main factions, with the goal to end the Israeli occupation and establish Palestinian independence. Israel's heavy-handed response included closing universities, deporting activists, destroying homes, but also stirred the international community into finding a permanent solution. With the signing of the Oslo accords, the Intifada came to an end; casualties were high with over 1,500 Palestinians dead, and tens of thousands injured.
(2)Also referred to as Al-Aqsa Intifada; Began on 28 Sept. 2000 when Likud opposition leader Ariel Sharon made a provocative visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque, with thousands of security forces deployed in and around the Old City. Ensuing clashes with Palestinian protestors left in the first two days alone five Palestinians dead and over 200 injured. The incident soon sparked a widespread uprising in the WBGS, inside Israel and the Arab World, and brought the peace process to a halt. After two years, the death toll among Palestinians had reached over 1,000, with over 20,000 injured and unprecedented destruction to Palestinian infrastructure and economy.
Islamic Jihad (Al-Jihad Al-Islami) Split from the Muslim Brotherhood in the mid-1980s and was formed as a separate militant Islamic movement; led by Abdul Aziz Odeh (until his deportation 1988) and then Fathi Shiqaqi (until his assassination on 26 Oct. 1995 in Malta). Currently headed by Ramadan Abdallah Salah. Group advocates armed struggle for the liberation of Palestine which is a prerequisite for Islamic ascendancy; believes struggle must be preceded by spreading religious values in the society. It does not see itself as a rival to the mainstream PLO but strongly opposes the Oslo Accords. Listed as ‘terrorist’ organization by the US State Dept.
Izz Eddin Al-Qassem Military wing of Hamas and nominally controlled by it, but largely a nebula of small groups; responsible for numerous attacks on Israeli targets, incl. suicide bombings. Named after Muslim Brotherhood member Sheikh Izz Eddin Al-Qassam, who preached Jihad against the British and the Zionists, and was killed in action by British forces near Jenin in 1935.
Karameh PLO base in Jordan in the 1960s, where Palestinian resistance forces confronted Israeli troops in their first major battle in March 1968.
King-Crane Commission International Commission of Inquiry, led by the Americans Henry King and Charles Crane, to examine the situation in Palestine in June‑July 1919; their report, warning against the effects of unrestricted Jewish immigration and Zionist plans on Palestinian Arabs, was kept secret for three years and remained unpublished until 1947.
LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES Established on 22 March 1945 by the then independent Arab states (Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Yemen) as a forum for concerted action on major issues its members face. Today has 22 members and represents over 200 million people. In 1964, the Arab League decided to establish the PLO “to organize the Palestinian people enabling them to play their role in the liberation of their country and to achieve self-determination”, and at the 7th summit meeting in Rabat in Oct. 1974, it recognized the PLO as the “sole representative of the Palestinian people”. In 1976, the PLO was admitted as a full member, and since 1989 it has been a member as ‘the State of Palestine’. Current Sec.-Gen. of the Arab League is Amr Musa.
MACDONALD WHITE PAPER British Gov’t White Paper of 17 May 1939 disclaims any intention to create a Jewish state, places restrictions on Jewish immigration and land purchase and envisages an independent state in Palestine within ten years. Rejected by the Zionists, who then organized terrorist groups and launched a bloody campaign against the British and the Palestinians with the aim to drive them both out of Palestine and to pave the way for the establishment of the Zionist state
MADRID CONFERENCE Middle East Peace Conference opened in Madrid on 30 Oct. 1991 under the co-chairmanship of the US and the Soviet Union (instead of the long wanted UN-sponsored international conference). Initiated two tracks: bilateral talks (started in Washington on 9 Dec. 1991) and multilateral talks (started in Moscow on 28 Jan. 1992).
MENA Summits / Conferences The first Middle East and North Africa Economic (MENA) Summit was held in Casablanca from 30 Oct.-1 Nov. 1994, attended by representatives of 64 countries. The second took place in Amman from 29-31 Oct. 1995 and the third in Cairo from 12-15 Nov. 1996. Due to the slowing down of the peace process since the election of Netanyahu, it was downgraded to just a ‘Conference’. The fourth conference took place in Doha (Qatar) from 16-18 Nov. 1997, but was boycotted by most Arab countries, incl. the PA.
MITCHELL REPORT Fact-Finding Committee to investigate the events of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, how to prevent their recurrence, how to rebuild confidence and resume negotiations. The Committee, headed by former US senator George J. Mitchell, was formed following the summit at Sharm Ash-Sheikh (17 Oct. 2000), attended by Israel, the PA, Egypt, Jordan, the US, UN, and EU, that took place in the wake of the Intifada. Members of the committee were: ex-senator Warren Rudman, former Turkish Pres. Suleiman Demirel, the EU’s Javier Solana and Norwegian FM Thorbjorn Jagland. Recommendations of the report, completed on 30 April 2001 and published on 20 May 2001, included a “freeze of all settlement activity, including the ‘natural growth’ of existing settlements”, a call on both sides to reaffirm their commitment to existing agreements, immediate unconditional cessation of violence and resumption of security cooperation.
Morrison-Grady Plan Federal solution for Palestine proposed by British Dep. PM Herbert Morrison and US Amb. Henry Grady in July 1946: to convert the British Mandate into a trusteeship and to divide the country into a Jewish and an Arab province and two districts (Jerusalem and Negev). Palestine Roundtable Conference in Sept. in London rejects the plan; Arab delegates propose unitary state of Palestine, in which Jews would have full civil rights.
Multilateral Talks Launched at the 1991 Madrid Conference, split into five working groups coordinated by the World Bank and dealing respectively with water, security and armaments control, refugees, environment, and economic development. Various rounds of talks were held until 1995 and few steering committee meetings took place in 1996 before things went quiet due to the general stalemate of the peace process.
MUSLIM BROTHERS (Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimun) Established in 1929 by Hassan Al-Banna in Egypt as an Islamic political-religious movement, with the goal of fighting against Egypt’s secular 1923 constitution and preaching the return to Islam’s fundamental values. Spread soon to other Arab countries; considered ideological basis/forefather of many Islamic organizations to emerge.
Muslim-Christian Association (MCA) Appeared first in Jaffa in Nov. 1918 and in early 1919 in Jerusalem as a result of the Palestinian goal to express a national identity and to establish forums to express opposition to Zionism. It was composed of representatives of leading families and religious scholars and soon became a countrywide network with its headquarters in Jerusalem.
An-Naqba The 1948 ‘catastrophe’ surrounding the establishment of the state of Israel, resulting in the dispersion of Palestinians worldwide.
OPEN BRIDGES POLICY Policy by Israeli DM Moshe Dayan after the 1967 War to provide access for the Palestinians to the Arab World via Jordan and facilitate the export of Palestinian products (competition for Israel), and the passage of workers (e.g., to the Gulf states). In reality meant to encourage emigration as Palestinians aged 20-40 were not permitted to return for nine months.
Operation ‘Defensive Shield’ Israeli reinvasion of West Bank cities in March/April 2002 (Al-Aqsa Intifada), which left most of the population under prolonged curfews and the PA infrastructure in ruins and caused unprecedented damages to private and public properties.
Operation ‘Grapes of Wrath’ Major attack on Lebanon launched by Israel in April 1996 in retaliation against recent Hizbollah attacks. The Israeli attack left over 150 civilians killed.
Operation Litani Operation launched by Israel in March 1978 in retaliation against a PLO commando attack on a bus near Haifa four days earlier: full-scale invasion of Lebanon in order to push PLO positions away from the border, bolster the power of the SLA, and seize a security belt south of the Litani River, inflicting thousands of casualties.
Operation ‘Peace For Galilee’ Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, including a two-month siege and bombardment of Beirut, until PLO forces agreed to leave. Some 18,000 people were reported killed and 30,000 injured, the vast majority of whom were civilians. Israeli forces occupied Beirut until July 1983 when they withdrew to the ‘security zone’.
Or Commission Israeli investigation commission established to look into the events and clashes that took place in the Arab sectors of Israel in Oct. 2000 (at the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada) and that left 13 Israeli-Arabs dead. Named after the commission’s chairman, Justice Theodor Or.
Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Created in 1969 following the arson at Al-Aqsa Mosque - considered an attack on the whole of Muslim world - to coordinate efforts to protect the Holy Places of Islam and to support the struggle of the Palestinian people helping them recover their rights and free their land. Has also political, cultural, economic and social objectives. Currently 54 members.
ORIENT HOUSE Main political presence of the Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the PLO's unofficial representation in the city. Property of the Husseini family, built in 1897. Subject to an Israeli law of Dec. 1994 banning any political PLO activity in the city not approved by the Israeli govt. Though Israel mainly pursues a policy of non-interference with Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem, it regularly threatens Orient House with full or partial closure. On 10 Aug. 2001, Israeli troops stormed and occupied the building, confiscated computers, data, files and other materials. Since then Orient House has been closed.
Oslo I Agreement see Gaza-Jericho Agreement
Oslo II Agreement see Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip
OSLO (PEACE) PROCESS Series of peace talks that began with secret negotiations in Norway between PLO members and Israeli officials and led to the DoP in Sept. 1993, outlining the way for further bilateral negotiations hoped to bring a permanent solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) Militant PLO faction formed by Mohammed Zeidan (Abu-l-Abbas) and Tala‘at Yaqoub in April 1977 after splitting from PFLP and later PFLP-GC (1977) to follow a pro-Iraqi stance. Split into 3 different factions in the 1980s: pro-Damascus faction under Tala‘at Yaqoub, pro-Iraqi faction under Abu-l-Abbas and ‘Ali Ishaq, and a militantly pro-Syrian under Abdel-Fattah Ghanim. Member of the Rejectionist Front. Responsible for the hijacking of the Achille Lauro in 1985. Its position toward the PLO leadership and Chairman Arafat is uncertain but strongly opposes the Madrid and Oslo processes. Currently represented in the PLO Exec. Committee by Ali Ishaq. Listed as ‘terrorist’ organization by the US State Dept.
Palestine People’s PartY (Hizb Ash-Sha’ab) Leftist PLO faction, founded in Feb. 1982 in the OPT as the Palestinian Communist Party. Broke with its Leninist past in 1991 and re-launched itself under the new name as a democratic, pragmatic and popular party. Member of the UNLU during the first Intifada. Led by Bashir Barghouti from 1982-98; in Oct. 1998, the party held its 3rd Convention in Ramallah and elected a three-member committee as Gen. Secretariat (Mustafa Barghouthi, Hana Amira and Abdel Majid Hamdan). Supports Oslo, but calls for reconstruction of PLO & dialogue with opposing groups. Plays a more important role locally than in the PLO, where it is represented in the Exec. Committee by Suleiman An-Najjab.
Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Elected on 20 Jan. 1996 in accordance with the Oslo I and II Accords. Made up of 88 members elected in 16 electoral districts of varying sizes (voter turnout: 79%). Of the 88 seats, 49 are held by Fateh, 15 by independents affiliated with Fateh, 4 by independents affiliated with Islamist movements, 17 by independents, and 3 by others. Responsible for drafting a Palestinian constitution as well as legal and regulatory frameworks. All legislation and acts must be transmitted to the Israeli authorities for approval. The PLC has no powers in terms of foreign relations and agreements. Its members automatically become members of the PNC.
Palestinian Liberation Army (PLA) Formed in 1964 as the PLO’s military branch led by Arafat, with three brigades: Ein Jalut (Gaza and Egypt), Qadisiyya (Iraq) and Hittin (Syria). Established the Popular Liberation Troops (Kuwat At-Tahrir Ash-Sha’biya) in Gaza in 1968 as commando units to fight against the Israeli occupation. Followed the strategy of guerrilla warfare, with most forces deployed in Syria and Lebanon. Some PLA units deployed in the OPT following the Oslo Accords, where they were absorbed into the PA security apparatus.
Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Established on the basis of the DoP signed by the PLO and Israel on 13 Sept. 1993 and governs Palestinian affairs in the self-rule areas. It consists of the elected President (Yasser Arafat), the appointed cabinet (executive committee currently composed of 32 PNA Ministers) and the Palestinian Legislative Council (88 elected members). The PNA is subject to the agreements signed with Israel and as such has no foreign relation powers. It will be responsible for negotiating the permanent status issues towards a final settlement with Israel.
Palestinian National Council (PNC) Legislative and decision-making body of the PLO; quasi-parliament in exile, representing Palestinians worldwide; formulates policies and guidelines for the Exec. Committee. Elects the Exec. Committee, a speaker, two deputies and a secretary, who make up the Bureau of the Council. Currently 669 members, most of whom appointed by the PLO Exec. Committee (previously 483, with 84 seats for representatives from the OPT left vacant; now joined by 186 members from inside the Palestinian Territories, including -automatically- the 88 elected PLC members). Voted for altering its 1964 National Charter in line with the DoP on 21 April 1996 with a vote of 504 to 54 and 14 abstentions; the remaining members boycotted, opposing the removal of the articles Israel finds offensive. Meets every 2 years; resolutions are passed by a simple majority, but 2/3rds of members must attend for quorum. [Pres.: Salim Zanoun; Vice-Pres.: Taysir Quba’a; 2nd Sec.: Bishop Elias Khoury; Sec.: Mohammed Sbeih.]
Palestinian National Front (PNF) Formed in Jan. 1973 by the PNC to act as an organizational framework and autonomous PLO affiliate to coordinate activities of nationalist resistance forces in the OPT. It formed the nationalist bloc for candidates in the 1976 elections and won 18 out of 24 city council seats. It was declared illegal by Israel in Oct. 1978, and then absorbed by its successor, the National Guidance Committee, which coordinated opposition to Camp David and the Begin administration (outlawed by Israel in May 1982).
Palestinian National FUND Managed by a board of directors (appointed by the PLO Exec. Committee) and a chairman (elected by the PNC), with a maximum of 11 members. Revenues come from a fixed tax on the wages earned by all Palestinians living in Arab countries and collected by those respective governments and from financial contributions by Arab states and people, a substantial amount in the past but now disappearing.
Palestinian National Salvation Front (PNSF) Umbrella organization opposing Arafat’s policies and undermining his leadership. It was formed in March 1985 by the PFLP and pro-Syrian groups in Damascus and is chaired by Khaled Al-Fahum.
PARTITION PLAN On 29 Nov. 1947, the UNGA passed the Partition Plan (UN Res. 181) dividing Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state, with Jerusalem and Bethlehem as a corpus separatum under a special international regime. The idea of partition was first suggested by the Peel Commission in 1937. The plan granted the Jews 56.47% of Mandatory Palestine - at a time when they owned less than 7% of the land - with a population of 498,000 Jews and 325,000 Arabs, and the Palestinians 43.53% of Palestine, with 807,000 Arab inhabitants and 10,000 Jewish inhabitants. For Jerusalem, where the population was 100,000 Jews and 105,000 Arabs, an international trusteeship and free access to the Holy Places was foreseen.
‘Passfield’ White Paper British govt. White Paper of Oct. 1930 stating that Jewish immigration and land purchases should stop. Following strong Zionist protests, however, British PM MacDonald sent Chaim Weizman a ‘Black Letter’ a few months later, nullifying the clauses of the White Paper.
PEEL Commission The Palestine Royal Commission, led by Lord Peel, to examine the working of the British Mandate and make proposals for the future. Concluded its report in July 1937 stating that the Mandate in Palestine was unworkable, that there was no hope of any cooperative national entity comprised of Arabs and Jews, and that both sides could not live in peace together in one state. In conclusion, it suggested the partition of Palestine into two states: one Jewish and one Arab.
Plan Dalet Master Plan (containing various sub-operations) launched in April 1948 by Zionist military forces to capture as much Palestinian/Arab territory as possible before the end of the British Mandate.
PLO - PalestinE Liberation Organization Following an Arab League decision, the PLO was founded by 422 Palestinian national figures, chaired by Ahmed Shuqeiri, in May 1964 in Jerusalem. They also set up the Palestine National Council (PNC), the PLO Executive Committee, a National Fund and the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) and drafted a National Covenant and Basic Law. When Fateh, led by Yasser Arafat, took over the PLO in 1969, it became an umbrella organization for various Palestinian factions and acquired a more central role in mobilizing Palestinians as well as international support. The PLO created a number of organizations to provide education, health, and other relief services and formed a quasi-govt. with security bodies, a military, a financial system, information offices and foreign relations. On 14 Oct. 1974, the PLO was recognized by the UNGA as the representative of the Palestinian people (Res. 3210, which also granted observer status), and on 28 Oct. 1974 by the Arab League Rabat Summit. In 1975, the PLO was granted access to the UNSC. On 15 Nov. 1988, it declared Palestinian independence at the 19th PNC in Algiers, and in Dec. 1988, it announced the recognition of Israel’s right to exist and renounced terrorism. The PLO headquarters were in Amman until the ‘Black September’ confrontation with the Jordanian army (1970), Beirut until the PLO’s evacuation in the course of the 1982 Israeli invasion, and then Tunis. The PLO remains the political umbrella for the PNA in the Palestinian self-rule areas (Gaza and West Bank) following the DoP of 13 Sept. 1993 and subsequent accords.
PLO Central Council (PCC) Second leading body of the PLO, formed first in June 1970 as ad hoc body, then established by the PNC in 1973 under the chairmanship Khaled Al-Fahum. Functions as an intermediary body between the PNC and the Exec. Committee. At present, it has 124 members, incl. 15 PLC representatives. In Oct. 1993, the PCC met in Tunis to ratify the DoP (by a vote of 63-8 and 9 abstentions). On 27 April 1999, PCC meeting in Gaza discussed the expiry of the DoP.
PLO Charter Also known as the ‘Palestinian National Charter’ or ‘Palestinian Covenant’. Adopted by the Palestine National Council in July 1968; outlines in 33 articles some kind of a ‘basic law’ for the PLO. On 14 Dec. 1998, in the presence of Pres. Clinton, hundreds of top Palestinian officials revoked parts of the charter that calls for the destruction of Israel.
PLO Departments The Political Dept. is the largest; it directs and supervises the work of PLO representatives abroad, and represents the PLO at international conferences. Other departments are: Returnees, Culture and Information, Social Affairs Education, and Popular Organizations. In addition, there is the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (est. 1965); SAMED, the Martyrs’ Works Society (est. 1970); and the news agency WAFA (est. 1970).
PLO Executive Committee (EC) Highest exec. body of the PLO; represents the PLO internationally. Consists of 18 members elected by the PNC, with full operational authority over all sub-organizations and budgets. acts as a cabinet, implementing policy, and directs the activities of the PLO in accordance with the Covenant and the Basic Law. [Chairman: Yasser Arafat; members: Yasser Amro, Emile Jarjoui, Taysir Khaled, Sulaiman Najjab, Mahmoud Abbas, Zakaria Al-Agha, Ghassan Shaka’a, Riad Khadari, Abdel Rahim Malouh, Samir Ghosheh, Farouq Qaddumi, Asad Abdel Rahman, Yasser Abed Rabbo, Mohammed Nashashibi, Mahmoud Ismail, and Ali Izhaq; the seat of the deceased Faisal Husseini is still vacant].
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP - Al-Jabha Al-Sha‘biyya li-Tahrir Filastin) Established in 1967 by the Arab National Movement, led by George Habash (until 2000). Began a transformation towards a Marxist-Leninist ideology in early 1969, seeing the struggle for Palestine as part of a larger revolution to transform Arab society. The faction split twice: in 1968, when the Palestine Liberation Front broke away (now PFLP-GC) and in 1969, when the DFLP did the same. In the 1970s it became known for hijacking actions, led by Wadi Haddad (armed wing is known as the Red Eagles), but became more moderate after 1973. Pulled out of the PLO Exec. Committee in 1974 rejoining it only in 1981. Led an anti-Arafat coalition in the early 1980s opposing both the Fez Plan and negotiations with Jordan. Member of the UNLU during the first Intifada. Opposes the Oslo Accords. Represented in the PLO Exec. Committee by Abdel Rahim Malouh, but in reality, is marginalized since Oslo process began. Reconciliation with Fateh/ Arafat took place in Cairo in Aug. 1999. Advocates the establishment of a democratic state on the land of historic Palestine where all peoples can live as equal citizens. In Sept. 1999, the PFLP’s Dep. Sec. Abu Ali Mustafa returned to Palestine, and, following the resignation of Habash, became the new head in July 2000. In Aug. 2001, he was assassinated by Israeli forces, and Ahmed Sa'adat was elected to replace him in Oct. 2001. Listed as ‘terrorist’ organization by the US State Dept.
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command (PFLP-GC) Formed in late 1968 after breaking away from the PFLP; led by Ahmed Jibril, a former officer in the Syrian Army. It is a militant pro-Syrian anti-Arafat faction within the PLO, committed to armed struggle and guerrilla strategy, and considered to be connected to Syrian military intelligence. Was part of the Rejectionist Front. It rejects any compromise with Israel and has been involved in numerous attacks. Lacks broad popular presence. Based in Damascus, it has no significant branch in the OPT. Currently not represented in the PLO Executive Committee. Listed as ‘terrorist’ organization by the US State Dept.
Popular Revolutionary Committees Coa-lition of militant groups active in the Gaza Strip during Al-Aqsa Intifada.
POPULAR STRUGGLE FRONT (PSF - Jabhat An-Nidal Ash-Sha'biyya Al-Filastiniyya) Small, anti-Arafat PLO faction, leftist-Ba’ath in character. Created before the 1967 War but formally established in July 1967; broke Fateh-affiliation in 1973. First led by Subhi Ghosheh and Bahjat Abu Gharbiyya, and presently by Dr. Samir Ghosheh, who also represents it in the PLO Exec. Committee. Members mostly in Syria and Lebanon. Acceptted the PLO's endorsement of UNSC Res. 242 in 1991.
Reagan Plan Initiative proposed by US Pres. Reagan in Sept. 1982 to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. Based on a 5-year transition period, beginning with free elections for a self-governing Palestinian Authority, and a freeze in settlement activity, and ending with a Palestinian entity in confederation with Jordan. For Jerusalem, negotiations shall decide final status.
Rejectionist Front An Iraqi-backed coalition of groups opposing any settlement with Israel created in Baghdad in 1974. Its members are PFLP, PFLP-GC, PSF, and PLF.
Rogers Plan Peace plan announced by US Sec. of State William Rogers on 9 Dec. 1969, comprised of two parts: a call for an Israeli-Egyptian cease-fire agreement along the Suez Canal and an attempt to move the Israeli-Jordanian, and Israeli-Egyptian negotiations forward, based on UNSC Res. 242. Israel rejected the US initiative, while Jordan and Egypt accepted.
As-Saiqa (‘Storm’, ‘Lightning Bolt’) Syrian-backed and controlled pan-Arabist PLO commando group of Ba’athist ideology; established in Feb. 1968 and originally led by Yousef Zu’ayyin. The liberation of Palestine is considered within the context of a Pan-Arab movement led by Syria. It is considered the second largest PLO guerrilla organization, but has no serious presence outside Syria/Lebanon. Currently led by Issam Al-Qadi (formerly Zuheir Muhsin) and based in Damascus. Not represented in the PLO Exec. Committee at the moment; opposes Madrid and Oslo.
SAMED Palestinian Martyrs Works Society – established in 1970 to provide vocational training to the children of Palestinian martyrs; played an important role - especially in the 1970s and 1980s - in the economic infrastructure of the Palestinian communities.
San Remo conference Took place in April 1920, confirmed the Sykes-Picot Agreement awarding the administration of the former Turkish territories of Syria and Lebanon to France and of Palestine, Transjordan and Mesopotamia (Iraq) to Britain.
SAudi Peace Initiative Peace plan floated by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah in Feb. 2002, whose final version was adopted at the March 2002 Arab League summit in Beirut. It calls for Israeli withdrawal from all territories occupied since 1967 and return of the Palestine refugees to Israel in return for recognition of Israel and normal relations with the Arab World.
Sharm Esh-Sheikh Agreement Agreement for the implementation of the Wye River Memorandum. Signed by the new Israeli PM Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat in Sharm Esh-Sheikh on 4 Sept. 1999, witnessed by US Sec. of State Albright, Egyptian Pres. Mubarak and Jordans’ King Abdullah II. Stipulated that Israel will withdraw in three stages from another 11% of West Bank land, release some 350 Palestinian political prisoners, open the safe passages, and begin permanent status talks on 13 Sept. 1999 to reach a framework for a settlement by Feb. 2000 and a final peace agreement by Sept. 2000. Israeli redeployments are split as follows:
15 Sept. 1999: Transfer of 7% from Area C to B.
15 Nov. 1999: 3% from C to B, and of 2% from B to A (put on hold at press time).
20 Jan. 2000: 1% from C to A, and of 5.1 % from B to A.
Like the Wye Accord, however, no official map detailing the areas to be transferred by Israel is part of the deal.
Sharon Plan Proposed by MK Ariel Sharon in 1992: Israel would annex about 50% of the WBGS, while in the remaining areas (mostly Palestinian population centers) 11 ‘cantons’ would be created, in which Palestinians would enjoy autonomy.
Shaw Commission British‑appointed Commission of Inquiry, led by Sir Walter Shaw, to investigate the Al-Buraq disturbances (Arab-Jewish riots in 1929 after a British govt. White Paper confirmed the status of the Western Wall as Moslem property). Their report led to the issuing of the 1930 White Paper recommending the restriction of Jewish immigration.
SHULTZ INITIATIVE Peace initiative proposed by US Sec. of State George Shultz in March 1988: negotiations between Israel and a Jordanian-Palestinian delegation based on UNSC Res. 242 and 338. Rejected by the Palestinians.
Sykes‑Picot Agreement Secret agreement (named after the British orientalist Sir Mark Sykes and the former French CG in Beirut Charles Georges Picot) signed by Britain and France in May 1916, dividing the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire among them, assigning Lebanon and Syria to France and Jordan and Iraq to Britain; Palestine was to be internationalized.
TABA Agreement see Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip
TANZIM (Arabic for ‘organization’) Part of Fateh on the ground in the OPT; operates as loose collection of militias for enforcing order; originated in Fateh cadres operating in the OPT, both before and during the first Intifada, that formed the "inside" leadership. Seen as the leading force in directing the Al-Aqsa Intifada.
TENET PLAN Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire and security plan, proposed by CIA director George Tenet to end the violence in the region; took effect on 13 June 2001, but was never really implemented. Foresaw that Israel and the PA will immediately resume security cooperation, take measures to enforce a ceasefire, share information on terrorist threats, prevent acts of violence, etc., followed by IDF redeployment to positions held before 28 Sept. 2000, lifting of internal closures and border crossings.
TIPH (Temporary International Presence in Hebron) International observer unit set up by an Israeli-PLO agreement (reached in Cairo on 31 March 1994) in the aftermath of the massacre of some 30 Palestinian worshippers at the Ibrahimi Mosque by an Israeli settler (25 Feb. 1994) to provide a normal life and a sense of security for the Palestinians in Hebron. The mission lasted only a few months. A further agreement was concluded on 9 May 1996, setting the framework of a TIPH mission after the partial Israeli redeployment in Hebron. TIPH is only accountable to a joint Israeli-Palestinian committee and to an ad hoc liaison committee comprised of the participating countries.
UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 181 see Partition Plan
UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 194 Adopted on 11 Dec. 1948, stating the right of return: The refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.
UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 242 Adopted on 22 Nov. 1967, calling on Israel to withdraw its army from territories occupied in the course of the War of 1967.
UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 338 Adopted unanimously on 22 Oct. 1973, calls for the immediate implementation of UNSC Res. 242 with a view to establish peace.
UniFied National Leadership of the Uprising (UNLU) Umbrella organization or coalition of the main political factions; served as the underground leadership of the first Intifada, issued leaflets to inform the people and drew up a broad strategy to direct the struggle.
UNIFIL UN Interim Force in Lebanon deployed since March 1978 (headquarters in Naqura) to oversee the withdrawal of Israeli forces from South Lebanon, to restore international peace and security in the area and to provide humanitarian aid (since 1982).
United Arab Kingdom Plan - also known as Federation Plan - proposed by King Hussein of Jordan in 1972 to connect Palestine (West Bank and later, possibly, the Gaza Strip) and Jordan (East Bank) with Amman as capital of the kingdom and Jerusalem as capital of the region of Palestine. Both Banks would be under the sovereignty of the king.
UNRECOGNIZED VILLAGES 176 Palestinian villages inside Israel - in the Galilee or the Negev - that do not officially exist. The over 90,000 Arab inhabitants are internal refugees, i.e., had left their homes during the 1948 War, yet remained within the borders of the new Israeli state, and were unable to return to their villages. They do not receive municipal services, health care, nor are they connected to postal and phone systems. In 1992 the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that the villages should be connected to the Israeli water system.
UNRWA The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East was established by UNGA Res. 302 of Dec. 1949 to give emergency assistance to Palestinians displaced by the War of 1948 and began to operate in May 1950. Its mandate, to provide essential education, health and relief services to Palestine refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and the WBGS, has been renewed repeatedly ever since. Headquarters are in Gaza.
UNSCO The UN Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories was established in June 1994 to facilitate coordination among UN programs in the WBGS, represent the UN at donor meetings, and assist in coordinating international donor assistance. The current Special Coordinator - appointed by the UN Sec.-Gen. - is Terje Rød-Larsen. Headquarters are in Gaza.
UNSCOP UN Special Committee on Palestine appointed in April 1947 at the close of a special UN session on Palestine, to investigate the situation and propose solutions. The majority of members recommended partition, while a minority advocated a federal solution. The Arab Higher Committee rejected the partition plan, the Jewish Agency accepted it.
UNTSO UN Truce Supervision Organization, established in June 1948 to assist the UN Mediator and Truce Commission in supervising the observance of the truce in Palestine. It later supervised the 1949 Armistice Agreements and the cease-fire in the Suez Canal area and the Golan Heights after the War of 1967. At present, observer groups are stationed in Beirut, the Sinai, and the Golan. Headquarters are in Jerusalem.
VENICE DECLARATION Declaration of the European Council on the Middle East at the EC summit in Venice in June 1980, detailing their position on the Middle East, reiterating the right to existence and security of all states in the region, including Israel, and justice for all the peoples, including recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
Waqf Islamic charitable pious foundation; administers holy sites as well as state lands and other property passed to the Muslim community for public welfare.
WAR OF 1948 Broke out after the declaration of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948 between Israeli forces and Arab armies. By the end of the War of 1948, Jewish forces had captured 54% of the territory assigned to the Arab state in UN Res. 181 and Israel controlled 77.4% of the land. Palestine was fragmented, its society dismantled and its people rendered a nation of displaced refugees (UN estimates: 726,000 Palestinian refugees located outside the armistice lines and some 32,000 inside). 418 Palestinian villages had been depopulated and erased from the map as a result of Jewish military activities, massacres and expulsion orders.
WAR OF 1967 Also June or Six-Day War; launched by an Israeli attack on Egyptian posts on 5 June 1967. Also referred to as An-Naksa. Resulted in the Israeli occupation of the rest of Palestine, i.e., the Gaza Strip and West Bank, incl. East Jerusalem, which was subsequently annexed. Israel illegally declared its jurisdiction over all the OPT on 27 June and formally annexed Arab Jerusalem on 28 June 1967.
WOODHEAD COMMISSION Technical Commission of Inquiry sent by Britain in 1938 to make a detailed plan for partition, based on the Peel Commission’s report. Published its findings in Nov. 1938, reversing the Peel Commission report saying that partition was impracticable.
WYE RIVER MEMORANDUM Agreement for the implementation of the Oslo II Agreement and the resumption of the final status talks, signed on 23 Oct. 1998. Divided the 2nd redeployment provided by Oslo II (to be completed in April 1997) into three phases totaling 13% of the WB. Other main points were: changes in the PLO Charter, opening of the Gaza airport and the safe passage, reduction in the number of Palestinian police, and release of Palestinian prisoners. Subsequently, Israeli withdrew from 2% near Jenin, the Gaza airport was opened, and some detainees were released, though most of them turned out to be criminals rather than political prisoners. The Dec. 1998 Knesset vote for early elections (May 1999) suspended the further implementation of the Wye Agreement. Wye did not include an official map detailing the areas to be transferred by Israel to PA control; there were only informal assurances that the transfer of land out of Area C would take place mainly in the northern West Bank (first redeployment), Ramallah area (second), and around Hebron (third).
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