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11 tishrei, 5762
September 28, 2001


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Editor's Note: The Arab pledge to amend the PLO Covenant, now long overdue, has become a key issue in the "peace process."

We therefore are reprinting the key articles of the Covenant.

Article 1: Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an Integral part of the Arab nation.


Article 2- Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit


Article 3: The Palestinian people possess the legal right to their homeland and have the right to determine their destiny after achieving the liberation of their country


Article 4: The Palestinian identity is a genuine, essential and inherent character. It is transmitted from parents to children. The Zionist occupation and the dispersal of the Palestinian Arab people...do not make them lose their Palestinian identity...


Article 5: The Palestinians are those Arab nationals who, until 1947. normally resided in Palestine regardless of whether they were evicted from it or have stayed there. Anyone born, after that date, of a Palestinian father-whether inside Palestine or outside it-is also a Palestinian.


Article 6: The Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion [1917-ed.] will be considered Palestinians.


Article 7: ...It is a national duty to bring up individual Palestinians in an Arab revolutionary manner... He [all Palestinians] must be prepared for the armed struggle and ready to sacrifice his wealth and his life in order to win back his homeland and bring about its liberation.


Article 8 The phase in their history, through which tile Palestinian people are now living, is that of national (watani) struggle for the liberation of Palestine...On this basis the Palestinian masses, regardless of whether they are residing in the national homeland or in diaspora (mayfjir) constitute-both their organization and the individuals-one national front working for the retrieval of Palestine and its liberation through armed struggle.


Article 9: Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. Thus it is the overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase.
The Palestinian Arab people assert their absolute determination and firm resolution to continue their armed struggle and to work for the liberation of their country and their return to it...


Article 10: Commando action constitutes the nucleus of the Palestinian popular liberation war. This requires its escalation, comprehensiveness and mobilization of all the Palestinian popular and educational efforts and their organization and involvement in the armed Palestinian revolution...


Article 13: Arab unity and the liberation of Palestine are two complementary objectives, the attainment of either of which facilitates the attainment of the order...


Article 14: The destiny of the Arab nation, and indeed Arab existence itself, depends upon the destiny of the Palestinian cause...The people of Palestine play the role of the vanguard in the realization of this sacred national (qawmi) goal.


Article 15. The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab viewpoint, is a national (qawmi) duty and it attempts to repel the Zionist and imperialist aggression against the Arab homeland, and aims at the elimination of Zionism in Palestine...Accordingly the Arab nation must mobilize all its military, human, and moral and spiritual capabilities to participate actively with the Palestinian people in the liberation of Palestine. It must, particularly in the phase of the armed Palestinian revolution, offer and furnish the Palestinian people with all possible help, and material and human support, and make available to them the means and opportunities that will enable them to continue to carry out their leading role in the armed revolution...


Article 17: The liberation of Palestine, from a human point of view, will restore to the Palestinian individual his dignity, pride and freedom...


Article 18: The liberation of Palestine, from an international point of view, is a defensive action necessitated by the demands of self-defense. Accordingly, the Palestinian people, desirous as they are of the friendship of all people, look to freedom-loving, justice-loving and peace-loving states for support in order to restore their legitimate rights in Palestine...


Article 19: The position of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of the State of Israel are entirely illegal, regardless of the passage of time...


Article 20: The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void. Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong.


Article 21: The Arab Palestinian people, expressing themselves by the armed Palestinian revolution, reject all solutions which are substitutes for the total liberation of Palestine and reject all proposals aiming at the liquidation of the Palestinian problem, or its internationalization.


Article 22: Zionism is a political movement organically associated with international imperialism and antagonistic to all action for liberation and to progressive movements in the world. It is racist and fanatic in its nature, aggressive, expansionist and colonial in its aims, and fascist in its methods. Israel is the instrument of the Zionist movement, and a geographical base for world imperialism placed strategically in the midst of the Arab homeland to combat the hopes of the Arab nation for liberation, unity and progress. Israel is a constant source of threat vis-a-vis peace in the Middle East and the whole world. Since the liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence and will contribute to the establishment of peace in the Middle East, the Palestinian people look for the support of all the progressive and peaceful forces...


Article 23: The demands of security and peace, as well as the demands of right and justice, require all states to consider Zionism an illegitimate movement, to outlaw its existence, and to ban its operations...


Article 24: The Palestinian people believe in the principles of justice, freedom, sovereignty, self-determination, human dignity, and in the right of all peoples to exercise them.


Article 25: For the realization of the goals this Charter and its principles, the Palestinian Liberation Organization will perform its role in the liberation of Palestine in accordance with the Constitution of this Organization.


Article 26: The Palestine Liberation Organization, representative of the Palestinian revolutionary forces, is responsible for the Palestinian Arab people's movement in its struggle-to retrieve its homeland, liberate and return to it...


Article 28: The Palestinian Arab people assert the genuineness and independence of their national revolution and reject all forms of intervention, trusteeship and subordination.


Article 29: The Palestinian people possess the fundamental and genuine legal right to liberate and retrieve their homeland. The Palestinian people determine their attitude towards all states and forces on the basis of the stands they adopt vis-a-vis the Palestinian case...


Article 30: Fighters and carriers of arms in the war of liberation are the nucleus of the popular army which will be the protective force for the gains of the Palestinian Arab people.


Article 31: The Organization shall have a flag, an oath of allegiance and an anthem. All this shall be decided upon in accordant with a special regulation.


Article 32: Regulations, which shall be known as the Constitution of the Palestine Liberation Organization, shall be annexed to this Charter. It shall lay down the manner in which the Organization and its organs and institutions, shall be constituted. . .


Article 33: This Charter shall not be amended save by (vote of) a majority of two-thirds of the total membership of the National Congress of the Palestine Liberation Organization (taken) at a special session convened for that purpose.

(Basic Political Document of Armed Palestinian Resistance Movement
Leila S. Kadi (ed.), Palestine Research Centre, Beirut, December 1969.)

 
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