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The Palestine Liberation Organization Essay


The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is an organization that the Arab nations formed during their first Summit in Cairo. These nations agreed on forming this organization to be a representative of the Palestinian people and address their rights issues. The organization formed militia groups and started terrorist attacks against Israel.

This was because Israel had defeated these Arabs in the 1948’s Israel Independency war and displaced the Palestine citizens from their homes making them refugees. The war and refusal of the Israeli government to grant the Arabs return rights created the Palestine refugee problem. The creation of the Palestine Liberation Organization was a revenge strategy against Israel.

The Palestinian refugee problem came into existence following the Israeli War of Independence. This war created a large number of refugees, which many sources estimate differently. The war created over 1,000,000 refugees both Arabs and Jews. In 1947, the United Nations decided to partition Palestine into two, forming Jewish and Arab states. The Jews accepted the proposal but the Palestinian Arabs opposed it.

During this time, some wealthy Palestinian Arabs anticipated war and fled to the neighboring Arab countries to seek refuge. The Palestinian Arabs also initiated riots immediately to protest against the proposal of the United Nations and Israeli’s plan to declare independence of the Jewish state. Following these riots, the Arabs formed terrorist groups and initiated attacks on the Jewish towns. This initiated war between the Jews and the Palestinian Arabs.

In May 1948, the Jews of Palestine declared independence in accordance to the United Nation’s proposal even though the Palestinian Arabs were against this plan. This created more tension within the Palestinian Arabs making more of them to flee to neighboring countries.

These Arabs became refugees in the Gaza strip, West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Following the Jews’ declaration of a state in 1948, Armies from different countries including Syria, Egypt Jordan and Iraq invaded Palestine and engaged the Israelis in a war. The Israelis won this war against the Palestinian Arabs creating more Arab refugees.

Some Palestinian Arabs fled their homes on their own while others remained until their armies forced them out of some places to give fighting space to the warring armies (Morris, 2004). Different sources give different estimates of the number of Arab people who became refugees because of this war. Israeli sources, the United Nations sources and the Arab sources give estimates ranging from 520,000 to 800,000 Arab refugees.

The Palestine refugee problem has existed since 1948. Some of the refugees received citizenship in some of the countries hosting them while others did not. The refugees were determined to return home, but have not succeeded. Israel passed laws to prevent these refugees from returning to their initial homes. The number of refugees in the refugee camps has since then rose making them to live in very poor conditions.

After the civil war between the Palestinian Arabs and the Israeli Jews, the Palestinian Arabs did not consent defeat and were more determined to revenge by destroying Israel. The Palestine Arabs carried out constant attacks against Israel from neighboring countries. The Palestine Arabs did this to protect its citizens and to force Israel to grant the Arab refugees their right to return to their homes.

In 1964, Arab states met in their first Arab states summit meeting in Cairo, Egypt. During this summit, the member states established the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (Cobban, 1984). The PLO’s role was to be a representative of the Palestinian people. The organization was also supposed to liberate the Palestinian people from any form of oppression through military intervention.

This group’s main agenda was to stop Israeli’s activities in Palestine, put Zionism to an end and call for a right of return of the Palestine Arab refugees. This organization started by carrying out terrorist attacks against Israel from Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza Strip and West Bank.

It recruited soldiers from the Palestinian refugee camps who helped the group to carry out its terrorist activities. PLO carried out many terrorist attacks against Israel between 1960s and 1978. These included the Avivim school bus massacre in 1970, plane hijacks and attacks between 1960 and 1970, the Munich massacre in 1972, the Ma’alot massacre in 1974, the Coastal Road massacre in 1978 among others. The United States declared the PLO a terrorist organization in 2004.

In conclusion, the UN’s proposal to create the Jewish and Arab nations received contrasting reactions from the Jews and the Palestine Arabs. This created tension in the region following Israeli’s declaration of a state following UN’s proposal. This triggered a civil war between the Palestine Arabs and the Israelis.

Israel won forcing many Palestine Arabs to be refugees in the neighboring countries and denied them right to return thus creating the Palestine refugee problem. This state triggered the Arab states to form the Palestine Liberation organization to fight for the right of the Palestinian people. This group turned to be a terrorist group and failed to meet its plan of destroying Israel.

Reference List

Cobban, Helena (1984). The Palestinian Liberation Organization: people, power and politics. (Cambridge Middle East Library). New York: Cambridge University press.

Morris, Benny (2004). The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. (Cambridge Middle East Studies). New York: Cambridge University Press.

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IvyPanda. "The Palestine Liberation Organization." February 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-palestine-liberation-organization/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "The Palestine Liberation Organization." February 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-palestine-liberation-organization/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Palestine Liberation Organization'. 20 February.

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