Palestinian National Council

Palestinian National Council

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Palestinian National Council'
Start a new discussion about 'Palestinian National Council'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The Palestinian National Council (PNC) is the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 and elects its Executive Committee, which assumes leadership of the organization between its sessions. The Council normally meets every two years. Resolutions are passed by a simple majority with a quorum of two-thirds. The PNC elects its own chairman.

The first PNC, composed of 422 representatives, met in Jerusalem in May 1964 and adopted the Palestinian National Covenant
Palestinian National Covenant
The Palestinian National Covenant or Palestinian National Charter is the charter or constitution of the Palestine Liberation Organization ....

 (also called Palestinian National Charter). It also established the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 (PLO) as the political expression of the Palestinian people and elected Ahmad Al-Shuqeiry
Ahmad Shukeiri
Ahmad al-Shukeiri also transcribed al-Shuqayri, Shuqeiri, Shukeiry, etc.), was the first Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, serving in 1964–67....

 as the first chairman of the PLO Executive Committee. At the conference were representatives from Palestinian communities in Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

, the Gaza strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

, Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

, and Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

.

Subsequent sessions were held in Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

 (1965), Gaza (1966), Cairo (1968 – 1977), Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 (1979 – 1981), Algiers (1983), Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

 (1984), Algiers (1988), Gaza (1996 and 1998), Ramallah
Ramallah
Ramallah is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank located 10 kilometers north of Jerusalem, adjacent to al-Bireh. It currently serves as the de facto administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority...

 (2009)

At the February 1969 meeting in Cairo, Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

 was appointed leader of the PLO. He continued to be PLO leader (sometimes called Chairman, sometimes President) until his death in 2004.

In a November 1988 meeting in Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

, the PNC unilaterally declared the independence of the Arab State of Palestine.

After the signing of the Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

, the PNC met in Gaza
Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

 in April 1996 and voted 504 to 54 to void parts of the Palestinian National Covenant
Palestinian National Covenant
The Palestinian National Covenant or Palestinian National Charter is the charter or constitution of the Palestine Liberation Organization ....

 that denied Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

's right to exist
Right to exist
The right to exist is said to be an attribute of nations. According to an essay by the nineteenth century French philosopher Ernest Renan, a state has the right to exist when individuals are willing to sacrifice their own interests for the community it represents. Unlike self-determination, the...

, but the charter itself has not been formally changed or re-drafted. One of its most prominent members, the Palestinian-American scholar and activist Edward Said
Edward Said
Edward Wadie Saïd was a Palestinian-American literary theorist and advocate for Palestinian rights. He was University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and a founding figure in postcolonialism...

, left the PNC because he believed that the Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

 sold short the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in pre-1967 Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and would not lead to a lasting peace.

In December 1998, the PNC met in Gaza
Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

 at the insistence of the Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu is the current Prime Minister of Israel. He serves also as the Chairman of the Likud Party, as a Knesset member, as the Health Minister of Israel, as the Pensioner Affairs Minister of Israel and as the Economic Strategy Minister of Israel.Netanyahu is the first and, to...

, who called it a condition on the continuation of the peace process. In the presence of the US
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 President Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

, it reaffirmed again the annulling of the parts of the Covenant which denied Israel's right to exist, but it still did not formally change or re-draft the Covenant.

, the PNC is chaired by Salim Zanoun
Salim Zanoun
Salim Zanoun , also known as Abu al-Adib, is a veteran Palestinian politician. He has served as the chairman of the Palestinian National Council since 1993. Zanoun was one of the founders of the Fatah party, and remains a member of its central committee....

 and has 669 members; 88 are from the Palestinian Legislative Council
Palestinian Legislative Council
The Palestinian Legislative Council, the legislature of the Palestinian Authority, is a unicameral body with 132 members, elected from 16 electoral districts in the West Bank and Gaza...

 (PLC), 98 represent the Palestinian population living in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

, and 483 represent the Palestinian diaspora.

Candidates for the PNC must be nominated by a committee consisting of the PLO Executive Committee
PLO Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is the highest executive body of the Palestine Liberation Organization .Its 18 members are elected by the PLO Parliament, the Palestinian National Council , often as representatives of the PLO member factions...

, the PNC chairman, and the commander in chief of the Palestine Liberation Army. After nomination PNC candidates must be elected by a majority of the entire PNC membership.

See also

  • Palestinian Central Council
    Palestinian Central Council
    The Palestinian Central Council , also known as PLO Central Council, is one of the institutions of the Palestine Liberation Organization . The PCC makes policy decisions when the Palestinian National Council is not in session. The PCC is acting as a link between the PNC and the PLO Executive...

  • State of Palestine
    State of Palestine
    Palestine , officially declared as the State of Palestine , is a state that was proclaimed in exile in Algiers on 15 November 1988, when the Palestine Liberation Organization's National Council adopted the unilateral Palestinian Declaration of Independence...

  • Palestinian Declaration of Independence
    Palestinian Declaration of Independence
    The Palestinian Declaration of Independence is a statement written by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish and proclaimed by Yasser Arafat on 15 November 1988. It had previously been adopted by the Palestinian National Council, the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization , by a vote...