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Palestinian Liberation Organization Introduction ----This paper will provide an overview of the Palestinian Liberation Organization including its early history and its rise to prominence during the Intifada that began in 1987 It will also include a description of Yasser Arafats ascendancy to the leadership of the PLO a position that earned him the right to speak for all Palestinians by virtue of the peace framework signed by him and the former Israeli Prime Minister Yitsak Rabin in 1993 Early History ----Growing Palestinian activism in the early part of the 1960s provided the impetus for the convening of the first summit conference of Arab leaders in 1964 -- to plan a unified response to Israeli plans to divert some of the waters of the Jordan River This activism influenced the decision made at that conference to create the PLO It also precipitated the slide of the Arab states into the June 1967 war with Israel In the mid-1960s the Arab regimes were again haunted by a force they had not had to deal with since 1948 a Palestinian nationalist movement that in spite of being divided into several underground groups could exert great pressure on them by playing on public opinion and inter-Arab pressures ----During the early and middle 1960s dissatisfaction with the Arab status quo fueled the growth of Palestinian nationalist groups Most successful was Fatah headed by Yasser Arafat discussed below which began military operations against Israel on Jan 1 1965 with an attack on the Israeli national water carrier project to transfer water from the Jordan River to the south of Israel Although little more than pinpricks to the Israelis these attacks were effective armed propaganda in the Palestinians political offensive to force the Arab regimes particularly Egypt under Gamal Abd al-Nasser to practice what they preached regarding Palestine The first target chosen by Fatah was especially symbolic since none of the Arab summit meetings called to deal with Israels Jordan River
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