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Not to be confused with the Palestinian Legislative Council, the legislative body of the Palestinian National Authority until 2006..

The Palestinian National Council (PNC) is the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and elects its Executive Committee (PLO EC), which assumes leadership of the organization between its sessions. The PNC is the highest authority in the PLO, responsible for formulating its policies and programs. It serves as the parliament for all Palestinians in and outside of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), it represents all sectors of the Palestinian community worldwide, including political parties, popular organizations, resistance movements, and independent figures from all sectors of life.[1]

The Council formally meets every two years. Resolutions are passed by a simple majority with a quorum of two-thirds. The PNC elects its own chairman.[2]


Candidates for the PNC must be nominated by a committee consisting of the PLO Executive Committee, the PNC chairman, and the commander in chief of the Palestine Liberation Army.[2] After nomination PNC candidates must be elected by a majority of the entire PNC membership.[2] PNC elections have never been held. Due to the impossibility of holding elections, most members are appointed by the Executive Committee.[1]

In 1996, the total number of PNC members was increased with 400 to about 800, when the Council had to vote on the revision of the Palestinian National Charter. By 2009, some 700 from them had remained.[3] As of 2003, the PNC was chaired by Salim Zanoun and had 669 members; 88 are from the first Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), 98 represent the Palestinian population living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and 483 represent the Palestinian diaspora.[2] While the PNC has a number of PLC members, it is not an organ of the Palestinian Authority. Rather it is the equivalent of PA's PLC.

As of 2012 the main office of the PNC is in Amman and a branch office is located in Ramallah.[4]


The first PNC, composed of 422 representatives, met in Jerusalem in May 1964 and adopted the Palestinian National Covenant (also called Palestinian National Charter). It also established the PLO as the political expression of the Palestinian people and elected Ahmad Al-Shuqeiry as the first chairman of the PLO Executive Committee. At the conference were representatives from Palestinian communities in Jordan, West Bank, the Gaza strip, Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, Iraq, Egypt, Qatar, Libya, and Algeria.

Subsequent sessions were held in Cairo (1965), Gaza (1966), Cairo (1968 – 1977), Damascus (1979 – 1981), Algiers (1983), Amman (1984), Algiers (1988), Gaza (1996 and 1998), Ramallah (2009)[5][6]

At the February 1969 meeting in Cairo, Yasser Arafat 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, the PNC unilaterally declared the independence of the Arab State of Palestine.

After the signing of the Oslo Accords, the PNC met in Gaza in April 1996 and voted 504 to 54 to void parts of the Palestinian National Covenant that denied Israel's right to exist, 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, left the PNC because he believed that the Oslo Accords sold short the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in pre-1967 Israel and would not lead to a lasting peace.

In December 1998, the PNC met in Gaza at the insistence of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called it a condition on the continuation of the peace process. In the presence of the US President Clinton, 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.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_National_Council — Please support Wikipedia.
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677 news items

Jerusalem Post Israel News

New York Times
Mon, 07 Sep 2015 12:53:52 -0700

JERUSALEM — A conference of the Palestinian National Council that had been scheduled for next week has been indefinitely postponed amid boycotts by some political factions and debate about the agenda and structure of the meeting.


Fri, 11 Sep 2015 09:38:01 -0700

14 meeting of the Palestinian National Council, identifying all the relevant Palestinian factions that had sent written requests to Salim Zanoun, speaker of the PNC, calling for a delay. Three of Al-Ayyam's five main opinion columns reflected on what ...


Sat, 03 Oct 2015 19:41:19 -0700

... to Abbas' UN declaration that the PLO's executive committee would serve as the Palestinian government, and that the Palestinian National Council would serve as the Palestinian parliament. The council, Erekat said, would convene by the end of the year.


Washington Post
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 12:41:15 -0700

... observer state status, reaffirmed that the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization would be the interim government of the state of Palestine and that the Palestinian National Council is the Palestinian parliament of the state ...

Palestine News Network

Palestine News Network
Tue, 15 Sep 2015 01:18:37 -0700

The Palestinian National Council calls for serious Arab and Islamic actions to protect Al Aqsa Mosque in order to stop the Israeli forces violations in Al Alaqsa for the 3rd straight day. The Council emphasized in his statement, released today Tuesday ...
Le Monde Diplomatique (blog)
Fri, 04 Sep 2015 08:22:30 -0700

The Palestinian National Council (PNC) is expected to meet this month in its first session since 2009 to accept the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), along with more than half the Executive ...

Arutz Sheva

Arutz Sheva
Thu, 01 Oct 2015 06:30:00 -0700

New York businessman William Langfan has offered an unprecedented $1 million prize to anyone who shows that the Palestinian National Council (PNC) has ever changed the PLO charter to accept Israel's existence, as is widely believed. The offer is ...


Mon, 31 Aug 2015 13:28:16 -0700

The chain-smoking guard waves visitors through, into the house of Salim Zanoun, speaker of the Palestinian National Council (PNC), the highest parliamentary body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and then directs them to Zanoun's office ...

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