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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][citation needed] 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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276 news items

Arutz Sheva

Arutz Sheva
Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:45:00 -0700

Accelerating the work on reaching a Palestinian reconciliation, in a way that will ensure an agreement on holding elections for the presidency of Palestine and for the Palestinian National Council, and will enable the government of national agreement ...


Wed, 01 Jul 2015 15:58:42 -0700

By leading framework, Abu Zuhri meant the committee on activating and developing the PLO, which was formed according to the Cairo Declaration of 2005 by the President of the Palestinian National Council Salim Zanoun, members of the PLO executive ...

Israel Today

Israel Today
Mon, 29 Jun 2015 02:45:00 -0700

This plan adopted by the Palestinian National Council in June 1974 is a well thought out program to bring an end to the State of Israel. This plan also violates the UN Charter (cha.1 2,4) requiring that "all Members shall refrain in their international ...
Sun, 28 Jun 2015 05:45:00 -0700

Tunis — Palestinian National Council President Salim Zanoun strongly condemned the Sousse terrorist attack which targeted innocent persons. This terrorist attack aims to sow anarchy and division and affect the Tunisian tourism, Zanoun estimated in a ...

Jerusalem Post Israel News

Petra News Agency
Mon, 15 Jun 2015 03:41:15 -0700

Amman, June 15 (Petra)--The Palestinian National Council (PNC) has strongly condemned the violent Israeli practices against Palestinian detainees being held in Israeli prisons and has called for a quick notification of these crimes to the International ...
Kuwait News Agency
Tue, 09 Jun 2015 11:45:00 -0700

... and a financial fine up to USD 1,500. Last May, the Palestinian national council condemned Israeli court decision of arresting Dweik, considering the ruling a mistake and in violation of international law and blunt violation to International ...

Arutz Sheva

Arutz Sheva
Fri, 20 Mar 2015 00:31:47 -0700

The Palestinian National Council, the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), held a meeting on Thursday in which it formulated a new economic plan to attack Israel and try to save the financially floundering Palestinian ...

The Electronic Intifada (blog)

The Electronic Intifada (blog)
Tue, 20 Jan 2015 13:31:18 -0800

The statement concludes by criticizing the South African embassy of the Palestinian Authority for its “silence” on the attacks on Khaled and the BDS movement: “Leila Khaled is a member of the Palestinian National Council and it is the responsibility of ...

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