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Not to be confused with the Palestinian Legislative Council, the legislative body of the Palestinian Authority in the Occupied Palestinian Territories..

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 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.[1]


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.[1] After nomination PNC candidates must be elected by a majority of the entire PNC membership.[1]

As of 2003, the PNC is chaired by Salim Zanoun and has 669 members; 88 are from the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), 98 represent the Palestinian population living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and 483 represent the Palestinian diaspora.[1] 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.[2]


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)[3][4]

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]


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18 news items

Tasnim News Agency

Tasnim News Agency
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:18:45 -0700

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Chairman of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) is to meet with Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani to discuss the deepening crisis in the Gaza Strip. Print. Tweet. Salim Zanoun who is in Tehran to attend the Inter-Parliamentary ...

London Review of Books (subscription)

London Review of Books (subscription)
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 04:57:59 -0700

He might also have chided them for their failure to understand the importance of maintaining ties to those institutions, from the PLO to the present-day PA, whose origins lie in the first Palestinian National Council of 1964. Arafat returned to ...


Mon, 28 Jul 2014 09:42:53 -0700

The new unity government was the result of an agreement that for the first time brought Hamas under the umbrella of the Palestinian National Council, the top decision-making body. As part of the pact, an election was planned for January 2015. Gaza ...
The Providence Journal
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:52:18 -0700

Why is the rejection by the 1974 Palestinian National Council of U.N. Resolution 242, which recognized Israeli sovereignty, never mentioned? Why is the Palestinian rejection of the concept/reality of a Jewish state never discussed? Why do we allow ...
Sudan Vision
Sat, 02 Aug 2014 16:16:31 -0700

It is also calling for the release of the Palestinian National Council Members and prisoners in Israeli prisons. The National Legislature asserted that the silence of the world towards the humanitarian tragedy is considered as complicity with the ...

Ahram Online

Ahram Online
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 23:39:46 -0700

The Palestinian National Council (PNC), the PLO's legislative body, has not convened since 1998 when it annulled those parts of the PLO's charter that denied Israel's right to exist. The Palestinian Authority — now chaired by Mahmoud Abbas — itself ...
Saudi Gazette
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 14:21:26 -0700

The Arab nations, since they made their offer to Israel in 2002, take essentially the same position, and the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization), in its PNC (Palestinian National Council) of 1988 and the Oslo Accord, premised its recognition of ...

Press TV

Press TV
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 21:56:53 -0700

Chairman of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) Salim Zanoun will also participate in the one-day event, which will focus on the Israel regime's ongoing onslaught against the Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip. Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali ...

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