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The Palestinian National Council (PNC) is the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization 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.[1]

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 Palestine Liberation Organization (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)[2][3]

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

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.

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]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


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International Middle East Media Center

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Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:08:29 -0700

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Palestine News Network
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 05:38:38 -0700

On Wednesday the Palestinian National Council released a statement saying that the Israeli authorities should treat Palestinian prisoners as prisoners of war, after the State of Palestine submitted an instrument of accession to all four Geneva ...

Washington Post

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Fri, 04 Apr 2014 01:15:00 -0700

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WAFA - Palestine News Agency
Sat, 22 Mar 2014 04:02:55 -0700

AMMAN, March 22, 2014 (WAFA) – Chairman of the Palestinian National Council, Salim Zaʻnoun, denounced the recent murdering of three Palestinians by Israeli forces in Jenin camp describing it as a 'heinous crime and a terrorist aggression'. In a press ...
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 10:13:09 -0700

The only body, which has the right to negotiate with the Israeli government, is the Palestinian National Council (PNC) that could speak for all the Palestinians in the world. The PNC has to be reinstated by democratic elections, which will take a while ...
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Convene the Palestinian National Council and call on the Hamas movement and the Islamic Jihad movement to join the meeting, and subsequently elect a new executive committee that will constitute a temporary government of the state of Palestine, ...

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