The PLO, Lebanon and the first Intifada/ Chapter 8


1. The Palestinian Diaspora and the PLO.

  • The Palestinian refugees. There were over 700,000 Arabs who fled their homes. Today there are about 5 million Palestinian refugees.  UN formed the United Nations Relief and Works Agency to set up camps for the refugees and provide food, clothing and education
  • Hopes of repatriation. UN  wished to repatriate the refugees but the Israelis refused to allow it. Israelis continued to take over Arab villages and to confiscate the property of Palestinians. By 1953, Israel had absorbed 300,000 Jews from Arab countries and insisted that those same Arab countries should find homes for the Palestinian refugees. AS A RESULT, Jordan allowed the Palestinians to settle and become citizens. Some Palestinians migrated to other parts of the Middle East or the West. They also set up camps across the border with Israel. From these camps, the PLO would recruit most of its members later.
  • The emergence of PLO.  Palestinians carried out raids to retrieve their property and kill new Jewish owners. In 1959, Fatah was created (Palestinian fighters) led by Yasser Arafat. In 1964 - PLO was set up in Cairo. The aim was to unite all Palestinians in the struggle to win back their land. From 1967 to 1967, the Fatah carried out an increased number of raids on Israel and was financed by Arab states. However, after the Six-day War, the situation changed
  • The impact of the Six-day War 1967. Syria, Jordan and Egypt became weak so could not support PLO anymore. Egypt and Syria became more concerned with their own affairs rather than Palestinians. As Israelis captured West Bank, many Palestinians fled from there (300,000). As a result, they all went to Jordan, some went to refugee camps. Fatah became to recruit more members from Jordan camps now.
  • Arafat becomes a leader of the PLO. he became a leader in 1969. He wanted to limit raids and bombings bc he believed that their aim was strictly war on Israel. (more important). 
    However, there were other groups for example PFLP who started to carry out attacks in other parts of the world. 
    From 1968, they began to kidnap, bomb and hijack in Europe and elsewhere. In Feb 1970 they blew up a Swiss plane on its way to Israel. As a result, Israelis began to bomb Palestinian bases in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria killing sometimes innocent refugees (refugee camps were usually near Palestinian bases). ISRAELIS ATTACKS WERE NOT COVERED BY WESTERN MEDIA
  • PLO expelled from Jordan 1970. King Hussein feared the Israeli reprisals so in September 1970 he decided he did not want any more raids launched on Israel from Jordan. 
    Also, he felt that he has no power as Palestinians began to block roads and roaming around fully armed.
    After four aircrafts and three planes were hijacked by the PFLP, King Hussein ordered his army to take control of PLO. More than 3000 Palestinians were killed. Palestinian military bases were eliminated and PLO offices were shut down
  • Terror at the Olympics…


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