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Palestine Liberation Organization: Declaration by the Palestinian National Council in Cairo

(March 22, 1977)

The Palestinian National Council, by a vote of 194 to 13, approved the following political declaration rejecting Resolution 242 and seeking to escalate the "armed struggle." The PLO also declared its intention to "abort any settlement achieved at the expense of the firm national rights of our people."

On the basis of the Palestinian National Covenant, and resolutions passed at the previous session of the National Council; with insistence on the political achievements of the PLO on the Arab and the international level following the 12th session of the Council; following a discussion of the recent developments in the Palestine issue, and emphasizing the support of Arab and international circles in the national Palestinian struggle, the Palestinian National Council stresses the following points:

1. The Palestinian National Council emphasizes that the Palestinian issue is the root and base of the Arab-Zionist conflict, and that Security Council Resolution 242 takes no heed of the Palestinian nation and its unchallengeable rights. The Council therefore emphasizes its opposition to this Resolution and its refusal to negotiate on the basis of it in the Arab and the international arena.

2. The Council emphasizes the position of the PLO, which is unshakedly resolved to continue the armed struggle and its concomitant forms of political and mass struggle, to realize those unchallengeable national rights.

3. The Council emphasizes that the struggle on the occupied soil, in all its forms military, political and mass, is the central link in its plans to wage the fight. On that basis, the PLO is striving to escalate the armed struggle on the occupied soil, and all other concomitant forms of struggle, and to provide all forms of moral assistance to the masses of our people on the occupied soil, so as to intensify this struggle and strengthen their stand to defeat and wipe out the occupation.

4. The Council emphasizes the position of the PLO which opposes all forms of American settlements of capitulation and all plans to blot out (the Palestinians). It emphasizes the determination of the PLO to act to thwart any settlement that might be made at the expense of our nation's unchallengeable national rights, and calls upon the Arab nation to fulfil its national responsibility and mobilize all of its resources to face up to these imperialist and Zionist plans.

5. The Council emphasizes the importance and the need of military and political national unity among all the factions of the Palestinian revolution within the PLO, as a basic condition of victory. National unity must, therefore, be coordinated on the several levels and with the several activities, on the basis of adherence to resolutions and the formulation of blueprints for carrying them out.

6. The Council emphasizes its insistence on the right of the Palestinian revolution to exist on the soil of sister Lebanon, within the terms of the Cairo Agreement and its appendices, as ratified by the PLO and the Lebanese authorities. The Council emphasizes its adherence to the performance of this agreement to the letter, so as to safeguard the status of the revolution. The Council opposes every interpretation of the Agreement and its appendices by any one party, while it is solicitous for the sovereignty and security of Lebanon.

7. The Council greets the Lebanese nation, its heroic brother, and emphasizes the steadfast insistence of the PLO on the unity of its soil, its security and independence. The Council is proud of this heroic nation's support of the PLO, which is fighting for the restoration of its national rights on its own soil, and its right to return to it. The Council vehemently emphasizes the need to strengthen the linkage between the Lebanese national forces and the Palestinian revolution.

8. The Council emphasizes the need to strengthen the Arab front which is a partner in the Palestinian revolution, and the linkage with all its partnered forces in all the Arab States. It emphasizes the need to intensify the common Arab struggle and amplify the support for the Palestinian revolution so that it may resist the imperialist and Zionist plots.

9. The Council has resolved to reinforce Arab solidarity and struggle on the basis of the fight against imperialism and Zionism. It has resolved to act for the liberation of all the occupied Arab lands and to cling to the aims of strengthening the Palestinian revolution, and restoring the permanent national rights of the Palestinian nation, without peace (with Israel) or recognition (of Israel).

10. The Council emphasizes the right of the PLO to bear the responsibility (for the struggle) on the Arab and international level, and through every Arab state, for the liberation of the occupied soil.

11. The Council has resolved to continue the struggle for restoration of the national rights of the Palestinian nation, and foremost among them its right to return, to self-determination and to the establishment of its national independent State on its independent soil.

12. The Council emphasizes the importance of strengthening cooperation and solidarity with all socialist, non-aligned, Muslim and African States, and movements of national liberation throughout the world.

13. The Council welcomes the positions and struggle of all the democratic States and forces that have withstood Zionism as a form of racism, and its aggressive conduct.

14. The Council emphasizes the importance of relations and coordination with Jewish democratic and progressive forces inside the occupied homeland, and outside, which are fighting against Zionism as an ideology, and against its conduct. It calls on all States and forces in the world which stand for freedom, justice and world peace, to stop all forms of assistance and cooperation with the racist Zionist regime, and to refuse to maintain contacts with it.

15. Considering the achievements attained on the Arab and the international level since the close of its 12th session, the Council has resolved as follows:

a. It emphasizes its insistence on the right of the PLO to participate independently and on equal terms in all international conferences and forums connected with the Palestine issue and the Arab-Zionist conflict, 'with the object of realizing our unchallengeable national rights as confirmed by the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 3236 of 1974.

b. The Council declares that any settlement or agreement which might injure the rights of our Palestinian nation in its absence is totally invalid. Long live the Palestinian revolution! Long live Palestinian unity! Glory to our slain! Revolution until victory!

Sources: Israeli Foreign Ministry