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Palestine Liberation Organization: PLO Statement on the First Intifada

(April 1988)

O masses of our great people, our people. through their continuous struggle and their blessed revolutionary uprising that is entering its 5th month, have, scored additional achievements and victories. This has led to a deepening of the crisis of the Zionist occupation and its protectors in Washington. The enter world is now certain that this great people are determined to continue the way of jihad and struggle until, with the help of God. they achieve full victory and establish an independent Palestinian state on our sacred national soil.

The glorious Land Day on which a total strike was observed throughout our occupied homeland, has proven that the solid and firm unity of our nation, the cohesion and solidarity of our ranks, and the firm insistence on the singleness of representation [without al-tamthil] are the strongest factors in confronting all Zionist-U.S. plots and all forms of oppression, slaughter, and destruction perpetrated by the Zionist occupation troops and the herds of the armed fascist settlers. Land Day was a day of cohesion and national solidarity among all the masses of our Palestinian people in the steadfast Galilee, the Triangle, and the Negev and in a position of clash and struggle in Lebanon and its south and in all areas of the diaspora.

It was another day of glory and confrontation in the steadfast West Bank and Gaza against all methods of fascist terrorism invented by Israel's rulers and generals including the war of starvation, the economic and media blockade, the perpetration of crimes and acts of slaughter against women, children, and defenseless citizens, and the demolishing of houses and communal arrests. Our heroic and faithful people have shown that these crimes can never weaken their escalating resistance or extinguish the flame of the uprising which is shaking the earth under the feet of the occupants and invaders.

The PLO Executive Committee, having discussed in detail all developments, tasks, and ways to escalate and develop the struggle of our people and their great uprising, stresses the following:

l. Extending a salutation of pride and appreciation to the struggling masses of the Palestinian people in the Galilee. the Triangle, and the Negev for their great actions on Land Day and throughout all of the days of the blessed uprising as they firmly and faithfully joined the masses of the West Bank and Gaza and their escalating continuous revolution which constitute,, through our nation inside and outside the occupied homeland. this unified innovative revolutionary fabric. The Executive Committee calls for further consolidation, entrenchment, and adherence to national unity and to further cohesion of the ranks of our peoples masses--children and women, cadres, heros and revolutionaries --on the path of liberation return, and victory.

2. Emphasizing great appreciation for the role of the democratic forces which support the mammoth uprising of our people and firmly condemn the Nazi terrorism of Israel's rulers against our uprising masses who demand freedom and independence, the PLO Executive Committee calls for deepening and developing this role in all fields---political and media-to break the blockade that the Israeli rulers impose with the aim of concealing their barbaric crimes from the eyes of the world.

3. The PLO Executive Committee expresses, in the name of our entire people in all locations, the highest pride in the legendary steadfastness embodied by the blessed popular uprising through its daily epics in all sites. Every village. camp, neighborhood, and city in our occupied territory has provided its share of martyrdom, heroism, and sacrifice. They stood as a strong barrier before the enemy forces at a time when our masses in Lebanon and its south continue to pay the price of the confrontation and the clashes with more martyrs and sacrifices. All of our people proved that the banner of jihad will continue to fly high [words indistinct] with our blood, the souls of our martyrs, our captives, wounded, and detainees until the establishment of our independent state and the liberation of the precious soil of our homeland from the aggression and occupation of the Zionists.

4. The PLO Executive Committee emphasizes the need to continue to develop all forms of revolutionary cohesion, empathy, and support by the groupings of our Palestinian people outside the homeland for the blessed popular uprising and harness all struggle, political, media, and material capabilities and resources for that purpose on the Palestinian, Arab, and international levels.

5. The PLO Executive Committee emphasizes the need to adopt all measures and means to develop all forms of mass organization and action to maintain and escalate the uprising and to develop the role of the popular national committees in all positions under the banner of the PLO, the Unified National Command of the Uprising, until the uprising achieves its objectives of shattering the fascist racist terrorism inflicted upon the masses of our people and eliminating the abhorrent Zionist occupation and until the inalienable national rights of our struggling and persevering people are achieved.

6. The PLO Executive Committee emphasizes the stand on which our people are unanimous in confronting the serious U.S. plans: that a just and comprehensive solution must be based on the achievement of the national rights of our people and their right to national independence under the leadership of the PLO, their sole and legitimate representative.

The PLO reaffirms its complete rejection of all liquidatory plans and all forms of autonomy and the sharing of roles, whatever their color and under whatever name. The PLO believes that the appropriate framework for a just solution is a U.N-sponsored international conference with effectnc powers attended by the five permanent members of the Security Council and all the parties to the conflict in the region including the PLO. on an equal tooting wish the other parties and on the basis of international legality and UN resolutions on the Palestine question and the Middle East.

We are confident that U.S. imperialism and its ally the Zionist enemy, which is squatting on our land and sanctities. will not he able to bring our people to their knees or deprive them of their legitimate right to selfdetermination. Our people will wrest their inalienable national rights through blood and enormous sacrifices. Foremost among these rights are their right to repatriation, to self-determination, and to establish a free and independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.

7. The PLO Executive Committee, while it salutes the masses of our Arab nation, all of its forces, parties, institutions, and national bodies for their sincere stands in support of our people and their struggle, calls on the Arab masses to develop their support for our people's uprising and to stand firmly in opposing liquidatory U.S.-Israeli plans which they are trying to impose on our Arab nation and the entire region. The PLO Executive Committee appeals with confidence and faith to the entire Arab nation to achieve effective Arab solidarity based on implementing the resolutions that reject separate solutions and deals. The PLO Executive Committee calls for the consolidation of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people on the basis of Arab commitment and Arab resolutions.

8. The PLO Executive Committee affirms its great appreciation for the extensive solidarity with our people's valiant and just struggle which has embarrassed and isolated the rulers of Israel and exposed official U.S. collusion with the crimes of the racist Zionists and their savage terrorism against our people, children, and women.

In this regard the PLO Executive Committee salutes all friends and honorable people in the world who support our people and just cause, particularly in the African, nonaligned, and Muslim states as well as the socialist states, led by the Soviet Union and the PRC, and the friendly European countries.

9. In accordance with its responsibilities, the PLO Executive Committee will continue its efforts through all means, forms, and capabilities to maintain the continuity of our revolutionary march and to escalate our people's valiant uprising. The PLO Executive Committee calls upon international and friendly bodies to provide more support and backing for our struggling masses and our just cause, particularly in confronting the organized and official war of terrorism and the crimes perpetrated against our people by the fascist and racist Zionist occupation authorities.

0 masses of our proud people, thanks to your enormous sacrifice, the day of victory is approaching. With your great unity we face the enemy.

Sources: Walter Laqueur and Barry Rubin, ed, The Israel-Arab Reader, (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2001)