Revival of the PLO – Venus Flytrap?
In its final session, the previous Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) approved a presidential decree applying a provision previously excluded from the Basic Law, according to which all members of the PA's PLC will also be members of the Palestinian National Council in the PLO (PNC) (Al-Hayat, 2/14/06).
The Re'ut Institute contends that this provision may serve the interests of both Hamas and Fatah in the revival of the PLO. Therefore, Israel may need to consolidate its policy regarding the division of powers between the PA and the PLO.
What is the Issue?
The PLO's status as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people was acknowledged by the Arab states' summit (10/74), the UN (11/74), Israel and the USA (9/93). Hence, and in accordance with the Interim Agreement, the PLO represented the PA in negotiations with Israel.
However, in recent years, the political center of gravity has shifted to the PA, which became the de-facto interlocutor for the political process (see Israel's reservations to the Roadmap).
This shift instigated a struggle between the PA and the PLO over diplomatic representation. Although Abu-Mazen serves as chairman of both, he was clearly affiliated with the PA in this struggle.
Following the elections, Hamas controls the PA while Fatah still controls the PLO. Therefore, Abu-Mazen is working to revive the PLO's role as the sole legitimate Palestinian representative.