Palestine Liberation Organisation

By Liam Norris

Who Are They?

The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) is an organisation created in 1964 with the purpose of creating and Independent State of Palestine. The PLO was considered by the United States and Israel to be a terrorist organization until the Madrid Conference in 1991. In 1993, the PLO recognized Israel's right to existing peace, accepted UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, and rejected "violence and terrorism"; in response, Israel officially recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people

Major Event

The Palestinian terrorists boarded the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro shortly after it left Alexandria, Egypt, in order to hijack the luxury liner. The well-armed men, who belonged to the Popular Front for the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), the terrorist wing of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) led by Abu Abbas, easily took control of the vessel since there was no security force on board.At first, the terrorists demanded that Israel release imprisoned PLF members and sought entry to a Syrian port. But when Syria denied the request, the terrorists lost control of the situation. Gathering the American tourists on board, the terrorists randomly chose to kill 69-year-old Leon Klinghoffer. The wheelchair-bound American was shot in the head and thrown overboard.Meanwhile, the elite U.S. Navy SEALs were dispatched to raid the Achille Lauro. But by the time they arrived, the terrorists had already gotten off the ship in Egypt and boarded a plane to Libya. The United States then sent out two F-14 fighter jets, which intercepted the plane and forced it to land in Italy. A three-way standoff between the PFLP terrorists, the Americans, and the Italian Army on the runway in Sicily ended with the Italians taking Abbas and the other terrorists into custody.

Achievements and Impacts

Palestinian terrorism led to harsher reprisals, withdrawal of backing for a military solution by Arab states bordering Israel,and the election of Israeli governments that take a harsh line with the Palestinians.