Palestinians organise meeting to 'rebuild PLO' in Ramallah amid controversy

Palestinians organise meeting to 'rebuild PLO' in Ramallah amid controversy
An initial meeting was held in Ramallah to discuss plans for a national conference to rebuild the Palestine Liberation Organisation
3 min read
13 June, 2024
Efforts are underway to hold a Palestinian National Conference with a view to rebuilding the PLO [Getty]

Palestinian politicians, academics and activists from different organisations met on Wednesday in Ramallah to start discussions on rebuilding the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) on unitary and democratic foundations, amid controversy.

Around 60 attendees, who earlier this year signed a statement calling for the PLO to be restructured held a closed-door meeting to discuss the mechanisms by which an inclusive Palestinian national conference could be arranged – which would be a necessary first step.

Participants included the General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI), Mustafa Barghouti, Palestinian National Council member Ahmed Ghoneim, Fatah Revolutionary Council member and freed prisoner Fakhri Barghouti, and other politicians, academics, and activists, including Mamdouh Al-Aker and Omar Assaf.

They stressed the importance of forming a unified national leadership be formed that included all the factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, in order to work together to confront the challenges facing the Palestinian people amid Israel's indiscriminate war on Gaza.

Ghoneim, who is a member of the "preparatory committee" for a Palestinian national conference, told The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that the conference would aim to work alongside all the "vital forces" within the Palestinian people to "end the genocidal war and continue the struggle to end the occupation".

It was agreed that two preparatory meetings would take place between the 13 and 20 of July – one for northern areas of the occupied West Bank and one for southern areas.

These would plan two Palestinian national conferences – one would be held in the occupied West Bank, and a second would be for the diaspora and Palestinian citizens of Israel and take place outside Palestine.  

The attendees said they were determined to hold these conferences despite current hardships and challenges, including Israel's war on Gaza and its frequent attacks in the West Bank.

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They stressed the need to form a national unity government which would assume responsibility forthe West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, and work to end Israel's war on Gaza, which has so far killed over 37,000 people, and ensure relief and reconstruction in the devastated territory.

Before the meeting, the preparatory committee launched a website containing the campaign statement and information about it.

Over 1,200 Palestinians living in 45 countries signed up to the statement.

However, Fatah's Central Committee and the Executive Committee of the PLO last Sunday issued statements accusing the organisers of  "trying to create an alternative to the PLO".

But Ghoneim defended the initiative, saying that it was calling for "exactly the opposite" and wanted to "revive the PLO's institutions, stop its ongoing marginalisation, and transform it into a truly inclusive framework for the Palestinian people, including the resistance factions and the various political and civil forces."

This article is based on an article which appeared in our Arabic edition by Naela Khalil on 12 June 2024. To read the original article click here.