The Palestine Liberation Organisation

The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political group that fights for the rights of the Arab people in Palestine. Its main goal is to create an independent state for these people. Today there are more than 4 million people who live in the lands that are occupied by Israel.

The PLO is made up of people from all social classes - doctors, lawyers, teachers and people from the working classes. There are also radical members, who hate the Israelis and don't want to live in peace with them.

The PLO was founded in 1964 as an umbrella organisation for several political groups . Yassir Arafat was their leader for over 35 years. The organisation has never had a real home. Over the years they have been in Jordan and Lebanon, but they are not very welcome anywhere.

Today, the PLO controls some parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip , where they also have their own government, the Palestinian Authority (PA). In the past few years Arafat's successor Mahmoud Abbas has had problems controlling groups that want to destroy Israel. Radical Palestinians put bombs on their bodies and blow themselves up in crowded areas.

Although not an official member of the United Nations, Palestine received the status as an observing member of the world organization in 2012 .

Yassir Arafat, the PLO's first leader'
Image : Tibor VĂ©gh, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons