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PLO marks the 28th anniversary Palestinian Declaration of Independence

Nov. 15, 2016 10:07 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 16, 2016 10:45 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- On the 28th anniversary of the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat lauded the “historic declaration” for its role in paving the way for Palestinian statehood.

In a statement Tuesday, Erekat called on the international community to fulfill its “political and ethical duties” in order to “translate this declaration into a reality, by embodying the state of Palestine on the ground."

That declaration of independence, he said, laid the foundation for future achievements "towards realizing the legitimate rights of our people."

Erekat said that in spite of the Israeli government’s attempts to “eradicate” the Palestinian identity and its ongoing violations of international law, several successes have been made since the declaration for the Palestinian cause on an international level. 

The Palestinian Declaration of Independence was proclaimed by Yasser Arafat, the chairman of the PLO, on Nov. 15, 1988, during the 19th session of the Palestine National Council (PNC) in Algiers. Arafat became the first president of the state of Palestine.

The 12-page declaration was written by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish and was adopted by the PNC, the legislative body of the PLO.

The document came amid the first Palestinian uprising (Intifada), which broke out a year earlier.

In its fifth paragraph, the Declaration of Independence said that "the glorious intifada has demonstrated our people's deeply rooted national unity and their full adherence to the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of our people, all our people, wherever they congregate -- in our homeland or outside it.”

Following the declaration, many countries began recognizing the state of Palestine. In 2012 the United Nations recognized Palestine as a state under occupation along its 1967 borders. There are 138 countries that recognize Palestine as state.
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