28 May 1964

The Palestine Liberation Organization is formed.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is undoubtedly one of the most infamous terrorist organizations around the world. Created in 1964 during the Arab League Summit in Cairo, the PLO’s originally-stated goal was the “liberation of Palestine” through armed struggle while seeking to destroy the existence of Zionism in the Middle East.

It was not long before that the group splintered into various factions, all of whom believed they knew the best way to achieve liberation for the Palestinians. The most notable of these groups were the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, and the Fatah. While each of these factions were independetly controlled, they all remained more-or-less under the umbrella of the PLO.

By 1967, the PLO had decided that their primary goal was the destruction of the State of Israel. Over the next ten years, this goal was the primary focus of the massive terrorist campaign by which their reputation was formed. This terror war caused hundreds of casualties, on both sides, with very little to show in return for the Palestinian cause. Therefore, in PLO the PLO made a conscious decision to alter its focus from based purely on terrorism to one that would include the diplomatic and political elements necessary for meaningful dialogue.

The PLO’s partial-reversal in ideology created unhappiness among many of its followers who felt that the organization was not finding its mark. This led to the creation of yet another splinter group called the Rejectionist Front. It was at this time that Yasser Arafat and his group, Fatah, took over the leadership of the PLO.