1974 PLO Phased Plan

What was the 1974 PLO “Phased Plan” for Israel’s destruction?

The PLO was born with a commitment to the destruction of Israel and in the early days of the organization, they would consider nothing other than that immediate objective. The October 1973 Yom Kippur War convinced the Arabs that they would not be able to destroy Israel through military action within its post-1967 boundaries. Thus they embarked upon a new three-stage strategy for Israel’s destruction, embodied in the Palestine Liberation Organization’s 1974 Political Program, commonly known as the “Phased Plan”, adopted at the 12th Session of the Palestinian National Council, held in Cairo, June 9, 1974.


The plan has three main articles:

  • Through the "armed struggle" (i.e., terrorism), to establish an "independent combatant national authority" over any territory that is "liberated" from Israeli rule. (Article 2)
  • To continue the struggle against Israel, using the territory of the national authority as a base of operations. (Article 4)
  • To provoke an all-out war in which Israel's Arab neighbors destroy it entirely ("liberate all Palestinian territory"). (Article 8)

The Phased Plan remains the basis of PLO actions, even in the era of the Oslo Accords. Speaking on September 1, 1993, just after the announcement of the 1993 Israel-PLO agreement, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat announced on Radio Monte Carlo that the Oslo agreement:

  • ...will be a basis for an independent Palestinian state in accordance with the Palestine National Council resolution issued in 1974... The PNC resolution issued in 1974 calls for the establishment of a national authority on any part of Palestinian soil from which Israel withdraws or which is liberated.

In addition to the action plan against Israel, Articles 5-6 of the PLO plan call for a revolution in Jordan to establish a new Jordanian regime which will ally itself with the Palestinian National Authority. Historically, Jordan comprised the bulk of the territory of Palestine, and a majority of its residents are of Palestinian origin. The PLO has never recognized the legitimacy of the Kingdom of Jordan as a state independent of Palestine.

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