Proclamation of the State of Palestine
PROCLAMATION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE
Document, also known as the Algiers Declaration, proclaiming the existence of a sovereign state of Palestine "on our Palestinian territory," with Jerusalem as its capital. It was adopted on 15 November 1988 by the Palestine National Council (PNC), meeting in Algiers. The PNC also elected Yasir Arafat president of the embryonic state. These moves, made at Arafat's urging, were part of an ongoing strategy of Arafat's to gain enough international political leverage—specifically, American support—to bring about direct negotiations with Israel. The proclamation was an attempt to gain control of the first Intifada (1987–1993) in the occupied territories, then at its height. The PNC also voted to alter the Palestine National Charter, renouncing the use of terror and recognizing Resolutions 242 and 338 as a basis for an international peace conference. On 13 December 1988, Arafat gave a speech before the United Nations General Assembly, meeting in Geneva especially to hear him, in which he confirmed the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)'s recognition of Israel's right to exist and declared its renunciation of terrorism. These moves put the PLO in compliance with American conditions for discussions, and the United States was prompted to call for a "substantive dialogue" with the PLO.