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PLO did not remove denial of Israel from charter
Historic vote of Palestinian National Council meant to fulfill PLO obligation under Oslo Accords to amend articles in PLO Charter calling for Israel's destruction

Before vote:
Salim Za'noun, Chairman of meeting: "[Goal of vote is] an extension of 6 months… and then the Central Committee will discuss it [amending the articles]."
"I want to tell you before the voting begins that the judicial committee, when I attended it, was totally convinced, with a majority of 43 out of 44 members, that we must fulfill the commitment demanded of us [by Oslo Accords] at the lowest possible cost. Therefore, it was said, if we amend those articles [calling for Israel's destruction] whose amendment is demanded [by Oslo Accords] it will mean that we have paid a very high price. Putting forth a new proposal for the national charter is less damaging than the first thing [amending articles]. But, to go into details [as to why it is less damaging] will be a free service [to Israel]. So the version which was drafted is the least damaging that we could submit. It gives us an extension of six months until the [PLO] Central Committee convenes. And then the Central Committee will discuss [amending articles]. And it's within its rights to say: 'We leave it for the National Council [to amend].' Brothers, with all my heart I tell you, the draft which is in your hands is the best one to be presented to the Palestinian people regarding the commitment. And a special majority of two-thirds is needed.
Yasser Arafat: Everyone here, believe me, is more than you and me, and more than Abu Alaa. Everyone is more responsible than us.
Salim Za'noun: Brothers: whoever agrees to this proposal - raise his hand and leave it up until the counting ends."

After the vote:
Marwan Kanafani, Arafat spokesman: "It's not an amendment. It is a license to start a new, to found a new resolution, a new charter."
Apr. 24, 1996 (3 min)


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