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Armed Struggle and the Search for StateThe Palestinian National Movement, 1949-1993$
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Yezid Sayigh

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198296430

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198296430.001.0001

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Extending the State-in-Exile or Capturing It?

Extending the State-in-Exile or Capturing It?

(p.464) 20 Extending the State-in-Exile or Capturing It?
Armed Struggle and the Search for State

Yezid Sayigh

Oxford University Press

The growing importance for the PLO's diplomatic strategy of the extension of its state-in-exile to the occupied territories came clearly into play as it strove to reassert its centrality to the peace process in the late 1970s. This proved a daunting task, as it faced strenuous opposition from a range of actors. Its relative success in mobilizing the population of the occupied territories, and in attracting or co-opting the local leadership, moreover enhanced its diplomatic standing internationally. However, this also triggered a struggle for political predominance between Fateh and the Palestinian Left, which emerged in this period as a serious contender for national leadership. Key to its rise was the convergence of strategic interests among key Arab states, although Arafat was ultimately able to utilize his control of the statist institutions of the PLO and of its sources of ‘rent’ to co-opt the Left and maintain his position internally.

Keywords:   PLO, state-in-exile, Fateh, Arab states, Arafat

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