The start of the interim self-government arrangements in Gaza and Jericho in May 1994 and Arafat's arrival in July to assume direct control of the newly established Palestinian Authority marked the end of the phase in modern Palestinian history. The transformation of the PLO from a national movement in exile to a governmental apparatus on its own soil signalled a fundamental shift in the nature and form of Palestinian politics as they had evolved in the intervening period. This is not to deny that state building remained at the heart of the national enterprise as before, nor that the political system that had developed in exile now worked to reproduce itself in the occupied territories, but rather to assert that the discourse of total liberation, the strategies and tactics of armed struggle, and the accompanying organizational instruments and institutional forms had been displaced.
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