Constitution of Palestine (1968)

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Constitution of Palestine (1968)  (1968) 
Palestine Liberation Organization

Constitution of Palestine of 1968

Dear brother, comrade of the struggle:

This movement is a patriotic and historical responsibility which we all must shoulder honestly... And let's inspire all those who are faithful to Palestine with this concerted, patriotic deed... We all must confront critical times, and tolerate mishaps patiently... We all must sacrifice ourselves, our effort and time; these are the weapons of honest patriots.

Don't, therefore, dear brother bring your march to a halt!

Proceed in your march, armed with the patriots' resolution, the true believers' determination, and the fighters' patience... Our people are in need of every second after our case has taken that long... Let's not forget for a while that our enemy is strong, and that the fight is fierceful and long... Consequently, determination, patience, confidentiality, commitment, and abiding by the revolution's goals and principles keep our march unremittingly steady and makes our road to victory much shorter.

Proceed, then my brother, forward... to the revolution.

Long live Palestine, a free Arab state.

"FATEH"

Introduction to the Constitution

The significance of this constitution stems from its being an application of the principles of our struggle, the pedestal of the Movement. It is also an expression of the Movement's conception of its relationships with other movements and organisations, as it is the disciplinary framework which dictates and organises the relationships among its members in a way that maintains its path and the revolution's future.

This constitution revolves around the following principles:

1. The armed revolution we are waging has been set into orbit by the principle that it is a public revolution, and not one of a distinguished class, and that the public is capable of practising struggle efficiently and conscientiously. The public is also the true protector of the revolutionary organisation. This organisation has satisfied the intimate relationship between the revolution and the public via the hierarchical structure of the Movement in which the public constitutes its solid, wide base.

With this view of the public's role in mind, the role of the organised base in the Movement is crystallised. The Movement is in close contact with the public, sharing their cares and worries and inspired by their aspirations. The public is, therefore, the sole source of authorities and the sole, honest guardian of the Movement. It is also the only party authorised to take decisive decisions, and to elect the leadership at all levels. This takes place through direct election at varying levels due to maintaining secrecy, and because of the state of geographical dispersion suffered by our Palestinian people.

2. The elected leadership assumes its responsibilities on the basis of the democratic centrality principle which warrants commitment of the lower ranks to the higher ranks' decisions. The leadership is, in turn, held accountable to its conferences and councils. Higher leaderships assume a pivotal responsibility which embodies the utter unity of the organisation in different districts and institutions.

3. The Movement encourages freedom of expression and criticism within the disciplinary frameworks. This is a sacred right for all members, and no authority can deny them it. Any view or criticism within the disciplinary principles should not be taken as an indictment against a member afterwards. Free expression is the only guarantee to prevent the leaderships from committing mistakes or going astray, and it is the only effective method to convey the public opinion via the different bases to the Movement's leaderships.

4. The Movement firmly believes in self-criticism by all members in general and by those in authority in particular. This is important in order to attain the goal of free criticism and expression, to put an end to continual erring, and to spell out readiness to benefit from public and self criticism. By so doing, the Movement's experience will be very much developed and its path will be made much clearer.

5. In its determination on liberation and bringing about historical social changes, the Movement attempts to launch the revolutionary moral values which are on a bar with our struggle, and to create the feeling of human dignity. To this effect, the Movement tries to liberate the individual from all social ills, especially the discrimination women face, the thing that hinders their potentials and effective contributions at all disciplinary levels. This entails that the relationships among members be objective and based on the Movement's principles and constitutions. Relationships based on personal interests have no place whatsoever. The Movement, consequently, treats all members on equal footing as far as their essential obligations are concerned, and it offers equal opportunity to all faithful and active members to occupy leading positions. And while it is keen on maintaining its path, it is keen as well to get an utmost benefit from its experiences to enrich its ideology and develop its infrastructure.

6. Through its struggle, the Movement endeavours to mobilise the public in order to gain the necessary support. This task should be handled by its members. It, therefore, spares no effort to make its members set examples for others to attract the public and consolidate their faith in and loyalty to the revolutionary organisation. As a result, the member has to lead a revolutionary and exemplary life which is based on loyalty, discipline, credibility, modesty, self-denial and altruism. At the same time, he must demonstrate the highest degree of pride, rejection of reality and conformity to the Movement's principles.

The Essential Principles of the Constitution

1. "FATEH" is a national, revolutionary movement and its membership is top confidential.

2. The Revolution is for all the people who actively participate in it, and the Movement is its leading revolutionary organisation, and hence it is the organisational force and its sole proprietor which has the right to direct its orientation.

3. The Movement constitutes one unified body which has one leadership. The rights, obligations and responsibilities are equally distributed among its members according to the Movement's principles and laws.

4. Collective leadership is the sole method of the Movement. This implies the following:

a. Democracy is the basis of discussion, investigation and decision-taking at all organisational levels.

b. Democratic centrality is the basis of handling responsibilities, and this involves concerted work, thinking and political participation in the Movement.

c. Criticism and self-criticism are the basis of rectification, and punishment is not an end in itself but a means for assessment and development.

d. The minority must conform to the majority's view, and those in lower ranks have to abide by the decisions of those in higher ranks in order to achieve discipline and unified organisation which should have a unified vision, ideology and practice.

e. The Movement firmly believes in sacred membership and freedom of the individual, and rejects vengeance, as it firmly believes in the right of any citizen to participate in the Revolution and totally rejects nullifying this right unless it can be a hazard that threatens the Movement's process and security.

CHAPTER ONE

Principles... Goals.... Methods

The Movement's Essential Principles

Article (1) Palestine is part of the Arab World, and the Palestinian people are part of the Arab Nation, and their struggle is part of its struggle.

Article (2) The Palestinian people have an independent identity. They are the sole authority that decides their own destiny, and they have complete sovereignty on all their lands.

Article (3) The Palestinian Revolution plays a leading role in liberating Palestine.

Article (4) The Palestinian struggle is part and parcel of the world-wide struggle against Zionism, colonialism and international imperialism.

Article (5) Liberating Palestine is a national obligation which necessities the materialistic and human support of the Arab Nation.

Article (6) UN projects, accords and reso, or those of any individual cowhich undermine the Palestinian people's right in their homeland are illegal and rejected.

Article (7) The Zionist Movement is racial, colonial and aggressive in ideology, goals, organisation and method.

Article (8) The Israeli existence in Palestine is a Zionist invasion with a colonial expansive base, and it is a natural ally to colonialism and international imperialism.

Article (9) Liberating Palestine and protecting its holy places is an Arab, religious and human obligation.

Article (10) Palestinian National Liberation Movement, "FATEH", is an independent national revolutionary movement representing the revolutionary vanguard of the Palestinian people.

Article (11) The crowds which participate in the revolution and liberation are the proprietors of the Palestinian land.

Goals

Article (12) Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.

Article (13) Establishing an independent democratic state with complete sovereignty on all Palestinian lands, and Jerusalem is its capital city, and protecting the citizens' legal and equal rights without any racial or religious discrimination.

Article (14) Setting up a progressive society that warrants people's rights and their public freedom.

Article (15) Active participation in achieving the Arab Nation's goals in liberation and building an independent, progressive and united Arab society.

Article (16) Backing up all oppressed people in their struggle for liberation and self-determination in order to build a just, international peace.

Method

Article (17) Armed public revolution is the inevitable method to liberating Palestine.

Article (18) Entire dependence on the Palestinian people which is the pedestal forefront and on the Arab Nation as a partner in the fight, and realising actual interaction between the Arab Nation and the Palestinian people by involving the Arab people in the fight through a united Arab front.

Article (19) Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People's armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated.

Article (20) Achieving mutual understanding with all the national forces participating in the armed struggle to attain the national unity.

Article (21) Revealing the revolutionary nature of the Palestinian identity at the international level, and this does not contradict the everlasting unity between the Arab Nation and the Palestinian people.

Article (22) Opposing any political solution offered as an alternative to demolishing the Zionist occupation in Palestine, as well as any project intended to liquidate the Palestinian case or impose any international mandate on its people.

Article (23) Maintaining relations with Arab countries with the objective of developing the positive aspects in their attitudes with the proviso that the armed struggle is not negatively affected.

Article (24) Maintaining relations with all liberal forces supporting our just struggle in order to resist together Zionism and imperialism.

Article (25) Convincing concerned countries in the world to prevent Jewish immigration to Palestine as a method of solving the problem.

Article (26) Avoiding attempts to exploit the Palestinian case in any Arab or international problems and considering the case above all contentions.

Article (27) "FATEH" does not interfere with local Arab affairs and hence, does not tolerate such interference or obstructing its struggle by any party.

CHAPTER TWO

Organisational Rules and Principles

Commitment ... Discipline ... Centrality... Democracy...

Public and Self-Criticism

In its organisational work, the Movement depends on the following rules and principles:

First: Commitment. This means:

Article (28) a. Firm belief in the case and the Movement's objectives and utter readiness to sacrifice for its sake till victory.

b. Complete adherence to the Movement's political line.

c. Complete conformity to the Movement's political program and to the decisions of its conferences and constitutions.

d. Complete commitment to the Movement's decisions and defending its attitudes.

Second: Discipline. This means:

Article (29) a. Abiding by the terms of the essential constitution and its organisational regulations,

b. Conforming to the organisational decisions of the leading committees,

c. Carrying out the orders meticulously and enthusiastically, and adherence of lower ranking members to the decisions, orders and guidance of higher ranking members,

d. Abstaining from negotiating internal issues outside organisational sessions and the Movement frameworks,

e. Abstaining from making individual decisions or taking temperamental attitudes, and

f. Adherence to organisational hierarchy.


Third: Central Democracy: This means

Article (30) a. Central planning, leadership and surveillance, but not central execution, freedom of discussion and the right of participating in making decisions and recommendations within the organisational frameworks.

b. Realising democratic centrality by adopting the following organisational methods:

1. Electing leaderships through the conferences outlined in article: 42, items: d and e; article: 52; article: 65, item: e; article: 83, item: d,

2. Practising collective leadership,

3. Adherence of the minority to the majority's view,

4. Adherence of lower ranking members to the higher ranking members' decisions,

5. Freedom of discussion and right of participation within the organisational frameworks,

6. Submitting reports to the electors about the leaderships' activities at every session, and

7. Periodic reporting to higher units about all the activities carried out by lower units.


Fourth: Public and Self-Criticism:

Article (31) This is one of the cornerstones according to which the revolutionary practices are evaluated in order to emphasise their positive results and circumvent their negative effects. This equally warrants the Movement's faultless process and the practice of public and self-criticism by all members and leaderships within the organisational frameworks.

Fifth: Organisational rules and principles are realised by the following methods:

Article (32) 1. When convened, the Movement's conferences (General Conference, District Conference, Region Conference) are the highest leading authority, each according to its speciality and jurisdictions outlined in the constitution. And they have the sole authority to elect the leading committees, plan their activities, and observe and question their practices.

2. Practising collective leadership via the committees' work, for each committee from top to bottom has to undertake its tasks on the basis of its being a complementary unit collaborating with other units in assuming its responsibilities, and that all issues must be rationally discussed through the committees and units and that all decisions must be taken in light of the legal majority.

3. The leaderships should conform to the conferences and the lower ranks to the higher ranks.

4. Achieving equality among members by their adherence to the Movement's essential constitution, regulations and decisions, and considering competence, faithfulness and sacrifice as the criteria for judging members and climbing the organisational ladder.

CHAPTER THREE

Membership

Types... Requirements... Obtaining... Rights... Continuity

Article (33) a. The Movement's membership is a right for every Palestinian or Arab who possesses the necessary requirements, firmly believes in liberating Palestine, and demonstrates utter commitment to the Movement's essential constitution, political program, regulations and its political and organisational decisions.

b. Membership can be granted to a friend who has decided to be committed to the Movement according to a decision by the Central Committee.

Types of Membership

Article (34) There are three categories of membership:

1. Full member:

a. This is the membewho has successfully completed the trial period, and is accordingly assignas a supporter. His membership as an active member is confirmed by a decision of the Regional Committee or upon nomination by the leading organisational frameworks in the central authorities and upon consent of the Mobilisation and organisation office.

2. Military member: is one who has a revolutionary record. This is a member of the special organisational wing (Asifa) according to a special regulation offered by the Central Committee and verified by the Revolutionary Council.

b. Organiser: is one who obtains membership by a direct decree of the Central Committee, and he does not climb the organisational ladder. Once he is converted into an active member, his membership should not exceed the District Committee.

c. Supporter: is one who is nominated to join the Movement and his membership is subject to the following conditions:

1. He should meet the membership requirements outlined in Article (35) except item (g) concerning the oath,

2. He should be recommended by two members who have joined the Movement for at least two years,

3. He should successfully pass a six-month trial and preparatory period during which he has to grasp the theoretical principles of the Movement and should enthusiastically perform his assignments. This equally applies to serving in the "Asifa" forces.

Requirements of Membership

Article (35) A member in the Movement should meet the following requirements:

a. He must not be below 17 years of age; cadets, flowers and youth have special membership regulations,

b. He must have good reputation and national credibility,

c. He must respect the people and their traditions, serve them and protect their interests and security,

d. He must be independent, not committed to any other organisation or party,

e. He must have leading qualifications and demonstrate a reasonable amount of awareness and ability to assume responsibility, and have an amicable personality,

f. He must have sufficient readiness to sacrifice, self-denial and altruism,

g. He must take the following oath:

(By Allah, the almighty and by my honour and beliefs I swear to remain faithful to Palestine, and to spare no effort to liberate it; I swear not to disclose any of the Movement's (FATEH) secrets and affairs; this is a free oath, to which God bears witness.)

Obtaining Membership

Article (36) Members are accepted in the Movement on an individual basis according to their competence and readiness to work and sacrifice.

Rights of Membership

Article (37) The Movement's member has the following rights:

a. To enjoy all the rights cited in this constitution,

b. To have the same and equal rights and obligations as all other members,

c. To climb the organisational ladder according to the terms of this constitution and on the basis of competence, efficiency and faithfulness,

d. To have complete freedom of criticism, objection, protest, discussion, negotiation and inquiry only within the organisational sessions,

e. To criticise and cross-question any leading member within the organisational hierarchy,

f. If accused or cross-questioned, to defend himself in front of the leading committees and authorities, as well as surveillance and investigation committees,

g. To get a written reply for his queries in a month's time at the latest,

h. To enjoy protection, viz. he should not be fired, neglected or frozen unless he is tried and convicted by one of the Movement's courts,

i. To have the right to meet high leaderships including the Central Committee if the need arises, and

j. To have an organisational rank unless serving an organisational punishment, and his organisational ranks should appear in his record since his admission into the Movement as an active member.


Obligations of Membership

Article (38) The Movement's member has to undertake the following obligations:

a. Constant and unrelenting struggle to achieve the Movement's principles and goals,

b. Complete commitment to and application of the Movement's political line and program,

c. Application of the political constitution and carrying out all decisions conscientiously and meticulously,

d. Maintaining the Movement's organisational and ideological unity, and opposing all factions,

e. Constant and studious work to theoretically and practically elevate his education and experience,

f. Attending all meetings and paying subscriptions regularly,

g. Setting an example in altruism, courage, faithfulness, sacrifice, patience, perseverance and self-denial,

h. Continual work to maintain strong relationships with the public and to win their respect and confidence, and to constantly disseminate the Movement's principles and to consolidate the public's relationships with them,

i. Practising public and self-criticism, and playing an active role in the organisational sessions and in the public and organisational work,

j. Constant alertness concerning the enemy's activities and the Revolution's opposing forces,

k. Keeping the Movement's secrets at the individual, committee and formation levels, and utilising appropriate confidential methods in his work,

1. Maintaining a uniform method in work, and renouncing all individual and temperamental ones,

m. Adhering to the organisational hierarchy, and respecting the decisions of higher committees,

n. Fighting personal deceit, laziness, and temperatmental relaxation as well as all harmful practices,

o. Serving the public conscientiously and faithfully, and

p. Being ready to carry out the Movement's orders to fulfil his revolutionary obligations as required.



Continuity, Suspension and Cancellation of Membership

Article (39) a. Membership continues as long as the member continues to fulfil his tasks and obligations,

b. Membership is suspended if the member stops to fulfil his tasks for three consecutive months without reasonable any excuse, or if the member requests that. Membership cannot be resumed without a decision by the District Committee for district members or by the Central Committee for others,

c. Membership is cancelled if a decision to this effect is taken by the concerned committee as a result of some behavioural, political or organisational violation which entails this and determines the authority entitled to cancel the membership according to the penalty system.

The General Conference

Article (40) The Movement's general conference is made up of:

a. Members of the Revolutionary Council,

b. 11 district representatives elected in the district conferences according to the number of areas meeting the requirements cited in this constitution and endorsed by the Mobilisation and organisation Office.

c. 11 representatives of the districts whose conferences cannot be convened for security purposes or failing to have quorum; such conditions are decided by the Central Committee. Those representatives are selected upon recommendation by the Mobilisation and Organisation Office to the Central Committee according to the organisational population.

d. District commissioners whose membership has lasted for at least ten years, and who have been appointed by a decree from the Central Committee.

e. Members of the General Military Council in the Palestinian National Liberation Army, especially "Asifa" forces, whose set-up is outlined in the regulation appended to this constitution, and according to the decisions of the third and fourth conferences. In addition, at most 20 distinguished persons from those military forces should be nominated by the General Leadership and endorsed by the Central Committee, with the proviso that they in all should not exceed 514 of the entire population of the conference.

f. 75 "FATEH" members who are assigned duties in various departments in the independent State of Palestine and Palestine Liberation Organisation and other national and international organisations. Their membership should be through their organisational units and upon nomination by the Mobilisation and Organisation Office and ratified by the Central Committee. Their membership should not be below a district committee member.

g. 50 Members public organisations recommended by the Movement central offices and confirmed by the MobilOrganisation Office and by a decree from the Central Committee. Their membership should not be below a district committee member.

h. 75 members of the leading bodies of central panels according to their regulations attached to this constitution. Their membership should not be below a district committee member.

i. 30 representatives of the Movement's members with the proviso that their membership is not below a district committee member.


Article (41) Requirements of the Conference Membership:

a. Membership in the General Conference has a representative nature as spelled out in article (40).

b. A member in the conference should have a five-year active membership in the Movement.

c. He should have a clean record.

Article (42) Conference Jurisdictions

When convened, the conference is the highest authority, and it is entitled to perform the following tasks:

a. Discussing the reports, decisions and duties of the Central Committee, and the activities of the Movement departments and institutions,

b. Endorsing the essential constitution and making any necessary modifications upon recommendation by two thirds of the present members,

c. Confirming the Movement constitutional regulations, and the political and military programs and plans,

d. Electing the members of the Central Committee by secret voting,

e. Vote of no confidence for all or some members of the Central Committee upon recommendation by two thirds of the present members,

f. Electing the Head of the Financial Supervision Committee and the Head of the Movement Supervision Committee, and protecting membership with the proviso they meet the requirements of the Revolutionary Council membership, and

g. Electing the required number for the Revolutionary Council by secret voting.

Article (43) Holding the Conference

a. The Central Committee calls for a regular session once every five years, and the meeting can however be put off for exceptional circumstances by a Revolutionary Council decision.

b. Upon receiving the invitation, the conference holds an unusual session within two weeks at the latest if more than two thirds of the Revolutionary Council members deem it necessary or upon request by the Central Committee. The agenda should include the topics that necessitated the session.

c. Sessions are deemed legal if two thirds of the members are present, provided that all members have been informed in writing two weeks prior to the meeting. If quorum is not maintained, the meeting will be put off two days, and then convened if more than half of the members are present.


The General Council

Article (44) The General Council is made up of no more than 250 members of the General Conference according to the following:

a. Members of the Central Committee and the Revolutionary Council,

b. A number of district commissioners and organisational leaderships,

c. A number of military leaderships,

d. A number of the Movement's members,

e. A number of the Movement's members working in the Organisation department,

f. A number of public leaderships, and

g. A number of the Movement's efficient members.

Article (45) The number of members in the previous article is determined by a Central Committee's decision which has to be endorsed by the Revolutionary Council.

Article (46) The General Council has the jurisdictions of an exceptional general conference according to a special system suggested by the Revolutionary Council.

Article (47) The General Council is held upon a decision of the Central Committee and approval of the Revolutionary Council which prepares the agenda.


The Revolutionary Council

Article (48) The Revolutionary Council constitutes the following:

a. Members of the Central Committee,

b. Head of the Financial Supervision Committee and Head of the Movement Supervision and Membership Protection Committee,

c. 50 members elected by the General Conference from its members provided that each member has 30% of the electors' votes,

d. At most 20 members representing the Military Council of "FATEH" according to the special charter of "Asifa",

e. At most 15 highly competent persons selected by two thirds of the Central Committee members,

f. A number of the leaderships in the occupied territories, not part of the quorum, and nominated by the Revolutionary Council,

g. 5 members from other territories who are part of the quorum when attending the meetings, nominated by two thirds of the Central Committee members, and

h. At most 15 controllers from the Movement's competent members, nominated by the Central Committee and endorsed by the Revolutionary Council.

Article (49) A nominee for the Revolutionary Council has to have been a district committee member or a member of other equivalent forces and institutions for at least 10 consecutive years.


Article (50) Jurisdictions:

When convened between two sessions of the General Conference, the Revolutionary Council is the highest authority in the Movement. Its jurisdictions are:

a. Following up and executing of the General Conference decisions,

b. Monitoring the operation of the central departments and the Movement's conditions in different districts,

c. Monitoring the Movement military affairs which do not run counter to top confidentiality,

d. Discussing the Central Committee's decisions, operations and reports, and taking appropriate decisions accordingly,

e. Adequately interpreting the terms and regulations of the essential charter in case a dispute in this respect arises,

f. Electing members of the Financial Supervision Committee and those of the Movement Supervision Committee via secret voting within six months at the latest, and

g. Discussing the reports of the committees emanating from the General Conference and taking appropriate decisions in this respect.

Article (51) At the beginning of its session, the Revolutionary Council elects from among its members a secretariat consisting of a secretary and two deputies via secret voting. The secretary should be a full-timer and should not be a member of the Central Committee.

Article (52) The Revolutionary Council devises its bylaw which is approved by the majority of members.

Article (53) In case quorum is not maintained in the Central Committee, the Revolutionary Council is called to meet within two weeks to elect two thirds of its members by secret voting in order to maintain quorum.

Article (54) If vacancies in the Central Committee are not occupied within three months, the Revolutionary Council is called to an emergency session during which vacancies are occupied by its members through secret voting, provided that each candidate should be elected by absolute majority.

Article (55) Vacancies in the Revolutionary Council are occupied by competent members who meet the requirements of the Revolutionary Council membership.

Article (56) The Revolutionary Council is entitled to fire or freeze one or more offending members of the Central Committee, and this is decided by two thirds of the members provided that the number of fired or frozen members does not exceed one third.

Article (57) The Revolutionary Council is entitled to fire or freeze one or more of its members if an offence is committed, and this is decided by the majority of two thirds of its members.

Article (58) The Revolutionary Council holds regular sessions once every three months upon an invitation by its secretary, and it can hold exceptional sessions upon a decision by the Central Committee or a written request addressed to its secretary by two thirds of its members.

Article (59) Quorum is maintained if two thirds of the Revolutionary Council members are present provided that they have been officially notified three days prior to the meeting, and if quorum is not maintained the Council will convene by absolute majority 24 hours after the set date.

Article (60) Decisions of the Council are made by the absolute majority of the present members except in cases otherwise stated, and voting is by raising hands unless the Council decides otherwise.

The Financial Supervision Committee and the Movement

Supervision and Membership Protection Committee


Article (61) Heads of these committees are elected directly by the Conference upon nominating some of the candidates by the Central Committee.

Article (62) A special charter for each committee is devised and is endorsed by the Revolutionary Council in its first session after submitting it.

The Central Committee

Article (63) a. The Central Committee is made up of 21 members as follows:

1. 18 members from the Conference elected by secret voting.

2. 3 members appointed by the Central Committee provided that they get two thirds of the votes.

3. An additional number of the occupied territories leaderships, not part of the quorum, nominated determined by the Revolutionary Council.

b. The Central Committee selects a political office from its members with the proviso that they do not exceed 11 members.

c. The Central Committee determines the jurisdictions of the political office in its internal charter.

d. All members of the Central Committee have equal rights, obligations and responsibilities.

e. The Commander-in-Chief chairs the Central Committee meetings and runs its sessions' in accordance with the regulations of its internal charter.

Article (64) The Central Committee selects a secretary and two deputies from its members.

Article (65) A candidate to the Central Committee should have been a member in the Movement for at least 15 consecutive years, and he should have served as a secretary of a district committee or any equivalent job in the departments and forces, and he should obtain 49% of the votes.

Article (66) The Central Committee convenes at least once a month to discuss the performance of all Movement departments and issue the necessary decisions and recommendations. Each of its members should be responsible for what he has been practising during the period between meetings. Exceptional sessions can be convened when the need arises.

Article (67) The Central Committee is unanimously in charge of all the Movement's activities.

Article (68) Quorum is maintained if two thirds of the members are present, and once this is impossible, the meeting holds if half + one of the members attend 24 hours after the assigned date.


Article (69) Decisions of the Central Committee are taken by absolute majority unless otherwise stated in the essential constitution.

Article (70) Vacancies in the Central Committee are occupied for death, dismissal, resignation or handicap purposes by members of the Revolutionary Council provided that they obtain two thirds of the votes. The elected member should be performing his duties during the period from the conference to the time of employment.


Responsibilities of the Central Committee

Article (71) The Central Committee assumes its responsibilities as the executive body of the General Conference. These responsibilities are as follows:

a. Carrying out the decisions and the political, organisational, military and financial plans of the General Conference and the Revolutionary Council as well as executing the political program endorsed by the General Conference,

b. Discussing the disciplinary violations and misapplication of the essential constitution and taking the appropriate procedures,

c. Undertaking daily operations and directing the internal, external, political, military and financial policies of the Movement as well as practising leadership responsibilities in all aspects,

d. Leading the Movement in all public and official Palestinian, Arab and international affairs,

e. Maintaining solidarity within the Movement and applying the essential constitution,

f. Calling the General Conference to convene, preparing its agenda and submitting detailed written reports about all its activities,

g. Supervising issuance of the Movement data, newsletters and studies,

h. Setting up the Movement security court, devising its internal charter and endorsing and verifying its terms. In case of a death penalty, verification is maintained by two thirds of the votes,

i. Endorsing appointment of the Military Council members who are nominated by the Commander-in-Chief by two thirds of the votes. Re-voting is handled ones a year,

j. Endorsing appointment of members of leading bodies of the central and administrative departments and the Movement central offices by two thirds of the votes. Re-voting is carried out once a year,

k. Appointing qualified members and controllers as cited in the constitution by two thirds of the votes, and

l. Naming "FATEH" members in the Palestinian National Council.

Article (72) The Central Committee devises a special internal charter to organise its operations within three months at the latest.

Article (73) During its meeting after the General Conference, the Central Committee distributes tasks on its members according to the specific specialisations determined in the internal charter which includes all activities and responsibilities.

CHAPTER FOUR

Areas

Article (93) The term "area" is given to the base organisation which consists of at least four branches. An area maintains this capacity according to a decision by the Mobilisation and Organisation Office and upon a recommendation of the district committee.

First: The Area Conference

Formation:

Article (94) The area conference is set up as follows:

a. The area committee members,

b. Members of the branches committees,

c. Members of the area committee during the previous conference,

d. Five active members nominated by the area and endorsed by the district committee if it deems necessary, and

e. A representative of each of the public organisations in the area.

Jurisdictions:

Article (95) The area conference assumes the following jurisdictions:

a. Discussing the decisions and operations of the area committee, and calling its members to account,

b. Discussing the circumstances of the organisation in the area,

c. Discussing general issues in the Movement and the district, and submitting the necessary recommendations, and

d. Electing five of the area conference members by direct secret voting provided that their membership has lasted for at least three years. The district committee is entitled to add two other members when necessary.


Article (96) The district committee selects the secretary of the area committee from the elected members.

Article (97) a. The area conference convenes once biannually, and it should meet before the district conference.

b. It can hold emergency sessions upon a decision by the area committee and the approval of the district committee.

Article (98) In areas where elections are impossible for security circumstances or failure to meet the organisational requirements, the district committee nominates a list of the area committee members which will be endorsed by the Mobilisation and Organisation Office.

Requirements of the Area Conference

Article (99) a. Membership in the area conference is contingent upon the representational quality cited in article (94).

b. The member should have a clean record.

Second: The Area Committee

Article (100) The area committee holds weekly meetings, chaired by the area secretary. According to circumstances, emergency sessions can be held, and they follow the terms cited in the meetings of the district committee as regards quorum and voting.

Jurisdictions

Article (101) The area committee assumes its jurisdictions in its capacity as the executive leadership in the area. Such jurisdictions are similar to those of the district committwithin the area boundary.

Article (102) After a legal investigation, the district committee is entitled to freeze or revoke the membership of amost two of the area committee members. And if there is a need to freeze or revoke the membership of more than two members, the district conference is called to an emergency meeting to elect a new area committee.

Article (103) If an organisational necessity arises, the area committee can make any change in the committees of wings, chains and cells.


Article (104) The area committee appoints secretaries of cells, chains and wings, but secretaries of branches are appointed by the district committee upon nomination by the area committee.

CHAPTER FIVE

The Movement Leading Organisations

Part Two

District Conference... District Committee... Area Conference

Area Committee


Article (74) a. The term district is given to any branch of the organisation within the boundary of a country. A district includes three organisational areas or more which meet the requirements cited in this constitution.

b. A district consists of organisational areas which have a hierarchical structure including branches, wings, chains and cells.

c. The organisational unit which exists in unfavourable conditions does not have to follow this hierarchy after having approval from the Mobilisation and Organisation Office.

d. The leading committee of any organisational unit has the appropriate leading rank according to the number of its members in the district. It directly follows the Mobilisation and Organisation Office, and it has the responsibilities of a district committee.

e. An organisational rank can be gradually promoted to a leading committee or any of the base organisations in districts where the sufficient number necessary to constitute an area is not available in order to set up an area with all its branches. This takes place in view of seniority, efficiency and activity and upon a decision by the Mobilisation and Organisation Office.

f. The cell is the basic organisational unit in the Movement.

Article (75) New cells are set up upon the approval of the district committee and the nomination of the area committee. In case there is not a district committee, a cell can be formed according to a decision by the concerned leading committee in the respective district.

Article (76) a. Militia is the armed organisation within the base framework as outlined in article (91).

b. Militia forces are formed in the districts which have favourable conditions.

c. The leadership and formation of militia is subject to the military laws of "Asifa".

d. The General Leadership of "Asifa" forces devises the charter of militia, and this must be confirmed by the Revolutionary Council.

District Conference

First: Formation:

Article (77) A district conference is formed as follows:

a. Members of district committee,

b. Members of areas committees,

c. One member representing a public organisation in the district which has a movement office. This member is chosen by the concerned office,

d. Former members of the district committee during the previous conference with the proviso that it carries out its assigned tasks,

e. A number of active members of the Movement selected by the district committee provided that the number does not exceed 10%, and

f. One member from each central office in the district working through the district committee.


Second: Responsibilities:

Article (78) The district conference assumes the following responsibilities:

a. Discussing the report, decisions and operations of the district committee, and calling its members to account,

b. Discussing the area conditions, decisions and operations,

c. Devising the organisational and political plans of different tasks and the external relations with other political authorities, public organisations, thinkers, politicians and journalistswithin the strategy endorsed by the General Conference and the Central Committee's decisions, and

d. Discussing the generissues of the Movement and making the necessary recommendations.

e. The district committee also elects four thirds of the required number from whom the Central Committee selects the members of the district committee while the rest remains as stand-by. In case of a vacancy, the Central Committee selects the required number form the stand-by members.

Requirements of District Conference Membership

Article (79) a. Membership in the district conference committee is contingent upon the representational quality cited in article (77).

b. A member in the district conference should have spent three years at least as a Movement member.

c. He should maintain a clean record.

Article (80) a. A district conference convenes once biannually.

b. A district conference can be called to hold an exceptional session upon decision by the district committee and approval of the Mobilisation and Organisation Office.

Article (81) In districts, where elections are impossible to conduct for security purposes or failure to meet the organisational requirements, the Central Committee can appoint a district committee and its secretary.

Second: District Committee

Formation:

Article (82) A district committee consists of at least five and no more than eleven members elected from the district conference according to item (1), Article (78). The member should have spent five years as a Movement member.

Meetings:

Article (83) a. A district committee convenes once every two weeks, and is chaired by the secretary. When the need arises, exceptional sessions can be held.

b. Quorum is maintained if two thirds of the members are present, and the meeting can be put off for 24 hours if otherwise, and quorum would be maintained if half of the members could attend.

c. Decisions of the committee are based on approval of the absolute majority of the present members.

Jurisdictions:

Article (84) Being the organisational leadership in the district, a district committee assumes the following jurisdictions:

a. Executing the decisions of higher leaderships,

b. Supervising all institutions and departments in the district,

c. Devising appropriate plans for all activities in the district,

d. Recommending to the Mobilisation and Organisation Office the freezing or revocation of the membership of at most two of its members provided that the reasons are spelled out,

e. Leading the district daily affairs,

f. Taking care of the integrity and solidarity of the Movement and co-ordinating operations among different areas,

g. Calling the district conference to convene, preparing its agenda, and submitting detailed written reports about all activities in the district to it, and

h. Preparing the members organisational map, and reporting any emergency developments to the Mobilisation and Organisational Office once every six months.

Article (85) After legal investigation, the Central Committee is entitled to freeze or revoke the membership of one or more of the district committee members provided that the number does not exceed one third. And if there is a need to revoke the membership of more than one third, the district conference should be called to an emergency session.

Article (86) The district committee should report to the Mobilisation and Organisational Office about a member's moving to another district after agreeing with him on the means of communication. The report should include some information about the member and his organisational rank.

Article (87) Offices of the central departments undertake their activities in the district through the district committee and in virtue of their being part of its jurisdictions. Direct expansion of the central departments offices in the district is banned.

Article (88) Tasks are distributed over the district committee members in a way that warrants controlling the operations in the district.

The District Commissioner

Article (89) a. The Central Committee nominates a commissioner in the districts as it deems necessary. The nominee's rank should not be lower than a district committee member with a seniority period of three years.

b. The commissioner assumes the tasks assigned to him by the Central Committee, and his relationship with the district committee by an internal regulation issued by the Mobilisation and Organisational Office.

The District Secretary

Article (90) The Central Committee nominates the secretary from the list elected by the district conference. And he assumes the following jurisdictions:

a. Calling the district committee to convene and chairing its sessions,

b. Submitting monthly or instant reports to the Mobilisation and Organisational Office,

c. Following up and executing the decisions, recommendations and responsibilities of the district committee,

d. Unless it runs counter to the constitution regulations, calling district conferences to convene,

e. Signing the letters, decisions and orders issued by the district committee, and

f. Signing paying orders according to the financial regulations.

The District Budget

Article (91) The district budget consists of the following:

a. Subscriptions,

b. Unconditional donations,

c. Investments and local resources,

d. The budget accredited by the Movement financial office.

Article (92) a. The district budget is determined in a project submitted by the district committee.

b. The Mobilisation and Organisational Office is entitled to verify it as stated or modify it as necessary.


CHAPTER SIX

The Movement Base Organisations

Article (105) The Movement base organisations include the following:

a. The Cell. It consists of three two five members including the secretary.

b. The Chain. It consists of two five cells.

c. The Wing. It consists of two to five chains.

d. The Branch. It consists of two to five wings.

e. The Area. It consists of at least four branches.

Article (106) In districts where security conditions are unfavourable, the district committee or the one assuming this role can overlook this hierarchy and devise an appropriate means of communication with the district committee. Likewise, the number of cell members can be lowered to two as the individual method can be followed provided that the Mobilisation and Organisation Office approves that.

Obligations of Base Organisations

Article (107) a. Providing members with a revolutionary education, consolidating their commitment and discipline, developing their awareness and experiences, and enhancing their active participation according to the programs set by the Mobilisation and Organisation Office,

b. Carrying out their tasks enthusiastically, and sparing no effort to achieve the Movement's objectives and embodying its principles,

c. Exerting strenuous efforts to enhance interaction with the public and winning their respect and confidence,

d. Striving continually within public organisations and maintaining commitment to their memberships, and

e. Trying hard to protect the Movement and develop its efficiency to confront and conquer its enemies

Article (108) The area committee, the branch committee, the wing committee and the cell committee assume the responsibilities of leadership, each in its organisational capacity in the following matters:

a. Leading its members according to the Movement's political program and constitution,

b. Embodying the Movement's attitudes and executing its decisions enthusiastically and fervently,

c. Upgrading its members' awareness and adherence to the Movement, enhancing their active participation and developing their experiences and potentials,

d. Developing their military and educational competence,

e. Enhancing their interaction with the public and their readiness to sacrifice for their sake,

f. Maintaining strong relationships with the public bases and winning their respect and confidence,

g. Holding brotherly relationships between bases and higher units and vice versa,

h. Observing paying subscriptions, and monitoring its members' behavioural and organisational conduct, and ensuring execution of these tasks,

i. Setting an example in sacrifice, active participation, faithfulness and team work,

j. Ensuring speed and adequacy in conveying reports, information, leaflets and others,

k. Paying adequate attention to the members' problems and taking appropriate initiatives to ensure rapid and revolutionary solutions,

l. Examining the members' work fields and identifying positive and negative aspects and taking the necessary measures,

m. Calling members to account and criticising them for individualism or lack of seriousness, and

n. Submitting regular reports about their activities to the higher committee.

CHAPTER SEVEN

Penalties

Article (109) The organisational penalties aim at:

a. Upgrading the members' morals, and

b. Securing the Movement's integrity and getting rid of corruption.

Article (110) The organisational penalties are:

a. Drawing attention,

b. Rebuke,

c. Warning,

d. Freezing,

e. Rank demotion,

f. Firing,

g. Firing with slander.

Article (111) The organisational violations are four types:

First: Firing or firing with slander and this applies to :

1. Violation of Unit One of the constitution,

2. Delinquency, and

3. Illegal co-operation with any other non-adversary movement and disclosing the Movement secrets to it.

Second: Freezing or demoting rank, and this applies to:

1. Violating commitment, and this is realised by:

a. Violating the Movement political line,

b. Violating the Movement political program, and

c. Reluctance to adhere to the Movement's decisions.

2. Violating the membership protection rule,

3. Violating the members' equality rule,

4. Violating the freedom of expression rule, and

5. Violating discipline, and this is applicable to:

a. Violating the constitution,

b. Disrespect of leading authorities' decisions,

c. Rejection of orders execution,

d. Discussing organisational issues outside the units,

e. Disrespect of hierarchy, and

f. Offending the public.

7. Offending other members.

8. Disclosing secrets.

9. Offending reputation.

10. False rumours.

Third: Rebuke or warning, and this applies to:

1. Ceasing to participate in organisational activities without an acceptable excuse for at most two regular meetings and this period extends for one month, and

2. Refusal to practice self-criticism when deemed necessary by the respective unit.

Fourth: Drawing attention or Rebuke, and this applies to:

1. Coming late to a meeting without an excuse,

2. Inadequate practice of self-education, and

3. Demonstrating signs of deceit and laziness.

Article (112) Repetition of violations is a reason for imposing a stricter penalty. And if the same violations are repeated, the strictest penalty is imposed. A severer penalty is inflicted if newly violations art repeated.

Article (113) a. Firing and firing with slander penalties are imposed by the Central Committee.

b. Rank demotion and freezing penalties are inflicted on area committee members and secretaries of branches by the Central Committee, the Mobilisation and Organisation Office and the District Committee. Such penalties are imposed on branch members or lower ranks by the area committee.

c. A warning penalty is inflicted by the higher organisational rank.

d. Drawing attention and Rebuke penalties are imposed by all concerned organisational ranks according to the unit the member belongs to.

Article (114) When considering violations, all concerned organisational ranks constitute investigation committees prior to passing a judgement except in case of drawing attention and rebuke penalties.

Article (115) Each penalty can be revised by the rank immediately higher than the one which has signed it in front of the Central Committee and it cannot be overruled without a decision by the Revolutionary Council.

Article (116) It is possible that each penalty is passed separately or together with other penalties issued by the Movement Court.

Article (117) A sentence for two organisational penalties due to one violation is impossible.

Article (118) No sentence can be passed without calling the concerned member to a hearing where he has the right to defend himself and prove innocent.

Article (119) If the member abstains from showing up in front of the official committee which investigates the violation, he is called a second time in a week's time, after that the session takes place whether or not he attends provided that if he has been informed.

Article (120) Penalised crimes are the concern of the Movement Revolutionary Judicial Authority, and examined by the Revolutionary Courts formed by the Central Committee according to article (71) of the constitution.

CHAPTER EIGHT


General Stipulations

Article (121) The appended regulations, and those endorsed by the Revolutionary Council and transferred to it by the General Conference have the same power as the essential constitution with the proviso that they not contradict it.

Article (122) Membership in the Movement is a sacred right which can be acquired only by whoever belongs to one of the Movement leading or base units.

Article (123) Working in the Movement departments is an added task to the member, which does not entail membership, nor is it a replacement of an organisational job in any of the organisational ranks. Similarly, deputising a member to do any task outside the Movement departments is not a substitute for the Movement organisational framework.

Article (124) During an organisational meeting, any member has the right to debate before a decision is made. Debate may be allowed after issuing the decision, and a member has the right to object to the decision after execution.

Article (125) Each member has to do some minimal military training and to be completely qualified to undertake his tasks.

Article (126) A member has to be informed in accordance with requirements of his membership, organisational rank and the job undertaken.

Article (127) A member who is sacked or is subjected to some arbitrary act without a decision by a Movement court has the right to appeal to the Member Protection Committee.

Article (128) Equality among organisational ranks in committees, offices or executive departments must be taken into account so that they enjoy equal responsibilities, rights and obligations.

Article (129) Communication with a district committee member is entrusted to the district committee secretary or one of its members. A district committee member has to handle any task assigned by the district committee, and this equally applies to an area committee member in the respective area boundary.

Article (130) A member of the Central Committee who has failed in the General Conference elections has the right to maintain his membership in the Conference and perform any tasks assigned to him by the Central Committee, and this equally applies to the member of the Revolutionary Council.