PLO Action from 1968 and a Shift in Terrorist Activity

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  • Topic: Terrorism, Hostage, Irregular military
  • Pages : 3 (1152 words )
  • Download(s) : 105
  • Published : October 24, 2012
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“To what extent did PLO action from 1968 represent a shift in terrorist activity?”

Modern day, international terrorism origins arguably dates back to the events on July 22nd 1968 in which the terrorist group the PLO changed the foundations of terrorism and caused a considerable shift in a modern terrorist’s approach.  The year 1968 marked a radical shift in how terrorists operated and their objectives as a group, when a commercial air flight was hijacked by the PLO from Rome to Tel Aviv. This was a major turning point for three main reasons. Firstly, it was the first hijacking where its purpose was not to divert the plane but to make a bold political statement. El Al was Israel’s national airline and was a symbol of the Israeli state. The hijacking also the forced the state to directly deal with the terrorists. Second, the hijacking influenced people on an international scale. The fact that the terrorists were intending to trade hostages for imprisoned Palestinian terrorists in Israel was shocking to the wider audience watching this.  In addition, it was the first time a terrorist organization began operating regularly at the international level, leaving its home turf to attack citizens of a foreign country who, in many cases, had nothing to do with their struggle in order to promote their political cause before an international audience. Finally though the combination of dramatic political statement, symbolic targeting and crisis induced de facto recognition, the terrorists recognized they had the power to create major media events. This was significant in that they realized media attention meant power. This was the first time they were being heard by the world and that their cause was being sympathized with, which was a great stepping stone for resolving their problems. “When we hijack a plane it has more it has more effect than if we killed a hundred Israelis in battle,”. This encouraged other terrorist groups such as the ASALA, the JCAG and left-wing...
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