In the September 1993 exchange of letters with the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat asserted in the name of the PLO that those articles of the Palestine National Covenant which deny Israel’s right to exist (and were inconsistent with the PLO’s new commitments) were inoperative and no longer valid. He, in addition, made a commitment to submit the necessary changes in the Covenant to the Palestinian National Council (PNC) for formal approval. This commitment was reaffirmed in the Gaza-Jericho Agreement in 1994 and the Oslo II Agreement in September 1995. In April 1996, the Palestinian National Council convened in Gaza and adopted a resolution concerning the Covenant by a vote of 504 to 54 with 14 abstentions. The resolution, in translation from the Arabic, read as follows:
1. The Palestinian National Charter is hereby amended by cancelling the articles that are contrary to the letters exchanged between the PLO and the Government of Israel, on 9 and 10 September 1993.
2. The empowerment of a legal committee with the task of redrafting the National Charter. The Charter will be presented to the first meeting of the Central Council.
Notwithstanding the first clause, which purports to amend the Covenant, the resolution simply referred the matter to a legal committee for redrafting. The Council did not in fact amend any specific provisions of the Covenant.