Created by Yasser Arafat to campaign for the establishment of an independent state of Palestine, the PLO proved an effective terrorist organization, even after the Central Intelligence Agency recruited its charismatic intelligence chief, Ali Hassan Salameh, as a source. He was finally killed by a Mossad car bomb in Beirut in 1979.
The PLO proved ineffective in exercising any discipline over the many splinter groups that conducted terrorist operations against Israel, even after the movement was legitimized during the Oslo peace accords and supplied with funds and training by the United States and the European Union. Thoroughly penetrated both by the Mossad and by Islamic extremists controlled by Hezbollah and Hamas, the PLO failed to reach a settlement at Camp David in talks organized by President Bill Clinton, leaving Arafat impotent and allied with Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. After Arafat’s death in 2004 and the election by secret ballot of a new Palestinian Authority, the General Intelligence Service was given additional aid to enhance its internal security apparatus and to curb the extremists.