CAIRO – Recalling the agonies of millions of Palestinian refugees all over the past 63 years, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on United Nations to authorize an independent Palestinian state in coming September assembly to rectify the unfulfilled 1947 UN partition plan.
“Minutes after the State of Israel was established on May 14, 1948, the United States granted it recognition,” Abbas wrote in a New York Times editorial published on Tuesday, May 17.
“Our Palestinian state, however, remains a promise unfulfilled.”
Backed by both the United States and the Soviet Union, the UN General Assembly approved the partition of Palestine Arab lands for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine in 1947, without taking into consideration the rights of the people who were living there.
On the 63rd memory of Palestine Nakba, and the creation of Israel, Abbas is widely expected to ask the UN General Assembly in September to recognize a Palestinian state in all of the West Bank and Gaza.
Israel and the United States have warned the Palestinians against the move.
However, after 20 years of stalled peace negotiations, an independent state recognized by the UN remained the only solution to end the stalemate.
“It is important to note that the last time the question of Palestinian statehood took center stage at the General Assembly, the question posed to the international community was whether our homeland should be partitioned into two states,” Abbas wrote.
“In November 1947, the General Assembly made its recommendation and answered in the affirmative. Shortly thereafter, Zionist forces expelled Palestinian Arabs to ensure a decisive Jewish majority in the future state of Israel.”
Abbas recalled last Sunday’s events when Palestinian refugees marked the Nakba Day, which marks the creation of Israel on the rubble of Palestine.
Aspiring to step into their occupied lands, many Palestinian refugees stormed into Israel-occupied Golan Heights from Syria, believed that the impossible has happened.
Thousands of refugees also tried to cross borders from Lebanon into the occupied Palestinian lands.
Yet, they paid a dear cost after Israel opened fire on unarmed refugees, leaving at least 13 people dead and dozens injured.
Abbas blamed the Israeli consecutive governments for ballooning settlements on Palestine occupied lands, failing any entries for peace negotiations.
“Palestine’s admission to the United Nations would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only a political one,” he wrote.
“It would also pave the way for us to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice.”
“We go to the United Nations now to secure the right to live free in the remaining 22 percent of our historic homeland because we have been negotiating with the State of Israel for 20 years without coming any closer to realizing a state of our own.”
Abbas referred to ongoing construction of settlements on Palestinian occupied lands as a main cause for the failed negotiations.
“We cannot wait indefinitely while Israel continues to send more settlers to the occupied West Bank and denies Palestinians access to most of our land and holy places, particularly in Jerusalem,” the Palestinian president wrote.
“Neither political pressure nor promises of rewards by the United States have stopped Israel’s settlement program.”
The Israeli settlement activities have been in full swing since the government of hawkish premier Benjamin Netanyahu ended a partial freeze in September.
According to the anti-settlement group Peace Now, 2,000 settlement units are being constructed in the West Bank and Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) since the moratorium ended.
A total of 13,000 settlement units are also in the pipeline.
The Palestinians insist that Israel ceases all settlement activities in their occupied territories in order to resume peace negotiations.
There are more than 164 Jewish settlements in the West Bank, eating up more than 40 percent of the occupied territory.
The international community considers all settlements on the occupied land illegal.
Concluding his article, the Palestinian president called on UN countries to authorize the long sought Palestinian state.
“We call on all friendly, peace-loving nations to join us in realizing our national aspirations by recognizing the State of Palestine on the 1967 border and by supporting its admission to the United Nations,” Abbas wrote.
“Only if the international community keeps the promise it made to us six decades ago, and ensures that a just resolution for Palestinian refugees is put into effect, can there be a future of hope and dignity for our people.”
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