The article by Raphael Ahren “Is Palestine a state?” raises the very relevant question as to whether the November 29 UN resolution A/67/L.28 that granted observer status to Palestine as a non-member has in effect granted real statehood to Palestine. The question then also arises as to what and where is Palestine and whether it includes Hamas-ruled Gaza.
While the above-mentioned article very ably discusses whether Palestine complies with the conditions of the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States and makes comparisons with the non-member status of the Vatican, I respectfully suggest it is premature to discuss these legal technicalities since the resolution itself is void to begin with due to Abbas’s lack of authority to propose the resolution on behalf of ALL Palestinians and Hamas’s rejection of the resolution’s fundamentals.
Clause 4 of the resolution states:
[The GA] Affirms its determination to contribute to the achievement of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the attainment of a peaceful settlement in the Middle East that ends the occupation that began in 1967 and fulfils the vision of two States: an independent, sovereign, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security with Israel on the basis of the pre-1967 borders.
As Hams leaders publicly reject peaceful settlement, the vision of two States and the 1967 borders as set out in the resolution, one need not be a lawyer to question the resolution’s validity, especially since Hamas has emerged as the dominant force in the divided Palestinian leadership, as reported in the NY Times of November 24. The report added that:
In a sermonlike speech laced with Koranic verses, the Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniya, promised on Thursday [Nov 22] to establish an independent state on all Palestine land, foreboding words from the leader of an organization whose charter prophesies Israel’s elimination. On Saturday, one of his top deputies, Mahmoud Zahar, added that Hamas would continue getting arms in preparation for the next battle and called on Arab and Muslim nations to provide Gaza with money and weapons.
As the above public declaration was made only a few days before the resolution was tabled it is obvious that the claim by President Abbas that he was authorized to act on behalf of ALL Palestinians in this matter including Hamas is questionable.
Soon after beginning his celebrated December visit to Gaza, Hamas chief, Khaled Mashaal, with Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniya at his side, publicly confirmed Hamas’s rejection of the fundamental clause 4. In a speech described as fiery by the BBC, Mashaal told a cheering crowd that Palestinians will not cede any part of their land and that there is no legitimacy for Israel.
Emphasizing Hamas’s objective of ruling over all of Israel from the Jordan to the sea, he was quoted by Ma’an News Agency as telling the cheering crowds
Today is Gaza. Tomorrow will be Ramallah and after that Jerusalem, then Haifa and Jaffa.
In The Times of Israel he was quoted as saying:
We are not giving up any inch of Palestine. It will remain Islamic and Arab for us and nobody else. Jihad and armed resistance is the only way..from the sea to the river, from north to south, we will not give up any part of Palestine – it is our country, our right and our homeland.
In effect Hamas, represented by Mashaal and Haniya, confirm their adherence to the Hamas Charter, which declares there is absolutely no room for peaceful negotiation and that so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement.
Mashaal, is an influential figure who was listed by New Statesman as 18th in the list of the “World’s 50 Most Influential Figures in 2010” and his claim that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza as well as in Israel are all one, invalidates President Abbas’s purported authority to propose the resolution, as he did, on behalf of all Palestinians. Not only Mashaal but Haniya too, claim to speak for and represent all the Palestinian people.
According to Al Arabiya, Haniya declared that he speaks as leader of all Palestinians when he told a crowd of 30,000 Iranians in February that Hamas will never recognize Israel.
Closer examination indicates that in his November 2012 resolution, in addition to 1967 lines, Abbas also referred obliquely to the 1947 partition lines. Clause 3 of the 2012 resolution asks the Security Council to consider favorably the September 2011 application, which contains the following wording:
This application for membership is being submitted on the Palestinian people’s natural legal and historic rights and based on UN GA resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947…
Ma’an News Agency of Sept 16, 2011 reported that Hamas and Islamic Jihad dismissed President Mahmoud Abbas’s 2011 UN membership initiative and criticized a speech in which he expressed hope that peace talks would resume soon. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Hamas would play no part in an initiative premised on recognizing Israel.
According to a Debka file Special Report of September 16, 2011, Abbas stressed in a speech in Ramallah that while citing the 1967 border in his intended application to UN Security Council the following week for recognition of Palestinian statehood, Israel’s “occupation” would not end the next day and much more remained to be done because the 1967 lines do not define the true borders any more than the roadblocks and the settlements. He said, the real Palestinian borders were laid down in 1947 by the UN and that all other areas are “occupied territory” which the Palestinians intend to claim.
In view of the above publicized intentions of Palestinian leaders to annihilate Israel there is tragic irony in the claim that Palestine is a peace loving nation, as stated in the declaration submitted with the September 2011 application for membership, signed by President Abbas.
It is evident that in proposing the above motion to the General Assembly of the UN, President Abbas purported to do so as the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people” in his capacity as president of the PLO, whereas in truth and fact a substantial proportion of the Palestinian people reject his leadership. They are not only represented by other leaders, they also categorically reject the very fundamentals of the resolution that was submitted purportedly on their behalf.
In the circumstances, resolution A/67/L.28 is void ab-initio and should accordingly be rescinded in the interests of justice and the status of the UN.