Palestine[i] (Arabic: فلسطين Filasṭīn / Falasṭīn / Filisṭīn), officially declared as the State of Palestine (Arabic: دولة فلسطين Dawlat Filasṭin), is a state that was proclaimed in exile in Algiers on 15 November 1988, when the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)‘s National Council (PNC) adopted the unilateral Palestinian Declaration of Independence. At the time of the 1988 declaration, the PLO did not exercise control over any territory and the territory it claims remains under Israeli occupation. It claims the Palestinian territories (defined according to the 1967 borders) and has designated Jerusalem as its capital.[ii]
The 1974 Arab League summit designated the PLO as the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and reaffirmed their right to establish an independent state of urgency.” The PLO has had observer status at the United Nations as a “non-state entity” since 22 November 1974, which entitles it to speak in the UN General Assembly but not to vote. After the Declaration of Independence, the UN General Assembly officially “acknowledged” the proclamation and voted to use the designation “Palestine” instead of “Palestine Liberation Organization” when referring to the Palestinian permanent observer. In spite of this decision, the PLO does not participate at the UN in its capacity of the State of Palestine’s government. Since 1998, the PLO is arranged for seating in the UN General Assembly immediately after non-member states, and before all other observers.
In 1993, in the Oslo Accords, Israel acknowledged the PLO negotiating team as “representing the Palestinian people”, in return for the PLO recognizing Israel’s right to exist in peace, acceptance of UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, and its rejection of “violence and terrorism”. While Israel occupies the Palestinian territories,[iii] as a result of the Oslo Accords the PLO established an interim administrative body: the Palestinian National Authority (PNA or PA), that exercises some governmental functions in parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Hamas takeover of Gaza politically divided the Palestinian territories, with Abbas‘s Fatah left largely ruling the West Bank and recognized internationally as the official Palestinian Authority, while Hamas has secured its control over the Gaza Strip. In April 2011, the Palestinian parties signed an agreement of reconciliation, but its implementation has stalled since.
As of 18 January 2012, 130 (67.4%) of the 193 member states of the United Nations have recognised the State of Palestine. Many of the countries that do not recognise the State of Palestine nevertheless recognise the PLO as the “representative of the Palestinian people“. In addition the PLO’s executive committee is empowered by the PNC to perform the functions of government of the State of Palestine.
The United Nations, the International Court of Justice, the European Union, International Committee of the Red Cross and the government of the United Kingdom all refer to the “Occupied Palestinian Territories”. Journalists also use the description to indicate lands outside the Green Line. The term is often used interchangeably with the term occupied territories, although this term is also applied to the Golan Heights, which is internationally recognized as part of Syria and not claimed by the Palestinians. The confusion stems from the fact that all these territories were captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War and are treated by the UN as territory occupied by Israel.
Other terms used to describe these areas collectively include “the disputed territories”, “Israeli-occupied territories“, and “the occupied territories”. Further terms include “Yesha” (Judea-Samaria-Gaza), Yosh (Judea and Samaria), the Katif Strip (Gaza Strip), “administered territories”, “territories of undetermined permanent status”, “1967 territories”, and simply “the territories”.
Many Arab and Islamic leaders,[who?] including some Palestinians,[who?] use the designation ‘Palestine’ and ‘occupied Palestine’ to imply a Palestinian political or religious claim to sovereignty over the whole former territory of the British Mandate west of the Jordan River, including all of Israel.[dead link] Many[who?] of them view the land of Palestine as an Islamic Waqf (trust) for future Muslim generations. A parallel exists in the aspirations of David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin, and other Zionists and Jewish religious leaders[who?] to establish Jewish sovereignty over all of Greater Israel in trust for the Jewish people. However, this dispute is not related to religion for many Arabs, but simply an issue of rights, as the land was inhabited by Arabs (as well as a minority of Jews) before the Zionist movement began.
Many Israelis[who?] object to the term “Occupied Palestinian Territories”, and similar descriptions, because they maintain such designations disregard Israeli claims to the West Bank and Gaza, or prejudice negotiations involving possible border changes, arguing that the armistice line agreed to after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War was not intended as a permanent border. Dore Gold wrote, “It would be far more accurate to describe the West Bank and Gaza Strip as “disputed territories” to which both Israelis and Palestinians have claims.”
The Palestinian territories are part of the area predestined by the United Nations to become the territory of the future State of Palestine. Originally a larger area was allotted to the planned Palestinian state in Resolution 181 of 29 November 1947, but in the 1948 Palestine war, the Israeli army conquered major parts of it. While in the Partition Plan about 42% of historic Palestine was destined for the Arabic state, the Palestinian territories constitute only some 23%. The last figure is including all space occupied by Israeli settlements, walls and roads.
It is now generally accepted, that the boundaries of the future Palestinian state should be based on the pre-1967 borders, which correspond with the Green Line. In the UN, nearly all countries voted in favour of Resolution 58/292 of 17 May 2004. The Resolution affirmed, in connection with the Palestinian right to self-determination and to sovereignty, that the independent State Palestine should be based on the pre-1967 borders. In Resolution 43/177 of 15 December 1988, the State of Palestine was recognized in the UN General Assembly, although not yet admitted as member of the United Nations. In the same resolution, their sovereignty over the Occupied Palestinian Territories was recognized, without explicitly limiting the territories of Palestine to those areas.
Palestinians regard East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state. East Jerusalem is will not be recognised as part of the Palestinian Territories although it is part of the West Bank, which remains part of the Palestinian Territories together with Gaza Strip.
Palestine is fighting with Israel because of Jerusalem but if Palestine is recognised by the UN, there will be so many benefits that will be given to improve their economy, peace will only return when Palestine accept my terms and stop all fighting with Israel immediately, Jerusalem has always been designated for Israel since the beginning of time.
– Contributed by Oogle.