State of Palestine

State of Palestine

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Palestine officially declared as the State of Palestine , is a state that was proclaimed
Declaration of independence
A declaration of independence is an assertion of the independence of an aspiring state or states. Such places are usually declared from part or all of the territory of another nation or failed nation, or are breakaway territories from within the larger state...

 in exile in Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

 on 15 November 1988, when the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

's (PLO) National Council
Palestinian National Council
The Palestinian National Council is the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization and elects its Executive Committee, which assumes leadership of the organization between its sessions. The Council normally meets every two years. Resolutions are passed by a simple majority with a...

 (PNC) adopted the unilateral Palestinian Declaration of Independence
Palestinian Declaration of Independence
The Palestinian Declaration of Independence is a statement written by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish and proclaimed by Yasser Arafat on 15 November 1988. It had previously been adopted by the Palestinian National Council, the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization , by a vote...

. At the time of the 1988 declaration, the PLO did not exercise control over any territory, and its claimed territory remains under Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i occupation. It claims the Palestinian territories
Palestinian territories
The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

 and has designated Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

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
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

 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
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

, 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
United Nations Security Council Resolution 242
United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 was adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on November 22, 1967, in the aftermath of the Six Day War. It was adopted under Chapter VIof the United Nations Charter...

 and 338
United Nations Security Council Resolution 338
The three-line United Nations Security Council Resolution 338, adopted on October 22, 1973, called for a ceasefire in the Yom Kippur War in accordance with a joint proposal by the United States and the Soviet Union. The resolution stipulated a cease fire to take effect within 12 hours of the...

, and its rejection of "violence and terrorism". While Israel occupies the Palestinian territories, as a result of the Oslo Accords the PLO established an interim administrative body: the Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

 (PNA or PA), that exercises some governmental functions in parts of
Administrative divisions of the Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords created three temporary distinct administrative divisions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip until a final status accord would be established...

 the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

.

of the member states of the United Nations have recognised the State of Palestine
International recognition of the State of Palestine
The State of Palestine was proclaimed on 15 November 1988 in Algiers at an extraordinary session in exile of the Palestine National Council. Legal justification for this act was based on United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 of 29 November 1947, which provided for the termination and...

. Many of the countries that do not recognise the State of Palestine nevertheless recognise the PLO as the "representative of the Palestinian people
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

". In addition the PLO's executive committee is empowered by the PNC to perform the functions of government of the State of Palestine.

History


In 1946, Transjordan
Transjordan
The Emirate of Transjordan was a former Ottoman territory in the Southern Levant that was part of the British Mandate of Palestine...

 gained independence from the British Mandate for Palestine. A year later, the UN adopted a partition plan for a two-state solution in the remaining territory of the mandate. The plan was accepted by the Jewish leadership, but rejected by the Arab leaders and Britain refused to implement the plan. On the eve of final British withdrawal, the Jewish Agency for Israel
Jewish Agency for Israel
The Jewish Agency for Israel , also known as the Sochnut or JAFI, served as the organization in charge of immigration and absorption of Jews from the Diaspora into the state of Israel.-History:...

 declared the establishment of the State of Israel according to the proposed UN plan. The Arab Higher Committee didn't declare a state of its own and instead, together with Transjordan, Egypt, and the other members of the Arab League of the time, started the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. During the war, Israel gained additional territories that were expected to form part of the Arab state under the UN plan. Egypt gained control
Occupation of the Gaza Strip by Egypt
The administration of the Gaza Strip by Egypt occurred between 1948 and October 1956, and again from March 1957 to June 1967. Egypt did not annex the Gaza Strip but left it under Egyptian military rule as a temporary arrangement pending the resolution of the Palestine Question.-Background:After...

 over the Gaza Strip and Transjordan gained control over the West Bank. Egypt initially supported the creation of an All-Palestine Government
All-Palestine Government
The All-Palestine Government was established by the Arab League on 22 September 1948, during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Shortly thereafter, an Arab-Palestinian Congress named King Abdullah I of Transjordan, "King of Arab Palestine"...

, but disbanded it in 1959. Transjordan never recognised it and instead decided to incorporate the West Bank with its own territory to form Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

. The annexation was ratified in 1950. The Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 in 1967, when Egypt, Jordan and Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 fought against Israel, ended with significant territorial expansion by Israel, including the whole of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which remain under Israeli occupation.

In 1964, when the West Bank was controlled by Jordan, the Palestine Liberation Organization was established there with the goal to confront Israel. The Palestinian National Charter of the PLO defines the boundaries of Palestine as the whole remaining territory of the mandate, including Israel. Following the Six-Day War, the PLO moved to Jordan, but later relocated to Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 after Black September
Black September in Jordan
September 1970 is known as the Black September in Arab history and sometimes is referred to as the "era of regrettable events." It was a month when Hashemite King Hussein of Jordan moved to quash the militancy of Palestinian organizations and restore his monarchy's rule over the country. The...

 in 1971. In 1974, the Arab League recognised the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and it gained observer status at the UN General Assembly. After the 1982 Lebanon War
1982 Lebanon War
The 1982 Lebanon War , , called Operation Peace for Galilee by Israel, and later known in Israel as the Lebanon War and First Lebanon War, began on 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon...

, the PLO moved to Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

.

In 1979, through the Camp David Accords
Camp David Accords
The Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on September 17, 1978, following thirteen days of secret negotiations at Camp David. The two framework agreements were signed at the White House, and were witnessed by United States...

 Egypt signaled an end to any claim of its own over the Gaza Strip. In July 1988, Jordan ceded its claims to the West Bank — with the exception of guardianship over Haram al-Sharif — to the PLO. In November 1988, the PLO legislature, while in exile, declared the establishment of the "State of Palestine". In the month following, it was quickly recognised by many states, including Egypt and Jordan. In the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, the State of Palestine is described as being established on the "Palestinian territory", without specifying further. Because of this, some of the countries that recognised the State of Palestine in their statements of recognition refer to the "1967 borders", thus recognising as its territory only the occupied Palestinian territory, and not Israel. During the negotiations of the Oslo Accords, the PLO recognised Israel's right to exist, and Israel recognised the PLO as representative of the Palestinian people. Between 1993 and 1998, the PLO made commitments to change the provisions of its Palestinian National Charter that are inconsistent with the aim for a two-state solution and peaceful coexistence with Israel.

After Israel took control of the Palestinian territories from Jordan and Egypt, it began to establish Israeli settlement
Israeli settlement
An Israeli settlement is a Jewish civilian community built on land that was captured by Israel from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and is considered occupied territory by the international community. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank...

s there. These were organised into Judea and Samaria district (West Bank) and Hof Aza Regional Council
Hof Aza Regional Council
The Hof Aza Regional Council was a regional council of Israel until 2005 when its residents were evicted from their homes and the area was liquidated as part of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan.The seat was in Neve Dekalim...

 (Gaza Strip) in the Southern District. Administration of the Arab population of these territories was performed by the Israeli Civil Administration
Israeli Civil Administration
The Civil Administration , is the Israeli governing body that operates in Judea and Samaria. It was established by the government of Israel in 1981, in order to carry out practical bureaucratic functions within the territories conquered in 1967...

 of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories
Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories is a unit in the Israeli Ministry of Defense that engages in coordinating civilian issues between the Government of Israel, the Israel Defense Forces, international organizations, diplomats, and the Palestinian...

 and by local municipal councils
Municipality (Palestinian Authority)
In the territories administrated by the Palestinian Authority, a municipality is an administrative unit of local government similar to a city. They were established and decided after the creation of the Local Government Ministry of the Palestinian National Authority in 1994. All municipalities are...

 present since before the Israeli takeover. In 1980, Israel decided to freeze elections for these councils and to establish instead Village Leagues, whose officials were under Israeli influence. Later this model became ineffective for both Israel and the Palestinians, and the Village Leagues began to break up, with the last being the Hebron League, dissolved in February 1988. As envisioned in the Oslo Accords, Israel allowed the PLO to establish interim administrative institutions in the Palestinian territories, which came in the form of the PNA. It was given civilian and/or security control in some areas. In 2005, following the implementation of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan, the PNA gained full control of the Gaza Strip with the exception of its borders, airspace, and territorial waters
Territorial waters
Territorial waters, or a territorial sea, as defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, is a belt of coastal waters extending at most from the baseline of a coastal state...

. Following the inter-Palestinian conflict
Fatah–Hamas conflict
The Fatah–Hamas conflict , also referred to as the Palestinian Civil War , and the Conflict of Brothers , i.e...

 in 2006, Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 took over control of the Gaza Strip (it already had majority in the PLC), and Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 took control of the West Bank (and the rest of the PNA institutions). Currently the Gaza Strip is governed by
Governance of the Gaza Strip
The Gaza Strip is controlled by Hamas after Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections in January 2006 and ousted Fatah officials as part of the Battle of Gaza . Hamas' political and military rival, Fatah, controls the West Bank. Both regimes regard themselves as the sole legitimate...

 Hamas, and the West Bank by Fatah.

Etymology



Since the British Mandate, the term "Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

" has been associated with the geographical area that currently covers the State of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, though the British Mandate also covered present day Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

.

The McMahon–Hussein Correspondence (1915–1916)




In the early years of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, negotiations took place between the British High Commissioner
High Commissioner (Commonwealth)
In the Commonwealth of Nations, a High Commissioner is the senior diplomat in charge of the diplomatic mission of one Commonwealth government to another.-History:...

 in Egypt Henry McMahon
Henry McMahon
Henry McMahon may refer to:* Henry McMahon , diplomat known for the McMahon Line and the McMahon-Hussein Correspondence* Henry McMahon , member of the band Big Tom and The Mainliners...

 and Sharif of Mecca
Sharif of Mecca
The Sharif of Mecca or Hejaz was the title of the former governors of Hejaz and a traditional steward of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina...

 Husayn bin Ali
Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca
Sayyid Hussein bin Ali, GCB was the Sharif of Mecca, and Emir of Mecca from 1908 until 1917, when he proclaimed himself King of Hejaz, which received international recognition. He initiated the Arab Revolt in 1916 against the increasingly nationalistic Ottoman Empire during the course of the...

 for an alliance of sorts between the Allies and the Arabs in the Near East against the Ottomans. On 24 October 1915, McMahon sent to Hussein a note which the Arabs came to regard as their "Declaration of Independence". In McMahon's letter
McMahon letters
The McMahon letters commonly refers to the correspondence between Sir Henry McMahon and Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca....

, part of the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence, McMahon declared Britain's willingness to recognise the independence of the Arabs, both in the Levant and the Hejaz, subject to certain exemptions. It stated on behalf of the Government of Great Britain that:

The districts of Mersin and Alexandretta, and portions of Syria lying to the west of the districts of Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo, cannot be said to be purely Arab, and must on that account be excepted from the proposed delimitation
Boundary delimitation
Boundary delimitation, or simply delimitation, is the term used to describe the drawing of boundaries, but is most often used to describe the drawing of electoral boundaries, specifically those of precincts, states, counties or other municipalities...

.

Subject to that modification, and without prejudice to the treaties concluded between us and certain Arab Chiefs, we accept that delimitation.
As for the regions lying within the proposed frontiers, in which Great Britain is free to act without detriment to interests of her ally France, I am authorized to give you the following pledges on behalf of the Government of Great Britain, and to reply as follows to your note:
That subject to the modifications stated above, Great Britain is prepared to recognize and uphold the independence of the Arabs in all the regions lying within the frontiers proposed by the Sherif of Mecca.


The exemptions from Arab control of certain areas set out in the McMahon note were to seriously complicate the problems of peace in the Near East. At the time, the Arab portions of the Ottoman Empire were divided into administrative units called vilayets and sanjaks. Palestine was divided into the sanjuks of Acre and Nablus, both of which were a part of the vilayet of Beirut, and an independent sanjak of Jerusalem. The areas exempted from Arab control by the McMahon note included "Syria lying to the west of the districts of Damascus, Homs, Hama, and Aleppo." The British understanding was that "Damascus" meant the vilayet and not the city of Damascus, and accordingly virtually all of Palestine was excluded from Arab control. The British entered into the secret Sykes–Picot Agreement on 16 May 1916 and the commitment of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, for example, on that understanding.

The Arabs, however, insisted at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference
Paris Peace Conference, 1919
The Paris Peace Conference was the meeting of the Allied victors following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers following the armistices of 1918. It took place in Paris in 1919 and involved diplomats from more than 32 countries and nationalities...

 at the end of the war that "Damascus" meant the city of Damascus – which left Palestine in their hands. However, in 1915, these problems of interpretation did not occur to Hussein, who agreed to the British wording. The Arab interpretation of the agreement formed the basis of Arab claims to Palestine at the peace conference.

League of Nations Mandate for Palestine (1920–1948)




Despite Arab objections based in part on the Arab interpretation of the McMahon correspondence noted above, Britain was given the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 Mandate for Palestine. The Mandate was administered as two territories: Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 and Transjordan
Transjordan
The Emirate of Transjordan was a former Ottoman territory in the Southern Levant that was part of the British Mandate of Palestine...

, with the Jordan River being the boundary between them. The boundaries under the Mandate also did not follow those sought by the Jewish community, which sought the inclusion of the east bank of the Jordan into the Palestinian territory, to which the objective of the Mandate for a homeland for the Jewish people would apply. It was made clear from before the commencement of the Mandate, and a clause to that effect was inserted in the Mandate, that the objective set out in the Mandate would not apply to Transjordan. Transjordan was destined for early independence. The objective of the Mandate was to apply only to territory west of the Jordan, which was commonly referred to as Palestine by the British administration, and as Eretz Israel by the Jewish community.

The Arab League and the Arab Higher Committee (1945)


The framers of the Arab League sought to include the Palestinian Arabs within the framework of the League from its inception. An annex to the League Pact declared:
Even though Palestine was not able to control her own destiny, it was on the basis of the recognition of her independence that the Covenant of the League of Nations determined a system of government for her. Her existence and her independence among the nations can, therefore, no more be questioned de jure than the independence of any of the other Arab States. [...] Therefore, the States signatory to the Pact of the Arab League consider that in view of Palestine's special circumstances, the Council of the League should designate an Arab delegate from Palestine to participate in its work until this country enjoys actual independence.


In November 1945, the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 reconstituted the Arab Higher Committee
Arab Higher Committee
The Arab Higher Committee was the central political organ of the Arab community of Mandate Palestine. It was established on 25 April 1936, on the initiative of Hajj Amin al-Husayni, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, and comprised the leaders of Palestinian Arab clans under the mufti's...

 comprising twelve members as the supreme executive body of Palestinian Arabs in the territory of the British Mandate of Palestine. The committee was dominated by the Palestine Arab Party
Palestine Arab Party
The Palestinian Arab Party was a political party in Palestine established by the influential Husayni family in 1935. Jamal al-Husayni was the founder and chairman. Emil Ghoury was elected as General Secretary till the end of the British Mandate in 1947...

 and was immediately recognised by Arab League countries. The Mandate government recognised the new Committee two months later. The Constitution of the League of Arab States says the existence and independence of Palestine cannot be questioned de jure even though the outward signs of this independence have remained veiled as a result of force majeure
Force majeure
Force majeure or vis major "superior force", also known as cas fortuit or casus fortuitus "chance occurrence, unavoidable accident", is a common clause in contracts that essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of...

.

Partition of Palestine (1948)



The termination of the Palestine Mandate gave the Arabs of Palestine the opportunity to exercise their right to self-determination.

In 1946, Jewish leaders – including Nahum Goldmann, Rabbi Abba Silver, Moshe Shertok, and David Ben Gurion – proposed a union between Arab Palestine and Transjordan. Also in 1946, leaders of the Zionist movement in the U.S. sought the postponement of a determination of the application by Transjordan for United Nations membership until the status of Mandate Palestine as a whole was determined. However, at its final session the League of Nations recognized the independence of Transjordan, with the agreement of Britain.

The United Nations Special Committee on Palestine
United Nations Special Committee on Palestine
The United Nations Special Committee on Palestine was formed in May 1947 in response to a United Kingdom government request that the General Assembly "make recommendations under article 10 of the Charter, concerning the future government of Palestine"...

 (UNSCOP), which was formed to recommend a solution to Britain's dilemma in Palestine, subsequently reported that the proposed Arab state would not be economically viable. The report indicated that the Arab state would be forced to call for financial assistance "from international institutions in the way of loans for expansion of education, public health and other vital social services of a non-self-supporting nature." A technical note from the Secretariat explained that without some redistribution of customs from the Jewish state, Arab Palestine would not be economically viable. The Committee was satisfied that the proposed Jewish State and the City of Jerusalem would be viable.

In 1947, the United Nations proposed the partition of Mandate Palestine into an Arab state, a Jewish state
Jewish state
A homeland for the Jewish people was an idea that rose to the fore in the 19th century in the wake of growing anti-Semitism and Jewish assimilation. Jewish emancipation in Europe paved the way for two ideological solutions to the Jewish Question: cultural assimilation, as envisaged by Moses...

, and a Corpus Separatum for Jerusalem. The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was a resolution adopted on 29 November 1947 by the General Assembly of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. Its title was United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 (II) Future Government of Palestine. The resolution noted Britain's planned termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and recommended the partition of Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 into two states, one Jewish and one Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

, with the Jerusalem-Bethlehem area being under special international protection, administered by the United Nations. The resolution included a highly detailed description of the recommended boundaries for each proposed state. The resolution also contained a plan for an economic union between the proposed states, and a plan for the protection of religious and minority rights. The resolution sought to address the conflicting objectives and claims to the Mandate territory of two competing nationalist movements, Zionism
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

 (Jewish nationalism) and Arab nationalism, as well as to resolve the plight of Jews displaced as a result of the Holocaust. The resolution called for the withdrawal of British forces and termination of the Mandate by 1 August 1948, and establishment of the new independent states by 1 October 1948.

The Partition Plan was accepted by the Jewish leadership, but rejected by the Arab leaders. The Arab League threatened to take military measures to prevent the partition of Palestine and to ensure the national rights of the Palestinian Arab population. One day before the expiration of the British Mandate for Palestine, on 14 May 1948, Israel declared its independence within the borders of the Jewish State set out in the Partition Plan. U.S. President Harry Truman recognised the State of Israel de facto the following day. The Arab countries declared war on the newly formed State of Israel heralding the start of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

. On 12 April 1948, the Arab League announced:
The Arab armies shall enter Palestine to rescue it. His Majesty (King Farouk, representing the League) would like to make it clearly understood that such measures should be looked upon as temporary and devoid of any character of the occupation or partition of Palestine, and that after completion of its liberation, that country would be handed over to its owners to rule in the way they like.

Arab–Israeli War (1948)


During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Jordan occupied the area of Cisjordan, now called the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

, which it continued to control in accordance with the 1949 Armistice Agreements
1949 Armistice Agreements
The 1949 Armistice Agreements are a set of agreements signed during 1949 between Israel and neighboring Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The agreements ended the official hostilities of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and established armistice lines between Israeli forces and the forces in...

 and a political union formed in December 1948. Military Proclamation Number 2 of 1948 provided for the application in the West Bank of laws that were applicable in Palestine on the eve of the termination of the Mandate. On 2 November 1948, the military rule was replaced by a civilian administration by virtue of the Law Amending Public Administration Law in Palestine. Military Proclamation Number 17 of 1949, Section 2, vested the King of Jordan with all the powers that were enjoyed by the King of England, his ministers and the High Commissioner of Palestine by the Palestine Order-in-Council, 1922. Section 5 of this law confirmed that all laws, regulations and orders that were applicable in Palestine until the termination of the Mandate would remain in force until repealed or amended.

After the war, which Palestinians call the Catastrophe, the 1949 Armistice Agreements
1949 Armistice Agreements
The 1949 Armistice Agreements are a set of agreements signed during 1949 between Israel and neighboring Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The agreements ended the official hostilities of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and established armistice lines between Israeli forces and the forces in...

 established the separation lines between the combatants, leaving Israel in control of some of the areas which had been designated for the Arab state under the Partition Plan, Transjordan in control of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Egypt in control of the Gaza Strip and Syria in control of the Himmah Area. The Arab League "supervised" the Egyptian trusteeship of the Palestinian government in Gaza after and secured assurances from Jordan that the 1950 Act of Union was "without prejudice to the final settlement".

The Second Arab-Palestinian Congress
Jericho Conference
The Jericho Conference was held in December 1948 to decide the future of the portion of Palestine that was held by Jordan at the end of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, led by Sheikh Muhammad Ali Ja'abari...

  was held in Jericho on 1 December 1948 at the end of the war. The delegates proclaimed Abdullah
Abdullah I of Jordan
Abdullah I bin al-Hussein, King of Jordan [‘Abd Allāh ibn al-Husayn] عبد الله الأول بن الحسين born in Mecca, Second Saudi State, was the second of three sons of Sherif Hussein bin Ali, Sharif and Emir of Mecca and his first wife Abdiyya bint Abdullah...

 King of Palestine and called for a union of Arab Palestine with the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. Avi Plascov says that Abdullah contacted the Nashashibi opposition, local mayors, mukhars, those opposed to the Husaynis, and opposition members of the AHC. Plascov said that the Palestinian Congresses were conducted in accordance with prevailing Arab custom. He also said that contrary to the widely held belief outside Jordan the representatives did reflect the feelings of a large segment of the population.

The Transjordanian Government agreed to the unification on 7 December 1948, and on 13 December the Transjordanian parliament approved the creation of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The change of status was reflected by the adoption of this new official name on 21 January 1949. Unification was ratified by a joint Jordanian National Assembly on 24 April 1950 which comprised twenty representatives each from the East and West Bank. The Act of Union contained a protective clause which preserved Arab rights in Palestine "without prejudice to any final settlement".

Many legal scholars say the declaration of the Arab League and the Act of Union implied that Jordan's claim of sovereignty was provisional, because it had always been subject to the emergence of the Palestinian state. A political union was legally established by the series of proclamations, decrees, and parliamentary acts in December 1948. Abdullah thereupon took the title King of Jordan, and he officially changed the country's name to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in April 1949. The 1950 Act of Union confirmed and ratified King Abdullah's actions. Following the annexation of the West Bank, only two countries formally recognized the union: Britain and Pakistan. Thomas Kuttner notes that de facto recognition was granted to the regime, most clearly evidenced by the maintaining of consulates in East Jerusalem by several countries, including the United States. Joseph Weiler agreed, and said that other states had engaged in activities, statements, and resolutions that would be inconsistent with non-recognition. Joseph Massad said that the members of the Arab League granted de facto recognition and that the United States had formally recognized the annexation, except for Jerusalem. The policy of the U.S. Department, was stated in a paper on the subject prepared for the Foreign Ministers meetings in London in May was in favor of the incorporation of Central Palestine into Jordan, but desired that it be done gradually and not by sudden proclamation. Once the annexation took place, the Department approved of the action "in the sense that it represents a logical development of the situation which took place as a result of a free expression of the will of the people.... The United States continued to wish to avoid a public expression of approval of the union."

The United States government extended de jure recognition to the Government of Transjordan and the Government of Israel on the same day, 31 January 1949. U.S. President Truman told King Abdullah that the policy of the U.S. as regards a final territorial settlement in Palestine had been stated in the General Assembly on 30 November 1948 by the American representative. The U.S. supported Israeli claims to the boundaries set forth in the UN General Assembly resolution of 29 November 1947, but believed that if Israel sought to retain additional territory in Palestine allotted to the Arabs, it should give the Arabs territorial compensation. Clea Bunch said that "President Truman crafted a balanced policy between Israel and its moderate Hashemite neighbours when he simultaneously extended formal recognition to the newly created state of Israel and the Kingdom of Transjordan. These two nations were inevitably linked in the President's mind as twin emergent states: one serving the needs of the refugee Jew, the other absorbing recently displaced Palestinian Arabs. In addition, Truman was aware of the private agreements that existed between Jewish Agency leaders and King Abdullah I of Jordan. Thus, it made perfect sense to Truman to favour both states with de jure recognition."

Sandra Berliant Kadosh analyzed U.S. policy toward the West Bank in 1948, based largely on the Foreign Relations Documents of the United States. She noted that the U.S. government believed that the most satisfactory solution regarding the disposition of the greater part of Arab Palestine would be incorporation in Transjordan and that the State Department approved the Principle underlying the Jericho resolutions. Kadosh said that the delegates claimed to represent 90 percent of the population, and that they ridiculed the Gaza government. They asserted that it represented only its eighty-odd members.

Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 supervised an independent government of Palestine in Gaza as a trustee on behalf of the Arab League. An Egyptian Ministerial order dated 1 June 1948 declared that all laws in force during the Mandate would continue to be in force in the Gaza Strip. Another order issued on 8 August 1948 vested an Egyptian Administrator-General with the powers of the High Commissioner. The All-Palestine Government
All-Palestine Government
The All-Palestine Government was established by the Arab League on 22 September 1948, during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Shortly thereafter, an Arab-Palestinian Congress named King Abdullah I of Transjordan, "King of Arab Palestine"...

 issued a Declaration of the Independent State of Palestine on 1 October 1948. In 1957, the Basic Law of Gaza established a Legislative Council that could pass laws which were given to the High Administrator-General for approval. In March 1962, a Constitution for the Gaza Strip was issued confirming the role of the Legislative Council.

After Partition (1950)



The U.S. advised the Arab states that the U.S. attitude regarding Israel had been clearly stated in the UN by Dr. Jessup on 20 November 1949. He said that the U.S. supported Israeli claims to the boundaries set forth in the UN General Assembly resolution. However, the U.S. believed that if Israel sought to retain additional territory in Palestine it should give the Arabs other territory as compensation. The Israelis agreed that the boundaries were negotiable, but did not agree to the principle of compensation as a precondition. Israel's Foreign Minister Eban
Abba Eban
Abba Eban was an Israeli diplomat and politician.In his career he was Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister, Education Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and ambassador to the United States and to the United Nations...

 stressed that it was undesirable to undermine what had already been accomplished by the armistice agreements, and maintained that Israel held no territory wrongfully, since her occupation of the areas had been sanctioned by the armistice agreements, as had the occupation of the territory in Palestine held by the Arab states.

In 1950, the UN Economic Survey Mission for the Middle East, headed by Gordon R. Clapp, recommended four development projects, involving the Wadi Zerqa
Zarqa River
The Zarqa River is the second largest tributary of the lower Jordan River, after the Yarmouk River. It is the third largest river in the region by annual discharge, and its watershed encompasses the most densely populated areas east of the Jordan River...

 basin in Jordan, the Wadi Qelt
Wadi Qelt
Wadi Qelt or Nahal Prat is a valley or stream running west to east across the Judean desert in the West Bank, originating near Jerusalem and terminating near Jericho, near the Dead Sea...

 watershed and stream bed in Arab Palestine, the Litani River
Litani River
The Litani River is an important water resource in southern Lebanon. The river rises in the fertile Beqaa Valley valley, west of Baalbek, and empties into the Mediterranean Sea north of Tyre. Exceeding 140 km in length, the Litani River is the longest river in Lebanon and provides an average...

 in Lebanon, and the Ghab valley in Syria. U.S. President Harry Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

 subsequently announced that the Foreign Economic Assistance Act of 1950 contained an appropriation of US$27 million dollars for the development projects recommended by the Clapp Mission and to assist Palestinian refugees.

In 1978, the U.S. State Department published a memorandum of conversation held on 5 June 1950 between Stuart W. Rockwell of the Office of African and Near Eastern Affairs and Abdel Monem Rifai, a Counselor of the Jordan Legation. Rifai asked when the U.S. was going to recognize the union of Arab Palestine and Jordan. Rockwell explained the Department's position, stating that it was not the custom of the U.S. to issue formal statements of recognition every time a foreign country changed its territorial area. The union of Arab Palestine and Jordan had been brought about as a result of the will of the people and the U.S. accepted the fact that Jordanian sovereignty had been extended to the new area. Rifai said he had not realized this and that he was very pleased to learn that the U.S. did in fact recognize the union.

The Six-Day War (1967)



Between 5 June and 10 June 1967, a war – known as the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 – was fought, in which Israel effectively seized control of the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 and the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai is a triangular peninsula in Egypt about in area. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia as opposed to Africa, effectively serving as a land bridge between two...

 from Egypt, the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refer to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War...

 from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.

On 9 June 1967, Israeli Foreign Minister Eban assured the U.S. that it was not seeking territorial aggrandizement and had no "colonial" aspirations. U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk
Dean Rusk
David Dean Rusk was the United States Secretary of State from 1961 to 1969 under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Rusk is the second-longest serving U.S...

 stressed to Israel that no settlement with Jordan would be accepted by the global community unless it gave Jordan some special position in the Old City of Jerusalem. The U.S. also assumed Jordan would receive the bulk of the West Bank as that was regarded as Jordanian territory.

On 3 November 1967, U.S. Ambassador Goldberg
Arthur Goldberg
Arthur Joseph Goldberg was an American statesman and jurist who served as the U.S. Secretary of Labor, Supreme Court Justice and Ambassador to the United Nations.-Early life:...

 called on King Hussein of Jordan, saying that the U.S. was committed to the principle of political independence and territorial integrity and was ready to reaffirm it bilaterally and publicly in the Security Council resolution. According to Goldberg, the U.S. believed in territorial integrity, withdrawal, and recognition of secure boundaries. Goldberg said the principle of territorial integrity has two important sub-principles, there must be a withdrawal to recognized and secure frontiers for all countries, not necessarily the old armistice lines, and there must be mutuality in adjustments.

The U.S. President's Special Assistant, Walt Rostow, told Israeli ambassador Harmon
Avraham Harman
Avraham Harman was an Israeli diplomat and academic administrator.-Biography:Born in London in the United Kingdom, he received a law degree from Wadham College, Oxford in 1935. In 1938, he immigrated to Mandate Palestine....

 that he had already stressed to Foreign Minister Eban that the U.S. expected the thrust of the settlement would be toward security and demilitarisation arrangements rather than toward major changes in the armistice lines. Harmon said the Israeli position was that Jerusalem should be an open city under unified administration, but that the Jordanian interest in Jerusalem could be met through arrangements including "sovereignty". Rostow said the U.S. government assumed (and Harman confirmed) that despite public statements to the contrary, the Government of Israel position on Jerusalem was that which Eban, Harman, and Evron had given several times, that Jerusalem was negotiable.

Rift between Jordan and Palestinian leadership (1970)


After the events of Black September in Jordan
Black September in Jordan
September 1970 is known as the Black September in Arab history and sometimes is referred to as the "era of regrettable events." It was a month when Hashemite King Hussein of Jordan moved to quash the militancy of Palestinian organizations and restore his monarchy's rule over the country. The...

, the rift between the Palestinian leadership and the Kingdom of Jordan continued to widen. The Arab League affirmed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and called on all the Arab states, including Jordan, to undertake to defend Palestinian national unity and not to interfere in internal Palestinian affairs. The Arab League also 'affirmed the right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent national authority under the command of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people in any Palestinian territory that is liberated.' King Ḥussein dissolved the Jordanian parliament. Half of its members had been West Bank representatives. He renounced Jordanian claims to the West Bank, and allowed the PLO to assume responsibility as the Provisional Government of Palestine. The Kingdom of Jordan, Egypt, and Syria no longer act as the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people, or their territory.

Rise of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (1974)


At the Rabat summit conference
Rabat summit conference
The 1974 Arab League summit was a meeting of Arab leaders held in Rabat, Morocco in 1974. Leaders to twenty Arab countries were present, including King Hussein of Jordan, together with representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization...

 in 1974, Jordan and the other members of the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 declared that the Palestinian Liberation Organization was the "sole legitimate representative of the [Arab] Palestinian people", thereby relinquishing to that organization its role as representative of the West Bank.

In a speech delivered on 1 September 1982, U.S. President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 called for a settlement freeze and continued to support full Palestinian autonomy in political union with Jordan. He also said that "It is the United States' position that – in return for peace – the withdrawal provision of Resolution 242 applies to all fronts, including the West Bank and Gaza."

The Amman Agreement of 11 February 1985, declared that the PLO and Jordan would pursue a proposed confederation between the state of Jordan and a Palestinian state. In 1988, King Hussein dissolved the Jordanian parliament and renounced Jordanian claims to the West Bank. The PLO assumed responsibility as the Provisional Government of Palestine and an independent state was declared.

Declaration of Independence (1988)



Declassified diplomatic documents reveal that in 1974, on the eve of the UN debate that granted the PLO an observer status, some parts of the PLO leadership were considering to proclaim the formation of a Palestinian government in exile
Government in exile
A government in exile is a political group that claims to be a country's legitimate government, but for various reasons is unable to exercise its legal power, and instead resides in a foreign country. Governments in exile usually operate under the assumption that they will one day return to their...

 at some point. This plan, however, was not carried out.

The Palestinian Declaration of Independence
Palestinian Declaration of Independence
The Palestinian Declaration of Independence is a statement written by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish and proclaimed by Yasser Arafat on 15 November 1988. It had previously been adopted by the Palestinian National Council, the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization , by a vote...

 was approved by the Palestinian National Council (PNC) in Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

 on 15 November 1988, by a vote of 253 in favour, 46 against and 10 abstentions. It was read by Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

 at the closing session of the 19th PNC to a standing ovation. Upon completing the reading of the declaration, Arafat, as Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization assumed the title of "President of Palestine".

Referring to "the historical injustice inflicted on the Palestinian Arab people resulting in their dispersion and depriving them of their right to self-determination," the declaration recalled the Treaty of Lausanne
Treaty of Lausanne
The Treaty of Lausanne was a peace treaty signed in Lausanne, Switzerland on 24 July 1923, that settled the Anatolian and East Thracian parts of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The treaty of Lausanne was ratified by the Greek government on 11 February 1924, by the Turkish government on 31...

 (1923) and UN General Assembly Resolution 181 as supporting the rights of Palestinians and Palestine. The declaration then proclaims a "State of Palestine on our Palestinian territory with its capital Jerusalem". The borders of the declared State of Palestine were not specified. The population of the state was referred to by the statement: "The State of Palestine is the state of Palestinians wherever they may be". The state was defined as an Arab country by the statement: "The State of Palestine is an Arab state, an integral and indivisible part of the Arab nation". The declaration was accompanied by a PNC call for multilateral negotiations on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 242
United Nations Security Council Resolution 242
United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 was adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on November 22, 1967, in the aftermath of the Six Day War. It was adopted under Chapter VIof the United Nations Charter...

. This call was later termed "the Historic Compromise", as it implied acceptance of the "two-state solution", namely that it no longer questioned the legitimacy of the State of Israel. The PNC's political communiqué accompanying the declaration called only for withdrawal from "Arab Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refer to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War...

" and the other "Arab territories occupied." Arafat's statements in Geneva a month later were accepted by the United States as sufficient to remove the ambiguities it saw in the declaration and to fulfill the longheld conditions for open dialogue with the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

As a result of the declaration, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) convened, inviting Arafat, Chairman of the PLO to give an address. An UNGA resolution was adopted "acknowledging the proclamation of the State of Palestine by the Palestine National Council on 15 November 1988," and it was further decided that "the designation 'Palestine' should be used in place of the designation 'Palestine Liberation Organization' in the United Nations system
United Nations System
The United Nations system consists of the United Nations, its subsidiary organs , the specialized agencies, and affiliated organizations...

." One hundred and four states voted for this resolution, forty-four abstained, and two – the United States and Israel – voted against. By mid-December, seventy-five states had recognized Palestine, rising to eighty-nine states by February 1989.

By the 1988 declaration, the PNC empowered its central council to form a government-in-exile when appropriate, and called upon its executive committee to perform the duties of the government-in-exile until its establishment.

Palestinian Authority (1994)



Under the terms of the Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

 signed between Israel and the PLO, the latter assumed control over the Jericho
Jericho
Jericho ; is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route north of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the lowest permanently...

 area of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on 17 May 1994. On 28 September 1995, following the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip
Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
The Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, also known as the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement, the Interim Agreement, Oslo 2, Oslo II, and Taba, was a key and complex agreement governing several aspects of the Palestinian territories of Gaza Strip and the West Bank.-History:It...

, Israeli military forces withdrew from the West Bank towns of Nablus
Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately north of Jerusalem, with a population of 126,132. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center.Founded by the...

, Ramallah
Ramallah
Ramallah is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank located 10 kilometers north of Jerusalem, adjacent to al-Bireh. It currently serves as the de facto administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority...

, Jericho
Jericho
Jericho ; is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route north of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the lowest permanently...

, Jenin
Jenin
Jenin is the largest town in the Northern West Bank, and the third largest city overall. It serves as the administrative center of the Jenin Governorate and is a major agricultural center for the surrounding towns. In 2007, the city had a population of 120,004 not including the adjacent refugee...

, Tulkarem, Qalqilya and Bethlehem
Bethlehem
Bethlehem is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank of the Jordan River, near Israel and approximately south of Jerusalem, with a population of about 30,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate of the Palestinian National Authority and a hub of Palestinian culture and tourism...

. In December 1995, the PLO also assumed responsibility for civil administration in 17 areas in Hebron
Hebron
Hebron , is located in the southern West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judean Mountains, it lies 930 meters above sea level. It is the largest city in the West Bank and home to around 165,000 Palestinians, and over 500 Jewish settlers concentrated in and around the old quarter...

. While the PLO assumed these responsibilities as a result of Oslo, a new temporary interim administrative body was set up as a result of the Accords to carry out these functions on the ground: the Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

 (PNA).

An analysis outlining the relationship between the PLO, the PNA (or PA), Palestine and Israel in light of the interim arrangements set out in the Oslo Accords begins by stating that, "Palestine may best be described as a transitional association between the PA and the PLO." It goes on to explain that this transitional association accords the PA responsibility for local government and the PLO responsibility for representation of the Palestinian people in the international arena, while prohibiting it from concluding international agreements that affect the status of the occupied territories. This situation is said to be accepted by the Palestinian population insofar as it is viewed as a temporary arrangement.

In March 2008 it was reported that the PA was working to increase the number of countries that recognize Palestine and that a PA representative had signed a bilateral agreement between the State of Palestine and Costa Rica. A recent Al-Haq position paper said the reality is that the PA has entered into various agreements with international organizations and states. These instances of foreign relations undertaken by the PA signify that the Interim Agreement is part of a larger on-going peace process, and that the restrictions on the foreign policy operations of the PA conflict with the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, now a norm with a nature of jus cogens, which includes a right to engage in international relations with other peoples.

The West Bank and Gaza Strip continue to be considered by the international community
International community
The international community is a term used in international relations to refer to all peoples, cultures and governments of the world or to a group of them. The term is used to imply the existence of common duties and obligations between them...

 to be Occupied Palestinian Territory, notwithstanding the 1988 declaration of Palestinian independence, the limited self-government accorded to the Palestinian Authority as a result of the 1993 Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

, and Israel's withdrawal from Gaza as part of the Israel's unilateral disengagement plan
Israel's unilateral disengagement plan
Israel's unilateral disengagement plan , also known as the "Disengagement plan", "Gaza expulsion plan", and "Hitnatkut", was a proposal by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, adopted by the government on June 6, 2004 and enacted in August 2005, to evict all Israelis from the Gaza Strip and from...

 of 2005, which saw the dismantlement of four Israeli settlements in the West Bank and all settlements in the Gaza Strip.

International recognition and foreign relations


Representation of the State of Palestine is performed by the Palestine Liberation Organization. In states that recognise the State of Palestine it maintains embassies. The Palestine Liberation Organization is represented in various international organizations as member, associate or observer. Because of inconclusiveness in sources in some cases it is impossible to distinguish whether the participation is executed by the PLO as representative of the State of Palestine, by the PLO as a non-state entity or by the PNA.

Legal status


There are a wide variety of views regarding the status of the State of Palestine, both among the states of the international community and among legal scholars. The existence of a state of Palestine, although controversial, is nonetheless a reality in the opinions of the many states that have established bilateral diplomatic relations. In mid-September 2011, it was reported that 126 (65.4%) of the 193 member states of the United Nations had recognised the State of Palestine. Their total population was over 5.2 billion people, equalling 75 percent of the world's population.

2011 United Nations recognition vote


After a two-year impasse in negotiations with Israel, the Palestinian Authority sought to gain recognition as a state according to its 1967 borders with East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refer to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War...

 as its capital from the UN General Assembly in September 2011. A successful application for membership in the UN would require approval from the UN Security Council and a two-thirds majority in the UN General Assembly.

On the prospect of this being successful, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
United States Ambassador to the United Nations
The United States Ambassador to the United Nations is the leader of the U.S. delegation, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. The position is more formally known as the "Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations, with the rank and status of Ambassador...

 Susan Rice alluded to a potential U.S. government withdrawal of UN funding: "This would be exceedingly politically damaging in our domestic context, as you can well imagine. And I cannot frankly think of a greater threat to our ability to maintain financial and political support for the United Nations in Congress than such an outcome." On 28 June, the U.S. Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 passed calling on U.S. President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 to veto the motion and threatening a withdrawal of aid to the West Bank if the Palestinians followed through on their plans. At the likely prospect of a veto, Palestinian leaders signalled they might opt instead for a more limited upgrade to "non-member state" status, which requires only the approval of the UN General Assembly.

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

 stated he would accept a return to negotiations and abandon the decision if the Israelis agree to the 1967 borders and the right of return
Right of return
The term right of return refers to a principle of international law, codified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, giving any person the right to return to, and re-enter, his or her country of origin...

 for Palestinian refugees. Israel labelled the plan as a unilateral step, to which Foreign Minister Erekat replied,
"We are not going [to the UN] for a unilateral declaration of the Palestinian state. We declared our state in 1988 and we have embassies in more than 130 countries and more countries are recognising our state on the 1967 borders. The recognition of the Palestinian state is a sovereignty decision by the countries and it doesn't need to happen through the UN."
The Arab League formally backed the plan in May, and was officially confirmed by the PLO on 26 June.

On 11 July, the Quartet on the Middle East
Quartet on the Middle East
The Quartet on the Middle East, sometimes called the Diplomatic Quartet or Madrid Quartet or simply the Quartet, is a foursome of nations and international and supranational entities involved in mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Quartet are the United Nations, the...

 met to discuss a return to negotiations, but the meeting produced no result. On 13 July, in an interview with Haaretz
Haaretz
Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...

, Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour claimed that 122 states had so far extended formal recognition to the Palestinian state. On the following day, the Arab League released a draft statement which declared a consensus to "go to the United Nations to request the recognition of the State of Palestine with Al Quds as its capital and to move ahead and request a full membership." The league's secretary-general, Nabil al-Arabi, confirmed the statement and said that the application for membership will be submitted by the Arab League. On 18 July, Syria announced that it had formally recognised the State of Palestine, the last Arab state to do so. The decision was welcomed by the league, but met with criticism from some, including former Lebanese prime minister Selim al-Hoss
Selim al-Hoss
Selim Ahmed El-Hoss is a veteran Lebanese politician. He was a Prime Minister of Lebanon and a longtime Member of Parliament representing his hometown, Beirut.-Education:...

: "Syria has always been calling for the liberation of Palestine from Israeli occupation and ambitions. The latest stance, however, shows that [Syria] has given up on a national policy that has spanned several decades. ... Why this abandonment of a national principle, and what is the motive behind it? There is no motive except to satisfy international powers that seek to appease Israel".

On 23 September, Abbas delivered to the UN Secretary-General the official application for recognition of a Palestinian state by the UN and a membership in the same organization. The UN Security Council began deliberations on the matter on 26 September.

On 31 October 2011, the General Council of UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 voted in favour of admitting Palestine as a member state. This membership became effective on November 23, 2011.

Statehood for the purposes of the UN Charter


The UN Charter protects the territorial integrity or political independence of any state from the threat or use of force. Philip Jessup
Philip Jessup
Philip Caryl Jessup was a diplomat, scholar, and jurist from New York City.- Early life and education :Philip C. Jessup, the grandson of Henry Harris Jessup, received his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College in 1919. He then went on to earn a law degree from Yale Law School in 1924 and a Ph.D...

 served as a representative of the United States to the United Nations and as a Judge on the International Court of Justice. During the Security Council hearings regarding Israel's application for membership in the UN, he said:
"[W]e already have, among the members of the United Nations, some political entities which do not possess full sovereign power to form their own international policy, which traditionally has been considered characteristic of a State. We know however, that neither at San Francisco nor subsequently has the United Nations considered that complete freedom to frame and manage one's own foreign policy was an essential requisite of United Nations membership.... ...The reason for which I mention the qualification of this aspect of the traditional definition of a State is to underline the point that the term "State", as used and applied in Article 4 of the Charter of the United Nations, may not be wholly identical with the term "State" as it is used and defined in classic textbooks on international law."


After Operation Cast Lead, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki said that he and Palestinian Justice Minister Ali Kashan had provided proof to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court that Palestine had been extended legal recognition as a State by 67 other countries, and had bilateral agreements with States in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

Consequences of the occupation


After 1967, a number of legal arguments were advanced which dismissed the right of Palestinians to self-determination and statehood. They generally proposed that Palestine was a land void of a legitimate sovereign and supported Israeli claims to the remaining territory of the Palestine Mandate. Historian and journalist, Gershom Gorenberg
Gershom Gorenberg
Gershom Gorenberg is an American-born Israeli historian, journalist and blogger, specializing in Middle Eastern politics and the interaction of religion and politics. He is currently a senior correspondent for The American Prospect, a monthly American political magazine...

, says that outside of the pro-settlement community in Israel, these positions are considered quirky. He says that, while the Israeli government has used them for PR
Public relations
Public relations is the actions of a corporation, store, government, individual, etc., in promoting goodwill between itself and the public, the community, employees, customers, etc....

 purposes abroad, it takes entirely different positions when arguing real legal cases before the Israeli Supreme Court. In 2005 Israel decided to dismantle all Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip and four in the northern West Bank. Gorenberg notes, the government's decision was challenged in the Supreme Court by settlers, and the government won the case by noting the settlements were in territory whose legal status was that of 'belligerent territory'. The government argued that the settlers should have known the settlements were only temporary.

Most UN member states questioned the claim that Israel held better title to the land than the inhabitants, and stressed that statehood was an inalienable right of the Palestinian people. Legal experts, like David John Ball, concluded that "the Palestinians, based on the principles of self-determination and the power of the U.N., appear to hold better title to the territory." The International Court of Justice subsequently reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the prohibition under customary and conventional international law against acquisition of territory by war.

The Israeli Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice, cited a case involving Gaza and said that "The Judea and Samaria areas are held by the State of Israel in belligerent occupation. The legal representative of the state in the area is the military commander. He is not the sovereign in the territory held in belligerent occupation. His power is granted him by public international law regarding belligerent occupation. The legal meaning of this view is twofold: first, Israeli law does not apply in these areas. They have not been "annexed" to Israel. Second, the legal regime which applies in these areas is determined by public international law regarding belligerent occupation."

The court said most Israelis do not have ownership of the land on which they built their houses and businesses in the territory "They acquired their rights from the military commander, or from persons acting on his behalf. Neither the military commander nor those acting on his behalf are owners of the property, and they cannot transfer rights better than those they have. To the extent that the Israelis built their homes and assets on land which is not private ('state land'), that land is not owned by the military commander. His authority is defined in regulation 55 of The Hague Regulations. . . . The State of Israel acts . . . as the administrator of the state property and as usufruct
Usufruct
Usufruct is the legal right to use and derive profit or benefit from property that either belongs to another person or which is under common ownership, as long as the property is not damaged or destroyed...

uary of it."

Declaration and Act of State Doctrine


Many states have recognized the State of Palestine since 1988. Under the principles of customary international law, when a government is recognized by another government, recognition is retroactive in effect, and validates all the actions and conduct of the government so recognized from the commencement of its existence.

Stephen Talmon notes that many countries have a formal policy of recognizing states, not their governments. In practice, they usually make no formal declarations regarding recognition. He cites several examples including a memorandum on US recognition policy and practice, dated 25 September 1981, which said that recognition would be implied by the US government's dealings with the new government. Many countries have expressed their intention to enter into relations with the State of Palestine. The US formally recognized the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a country in 1997 at the request of the Palestinian Authority. At that time, it asked the public to take notice of that fact through announcements it placed in the Federal Register
Federal Register
The Federal Register , abbreviated FR, or sometimes Fed. Reg.) is the official journal of the federal government of the United States that contains most routine publications and public notices of government agencies...

, the official journal of the US government. The USAID West Bank/Gaza, has been tasked with "state-building" projects in the areas of democracy, governance, resources, and infrastructure. Part of the USAID mission is to "provide flexible and discrete support for implementation of the Quartet Road Map", an internationally backed plan which calls for the progressive development of a viable Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza. The EU has announced similar external relations programs with the Palestinian Authority.

The view of the European states
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, which did not extend full recognition was expressed by French President François Mitterrand
François Mitterrand
François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand was the 21st President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra, serving from 1981 until 1995. He is the longest-serving President of France and, as leader of the Socialist Party, the only figure from the left so far elected President...

 who stated: "Many European countries are not ready to recognize a Palestine state. Others think that between recognition and non-recognition there are significant degrees; I am among these." But, after the PLO recognized the state of Israel, Mitterrand welcomed the PLO leader, Yasser Arafat, in Paris, in May 1989.

Decisions of international and national tribunals


The U.S. State Department Digest of International Law says that the terms of the Treaty of Lausanne
Treaty of Lausanne
The Treaty of Lausanne was a peace treaty signed in Lausanne, Switzerland on 24 July 1923, that settled the Anatolian and East Thracian parts of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The treaty of Lausanne was ratified by the Greek government on 11 February 1924, by the Turkish government on 31...

  provided for the application of the principles of state succession to the "A" Mandates. The Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

 (1920) provisionally recognized the former Ottoman communities as independent nations. It also required Germany to recognize the disposition of the former Ottoman territories and to recognize the new states laid down within their boundaries. The Treaty of Lausanne
Treaty of Lausanne
The Treaty of Lausanne was a peace treaty signed in Lausanne, Switzerland on 24 July 1923, that settled the Anatolian and East Thracian parts of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The treaty of Lausanne was ratified by the Greek government on 11 February 1924, by the Turkish government on 31...

 required the newly created states that acquired the territory to pay annuities on the Ottoman public debt, and to assume responsibility for the administration of concessions that had been granted by the Ottomans. A dispute regarding the status of the territories was settled by an Arbitrator appointed by the Council of the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

. It was decided that Palestine and Transjordan were newly created states according to the terms of the applicable post-war treaties. In its Judgment No. 5, The Mavrommatis Palestine Concessions, the Permanent Court of International Justice
Permanent Court of International Justice
The Permanent Court of International Justice, often called the World Court, was an international court attached to the League of Nations. Created in 1922 , the Court was initially met with a good reaction from states and academics alike, with many cases submitted to it for its first decade of...

 also decided that Palestine was responsible as the successor state for concessions granted by Ottoman authorities. The Courts of Palestine and Great Britain decided that title to the properties shown on the Ottoman Civil list had been ceded to the government of Palestine as an allied successor state.

State succession


A legal analysis by the International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...

 noted that the Covenant of the League of Nations
Covenant of the League of Nations
-Creation:Early drafts for a possible League of Nations began even before the end of the First World War. A London-based study group led by James Bryce and G. Lowes Dickinson made proposals adopted by the British League of Nations Society, founded in 1915. Another group in the United States—which...

 had provisionally recognized the communities of Palestine as independent nations. The mandate simply marked a transitory period, with the aim and object of leading the mandated territory to become an independent self-governing State. Judge Higgins explained that the Palestinian people are entitled to their territory, to exercise self-determination, and to have their own State." The Court said that specific guarantees regarding freedom of movement and access to the Holy Sites contained in the Treaty of Berlin (1878) had been preserved under the terms of the Palestine Mandate and a chapter of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine.

Article 62 (LXII) of the Treaty of Berlin, 13 July 1878 dealt with religious freedom and civil and political rights in all parts of the Ottoman Empire. The guarantees have frequently been referred to as "religious rights" or "minority rights". However, the guarantees included a prohibition against discrimination in civil and political matters. Difference of religion could not be alleged against any person as a ground for exclusion or incapacity in matters relating to the enjoyment of civil or political rights, admission to public employments, functions, and honors, or the exercise of the various professions and industries, "in any locality whatsoever."

The resolution of the San Remo Conference contained a safeguarding clause for all of those rights. The conference accepted the terms of the Mandate with reference to Palestine, on the understanding that there was inserted in the process-verbal a legal undertaking by the Mandatory Power that it would not involve the surrender of the rights hitherto enjoyed by the non-Jewish communities in Palestine. The draft mandates for Mesopotamia and Palestine, and all of the post-war peace treaties contained clauses for the protection of minorities. The mandates invoked the compulsory jurisdiction of the Permanent Court of International Justice in the event of any disputes.

Article 28 of the Mandate required that those rights be safeguarded in perpetuity, under international guarantee. The General Assembly's Plan for the Future Government of Palestine placed those rights under UN protection as part of a minority protection plan
Minority Treaties
Minority Treaties refer to the treaties, League of Nations Mandates, and unilateral declarations made by countries applying for membership in the League of Nations and United Nations...

. It required that they be acknowledged in a Declaration, embodied in the fundamental laws of the states, and in their Constitutions. The partition plan also contained provisions that bound the new states to international agreements and conventions to which Palestine had become a party and held them responsible for its financial obligations. The Declarations of the Independent State of Israel and the Independent State of Palestine acknowledged the protected rights and were accepted as being in line with UN resolution 181(II).

Opinions of officials and legal scholars


Jacob Robinson was a legal advisor to the United Nations delegation of the Jewish Agency for Palestine during the special session of the General Assembly in 1947. He advised the Zionist Executive that the provisional states had come into existence as a result of the resolution of 29 November 1947.

L.C. Green explained that "recognition of statehood is a matter of discretion, it is open to any existing state to accept as a state any entity it wishes, regardless of the existence of territory or an established government."

Alex Takkenberg writes that while "[...] there is no doubt that the entity 'Palestine' should be considered a state in statu nascendi and although it is increasingly likely that the ongoing peace process will eventually culminate in the establishment of a Palestinian state, it is premature to conclude that statehood, as defined by international law, is at present (spring 1997) firmly established." Referring to the four criteria of statehood, as outlined in the 1933 Montevideo Convention
Montevideo Convention
The Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States was a treaty signed at Montevideo, Uruguay, on December 26, 1933, during the Seventh International Conference of American States. The Convention codified the declarative theory of statehood as accepted as part of customary international...

 – that is, a permanent population, a defined territory, government and the capacity to enter into relations with other states – Takkenberg states that the entity known as Palestine does not fully satisfy these criteria.

Conversely John V. Whitbeck
John V. Whitbeck
John V. Whitbeck is an international lawyer who writes frequently about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, often from Arab viewpoint, and has advised the Palestinian negotiating team in negotiations with Israel. He is also an adviser to various Fatah, a terrorist political party, committees that...

, who served as an advisor to the Palestinian negotiation team during negotiations with Israel, writes that "[...] the State of Palestine already exists," and that when, "Judged by these customary criteria [those of the Montevideo Convention], the State of Palestine is on at least as firm a legal footing as the State of Israel." He continues: "The weak link in Palestine's claim to already exist as a state was, until recently, the fourth criterion, "effective control. [...] Yet a Palestinian executive and legislature
Palestinian Legislative Council
The Palestinian Legislative Council, the legislature of the Palestinian Authority, is a unicameral body with 132 members, elected from 16 electoral districts in the West Bank and Gaza...

, democratically elected with the enthusiastic approval of the international community, now exercises 'effective control' over a portion of Palestinian territory in which the great majority of the state's population lives. It can no longer be seriously argued that Palestine's claim to exist falls at the fourth and final hurdle."

For John Quigley
John Quigley
John B. Quigley is a professor of law at the Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University, where he is the Presidents' Club Professor of Law. In 1995 he was recipient of The Ohio State University Distinguished Scholar Award...

, Palestine's existence as a state predates the 1988 declaration. Tracing Palestine's status as an international entity back to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, he recalls that the Palestine Mandate (1918–1948), an arrangement made under Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

, held as its "ultimate objective", the "self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

 and independence of the people concerned." He says that in explicitly referring to the Covenant, the 1988 declaration was reaffirming an existing Palestinian statehood. Noting that Palestine under the Mandate entered into bilateral treaties
Bilateral treaty
A bilateral treaty is a treaty strictly between two state parties. These two parties can be two states, or two international organizations, or one state and one international organization.It is similar to a contract, so it is called contractual treaty....

, including one with Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

, the Mandatory power, he cites this as an example of its "sovereignty" at that time. He also notes the corollary of the Stimson Doctrine
Stimson Doctrine
The Stimson Doctrine is a policy of the United States federal government, enunciated in a note of January 7, 1932, to Japan and China, of non-recognition of international territorial changes that were executed by force. The doctrine was an application of the principle of ex injuria jus non oritur...

 and the customary prohibition on the use of force contained in the Restatement of Foreign Relations Law of the United States, "[a]n entity does not necessarily cease to be a state even if all of its territory has been occupied by a foreign power".

Robert Weston Ash says that Quigley's analysis of the declaration that the Palestinian Authority provided to the International Criminal Court failed to explain a number of key issues. He says the "Palestinian people" to whom sovereignty reverted upon the departure of the British would have included both Jews and Arabs. He suggests that establishes a colorable Jewish —as well as Arab — claim to all of Palestine which tends to refute Professor Quigley's contention that there are no other claimants to that territory. Ash says there are segments of Israeli society that continue to view "Judea and Samaria" as areas promised to the Jews by the Balfour Declaration and says that the Geneva Convention is not applicable to Israel's presence in those territories. He cites Yehuda Blum's "Missing Reversioner" and Eugene Rostow's related claim that "The right of the Jewish people to settle in Palestine has never been terminated for the West Bank." Quigley has said that the International Court of Justice findings in the "Wall" case regarding the applicability of the Geneva Convention discredited once and for all, as a legal matter, the "missing reversioner" argument. The International Criminal Court has published a summary of arguments which says that some submissions consider that it is clear that the Palestinian National Authority cannot be regarded as a "State", and that some submit that Palestine is recognized as a State by many States and many institutions. The Court says that a conclusive determination on Palestine's declaration will have to be made by the judges at an appropriate moment.

Disputes have arisen as a result of the Conflict of laws
Conflict of laws
Conflict of laws is a set of procedural rules that determines which legal system and which jurisdiction's applies to a given dispute...

 between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Judgments originating in Israeli Courts are not directly enforceable in the Courts of the Palestinian Authority. The District Court of Israel ruled that the Palestinian Authority satisfied the criteria to be legally treated as a sovereign state The ruling was appealed to the Supreme Court of Israel
Supreme Court of Israel
The Supreme Court is at the head of the court system and highest judicial instance in Israel. The Supreme Court sits in Jerusalem.The area of its jurisdiction is all of Israel and the Israeli-occupied territories. A ruling of the Supreme Court is binding upon every court, other than the Supreme...

 which ruled that the Palestinian Authority cannot be defined as a foreign state, since recognizing states is an exclusive authority of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Supreme Court held that the Palestinian Authority can be granted state immunity on an ad hoc basis when it is warranted by the circumstances. The Knesset responded to the willingness of the judges to engage in examination of the notion of 'statehood for the purpose of state immunity' by adopting a measure that makes it possible to grant sovereign immunity to a 'political entity that is not a state' as part of the 2008 Foreign States Immunity Law, Art. 20.

Stefan Talmon notes that "In international law it is true that one generally recognizes the Government which exercises effective control over a territory. But this is not an absolute rule without exceptions." James Crawford notes that despite its prevalence, and inclusion in the statehood criteria found in the Montevideo Convention, effectiveness is not the sole or even the critical criterion for statehood. He cites several examples of annexations and governments that have been recognized despite their lack of a territorial foothold. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu recently expressed a willingness to recognize the State of Palestine if it will agree to forgo taking effective control of its airspace, military defense, and not enter into alliances with Israel's enemies.

In November 2009, Palestinian officials were reported to be preparing the ground for asking for recognition of a Palestinian State from the Security Council. The state was envisioned to be based on the 1967 Green Line
Green Line (Israel)
Green Line refers to the demarcation lines set out in the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and its neighbours after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War...

 as an international border with Israel and East Jerusalem as its capital. The plan was reported to have support from Arab states, Russia and the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon. The Secretary General said "Today, the State of Israel exists, but the State of Palestine does not." "It is vital that a sovereign State of Palestine is achieved". "This should be on the basis of the 1967 lines with agreed land swaps and a just and agreed solution to the refugee issue." On 29 January 2010, the representative of Palestine deposited a copy of a letter submitted by Prime Minister Fayyad with the UN Secretary-General. The letter reported on the decree issued by Mahmoud Abbas, "President of the State of Palestine", concerning the formation of an independent commission to follow up on the Goldstone report in compliance with General Assembly resolution 64/10 of 5 November 2009.

Paul De Waart says that the Quartet, particularly the United States, as well as western states, do not consider Palestine to be a state as yet. In their view the statehood of Palestine will be the result of bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian people. He says they have overlooked that under international law it is not anymore a question of creating but of recognizing the State of Palestine.

Israeli legal expert Ruth Lapidoth said the Palestinians have already unilaterally declared statehood, and they did not need to do it again. "Recognition of statehood is a political act, and every state has the right to decide for itself whether to recognize another state."

President Abbas said that the State of Palestine was already in existence and that the current battle is to have the state's border recognized.

Jerome Segal wrote about Salam Fayyad's plan for Palestinian statehood. He said lest anyone believe that the 1988 declaration is ancient history, they should read the new Fayyad plan with more care. It cites the 1988 declaration four times, identifying it as having articulated "the foundations of the Palestinian state."

In September 2010, the World Bank released a report which found the Palestinian Authority "well-positioned to establish a state" at any point in the near future. The report highlighted, however, that unless private-sector growth in the Palestinian economy was stimulated, a Palestinian state would remain donor dependent.

In April 2011, the UN's co-ordinator for the Middle East peace process issued a report lauding the Palestinian Authority, describing "aspects of its administration as sufficient for an independent state." It echoed similar assessments published the week prior by the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 and the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

.

Politics


The State of Palestine consists of the following institutions:
  • President of the State of Palestine
    President of the State of Palestine
    The President of the State of Palestine is the leader of the State of Palestine which was unilaterally declared in November 1988 by Palestinian Declaration of Independence of the Palestinian National Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization...

     – appointed by the Palestinian Central Council
    Palestinian Central Council
    The Palestinian Central Council , also known as PLO Central Council, is one of the institutions of the Palestine Liberation Organization . The PCC makes policy decisions when the Palestinian National Council is not in session. The PCC is acting as a link between the PNC and the PLO Executive...

  • Palestinian National Council – the legislature that established the State of Palestine
  • Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization – performs the functions of a government in exile, maintaining an extensive foreign-relations network


These should be distinguished from the following institutions, which are instead associated with the Palestinian National Authority: President of the Palestinian National Authority
President of the Palestinian National Authority
The President of the Palestinian National Authority is the highest-ranking political position in the Palestinian National Authority ....

, Palestinian Legislative Council
Palestinian Legislative Council
The Palestinian Legislative Council, the legislature of the Palestinian Authority, is a unicameral body with 132 members, elected from 16 electoral districts in the West Bank and Gaza...

 (PLC) and PNA Cabinet
Palestinian government of June 2007
The Palestinian cabinet that was formed on June 17, 2007 by Salam Fayyad is an emergency cabinet. While widely supported by the international community, it is viewed by some as illegitimate and unconstitutional...

.

The State of Palestine's founding document is the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, and it should be distinguished from the unrelated PLO Palestinian National Covenant
Palestinian National Covenant
The Palestinian National Covenant or Palestinian National Charter is the charter or constitution of the Palestine Liberation Organization ....

 and PNA Palestine Basic Law.

Demographics


The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) estimated Palestinians at mid year 2009 as 10.7 million persons as follows: 3.9 million in the Palestinian Territory (36.6%), 1.2 million (11.5%) in Israel; 5.0 million in Arab countries (46.2%), 0.6 million in foreign countries (5.7%).

According to Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

 (2008) the Palestinian territories have one of the fastest growing populations in the world, with numbers surging 30% in the past decade (2008). There was 3.76 million Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, up from 2.89 million 10 years earlier.

According to the U.S. Census population growth
Population growth
Population growth is the change in a population over time, and can be quantified as the change in the number of individuals of any species in a population using "per unit time" for measurement....

 mid 1990-2008 in Gaza
Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

 and West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 was 106 % from 1.9 million (1990) to 3.9 million persons.

According to UN (2010) Palestinian population is 4.4 million. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics is the statistical organization under the umbrella of the Palestinian Cabinet of the Palestinian National Authority....

 (PCBS) population density in 2009 was 654 capita/km2, of which 433 capita/km2 in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 including Jerusalem and 4,073 capita/km2 in Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

. In the mid 2009 the share of population less than 15 years was 41.9 % and above 65 years 3 %.
Population (mid year)
Year West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

Gaza
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

Total
1970 0.69 0.34 1.03
1980 0.90 0.46 1.36
1990 1.25 0.65 1.90
2000 1.98 1.13 3.11
2004 2.20 1.30 3.50
2008 2.41 1.5 3.91
2010 2.52 1.60 4.12
Source: U.S. Census Bureau 
2006 2.5 1.5 4.0
2009 2.48 1.45 3.94
Source: Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics is the statistical organization under the umbrella of the Palestinian Cabinet of the Palestinian National Authority....


Region Population
West Bank 2,568,555
East Jerusalem 192,800
Gaza Strip 1,657,155

NamePopulation
(2007)
Area (km2) Density
West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

2,369,700 5,671 417.86
Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

1,416,539 360 3934.83
Total 3,786,239 6,031 627.80


Language



Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 is the official language within the Palestinian Authority. Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

 and English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 are widely spoken.

Exodus


See also



  • History of the name Palestine
  • Outline of the Palestinian territories
  • Palestine 194
    Palestine 194
    Palestine 194 is the name given to a diplomatic campaign by the Palestinian National Authority to gain membership for the State of Palestine in the United Nations at its 66th Session in September 2011. It seeks to effectively gain collective recognition for a Palestinian state based on the borders...


  • Palestinian National Authority
    Palestinian National Authority
    The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

  • Palestinian territories
    Palestinian territories
    The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

  • Proposals for a Palestinian state
    Proposals for a Palestinian state
    Proposals for a Palestinian state currently refers to the proposed establishment of an independent state for the Palestinian people in Palestine on land that was occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967 and before by Egypt and by Jordan since 1949...


External links