December 21, 1998 Special Dispatch No. 18

Abu 'Ala: “The Borders of the Palestinian State are Those Set By the 1947 UN Partition Plan”

December 21, 1998
Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 18

An article published by the Chairman of the Palestinian Legislative Council and chief Palestinian negotiator, Ahmad Qurei’ (Abu 'Ala), in the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida[1], stated that the borders of the future independent Palestinian State, that will be declared in May 1999, are the boundaries set by the 1947 Partition Resolution.

In discussing the political and legal source of legitimacy for the Palestinian State, Abu 'Ala stated that the legal basis for the establishment of a Palestinian State is embodied in UN Resolutions 181 from 1947 (the partition decision) and Resolution 194 (the return of Palestinian refugees). These two resolutions, according to Abu 'Ala, determined that two states--Arab and Jewish--should be established "on the land of historic Palestine."

Abu 'Ala asserted that "...International legitimacy (i.e. UN resolutions) recognized [the existence of] a Palestinian State alongside Israel through the partition resolution [of 1947]. This means that Israel’s legitimacy remained dependent and conditional upon the existence of the Palestinian State based on that same resolution, Resolution 181 of 1947."

This position recently acquired many advocates among the Palestinian leadership. Abu 'Ala however went far beyond this position and demanded not only the creation of a Palestinian State but the exact borders of the 1947 partition resolution. He asserted that, "...the legal legitimacy of this [upcoming] state can be strengthened by addressing the international court [in The Hague] to reassert the legitimacy of a Palestinian State with all the rights and duties that other states possess. Furthermore, it should be emphasized that the [Palestinian] state has internationally recognized borders, which are the borders set in the [1947] partition resolution..."

"...There is no doubt that all the UN resolutions that recognized the creation of the Jewish State, on the basis of [UN] Resolution 181, included an inherent recognition of the boundaries of that Palestinian State, whose legitimacy still exists although it was not established at the time [1947]."

[1]Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, December 21, 1998

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