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May 13, 1999 No.
3

Resolution 181 Chronology: Statements in the Palestinian Media

May 1999

May 16, 1999, Al-Ayyam

Member of the Fatah Central Council, Sahr Habash, "I wasn't one of those who advocated the establishment of a state on May 4, but rather on May 15 - the anniversary for Resolution 181, that was implemented by Israel 15 years ago. It is better to return to it late than never...

All the legal measures that will be taken express the conclusion of the Interim Period and its limitations. What is now required are new negotiations whose source of authority would be UNGA R181 and R194 that would be the basis for the realization of the independence and the return [of the refugees]. These issues were left out of the Oslo Accord, but the Final Settlement issues are based on them. Following May 4th, the source of authority for [the relations] between the two states, Palestine and Israel, immediately after the realization of the independence, in accordance with UNGA R181 and Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 that stipulate Israel's withdrawal from the lands it occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem..."

May 15, 1999, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

Palestinian Minister for the Jerusalem Affairs, Faisal Al-Husseini, "We accept R242 because it stipulates the borders of 1967. If Israelis wish to give us these borders, we agree, but if they want to look beyond this line eastward, we will look in return westward until the sea. If they say they do not want R242, we will say we want R181."

May 12, 1999, Al-Quds:

Head of the PLO Political Bureau, Faruq Al-Qaddumi, following a meeting with the Egyptian Foreign Minister: "I discussed with the Egyptian Foreign Minister future issues of the peace process, namely, Jerusalem, the refugees, the settlements, the water, and the borders, in addition to the latest decision of the European Union in Berlin which revives R181"

May 12, 1999, Al-Quds:

Egyptian Foreign Minister, 'Amru Musa following his meeting with Head of the PLO Political Bureau, Faruq Al-Qaddumi: "Jerusalem should be dealt with in the framework of the international R181 regarding the partition of Palestine, a resolution that determined a special status ["Corpus Separatum"] for Jerusalem."

May 12, 1999, Al-Quds:

Member of the Palestinian National Council, Mahmoud Al-'Ajrami: "...the total consensus in the [PLO's] Central Committee that the State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital is an existing fact on the basis of the natural right of the Palestinian people to establish its state and on the basis of the 1947 UNGA R181 and the 1988 Declaration of Independence - this consensus does not cancel, not even for one moment, the need for the Central Council, when it reconvenes in June to declare the consolidation of its sovereignty on its lands and call upon the international community to recognize this right and to assist it in the realization of its sovereignty and make Israel unconditionally clear from its occupied lands."

May 10, Al-Ayyam

Member of the Palestinian National Council Azmi Al-Khawajah: "…there are many resolutions of international legitimacy asserting the establishment of a Palestinian state, the right of the Palestinian people to self determination, to sovereignty, and to independence and the right of the refugees for return and compensation [including ]:

· The Partition Resolution 181 of 1947 decreed the establishment of an Arab Palestinian state, whose territory and boundaries have been defined. This resolution continues to exist today and has not canceled because it has no statute of limitations. It is reconfirmed every session of the UN and has not been canceled yet.

· Resolution 194 decreed the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes and assets or compensation for whomever seeks it. "

May 10, 1999, Al-Manar

Omar Al-Kilani, a Palestinian publicist living in Damascus, writes: "...the truth is that the American Administration cannot resist the existence of a Palestinian state, because such resistance would contradict the international decision and will to establish a Palestinian state. The 1947 Partition Resolution was accepted under the pressure of the US, and some even named it 'the American Resolution.' It determined the partition of Palestine into two states: the first of the two was the Palestinian state and ranking second was the Jewish state. The borders of the Palestinian state in this resolution constituted the basis for the borders of the Jewish state. This international resolution that continues to exist and to win recognition is the basis for the Palestinians' right to declare the establishment of their state on their soil. The US that recognized Israel on the basis of this resolution in 1948, cannot renounce it when the Palestinians declare their state..."

May 10, 1999, Al- Hayat Al-Jadida

Columnist Nasr Ahmad writes: "UNGA R181 clearly determined the establishment of two states, one Arab and one Jewish. However, the Palestinian people rejected this resolution because it was unjust and it uprooted Palestinian lands and gave to the Jews who didn't deserve it. Also, the part that was allocated for the Jews was bigger than the part allocated for the Palestinians. The Jews on the other hand, accepted the resolution because they won something they did not deserve and they viewed it as the fulfillment of their goals and aspirations. The cancellation of this resolution, as the Israeli foreign minister declares, means the cancellation of this entity [Israel] while Palestine continues to exist on the map because it is the nucleus [on the basis of which the partition was made]..."

May 9, Al-Ayyam

Journalist Tawfiq Abu Bakr reports on the Palestinian Central Council meetings that discussed the Palestinian measures on May 4th 1999: "Minister Nabil Sha'ath [Palestinian Minister for Planning and International Cooperation] said... that the President of Finland told the Palestinian delegation [that accompanied Arafat in his recent international tour] about his experience in South Africa, which had the Mandate over Namibia. The Finnish President was the head of the international team that received the land from South Africa and then transferred it to the State of Namibia. He said he was ready to fill a similar role in Palestine, despite the relatively different details and circumstances. Finland will [take its turn as] President of the EU on July 1st, 1999. Their [the EU's] demand for a consolidation of the sovereignty will break through and escalate after the Israeli elections and after there is a new government in Israel.

[Sha'ath further stated] that throughout the Palestinian international diplomatic campaign, it was emphasized that the declaration of a state was a natural right of the Palestinian people, on the basis of UN General Assembly [UNGA] Resolution 181, the Partition Resolution[of 1947], which recognized the existence of two states in Palestine. The Jewish state was established in reality, while the Palestinian state was not. The condition for the existence of the Jewish state was [and still is internationally and in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy] related to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Many [at the Central Council] talked about the possibility of reviving the international talks about Resolution 181, which was mentioned three times in the council's final statement… The mere reference to the Resolution terrifies the Israelis, and especially when it comes from European countries, which threw the first political bomb in their letter to Israel regarding Jerusalem. In this letter, they announced that they still do not recognize the new situation in Jerusalem, both east and west, since Resolution 181 is still the legitimate basis for Jerusalem.

Israeli diplomacy faced great confusion when they bluntly declared that they did not recognize the 1947 UNGA Resolution 181, claiming that the other side, the 'Arab side,' did not recognize this Resolution back then and that the circumstances have changed since. Palestinian and Arab diplomacy's task is to take advantage of this provocation regarding the Resolutions of international legitimacy that can only be canceled by the UNGA itself and by a two thirds majority. That was the case with the decision to cancel the UNGA 1975 Resolution that deemed Zionism a racist movement. This Resolution was canceled in 1991, as an Israeli precondition before going to the Madrid Conference.

May 8, 1999, Al-Quds

Coordinator of the General Secretary of "The People's [Communist] Party," Hanna Amirah stated: " …It is clear now to everybody that our Palestinian people, by endorsing the resolutions of international legitimacy, including Resolution 181, resolutions 242 and 338, and the Palestinian declaration of independence, and by reasserting those resolutions through its 'Central Council,' has completed all the necessary elements for a just and comprehensive peace. These elements provide an obligatory interpretation to the Palestinian people’s right for self-determination."

"…On the negotiations front it is time to forge a new Palestinian program for negotiations. The plan will be based on international legitimacy as its source of authority, and will extend beyond the security borders imposed by the government of Israel."

May 7, 1999, Official UN Correspondence

The Algerian Representative to the UN, Abdallah Baali, head of the Arab bloc at the UN, in a letter to Secretary General Kofi Anan marking the 50th anniversary to Israel's admission to the UN, "...Israel has refused to honor the obligations and undertakings that are referred to in the aforementioned General Assembly Resolution [UNGA R273, under which Israel was admitted to membership in the United Nations], specifically those relating to the implementation of General Assembly Resolutions 181 (II) of 29 November 1947 and 194 (III) of 11 December 1948...

It is to be regretted that, 51 years after the adoption of General Assembly Resolution 181 (II), Israel claims that the resolution is invalid and is still opposing the establishment of the Arab State in Palestine for which provision is made in that resolution. It refuses to comply with the terms of Resolution 194 (III) and subsequent resolutions establishing the right of the Palestine refugees to return to their homes and property and the right to compensation for those choosing to return...

Today, 50 years after Israel's admission to membership in the United Nations, it must be stressed that it is incumbent on Israel to discharge the obligations and fulfill the undertakings that it then assumed and in accordance with which its membership was accepted... [Israel] must respect the national rights of the Palestinian people and principally its right to exercise self-determination and establish an independent Palestinian State in accordance with its natural right to establish such a State, General Assembly resolution 181 (III) of 1947 and the Declaration of Independence of 1988...

May 7, 1999, Palestinian Authority Television

Palestinian Minister for Planning and International Cooperation, Nabil Sha'ath stated: "…We have not lost our hope. We have not given up our rights. In the past we were already willing to accept limited autonomy. But today we will not accept less than a state. Today we will not accept less than the 1967 borders and Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.

Moreover, now we have already escalated [our demands] to Resolution 181. The Partition Resolution has been forgotten from the hearts in the years that past. The Israelis say to us: 'how come you suddenly recalled it?' [Our answer is that] we have never forgotten it all these years.

Netanyahu's only slogan during the last three years was: 'I will pressure the Palestinians so that their expectations will be lowered.' This is what he said. So have our expectations been lowered during the last three years? No they have increased."

May 6, 1999, Al-Quds

Dr. Musa Dweik, professor at the Al-Quds University Law School, speaking at a Human Rights Conference held in Gaza: "The legal identity of the Palestinian state was and remains [the same since it was part of the Ottoman state, through the British Mandate...] Resolution 181 can be adopted as a basis for the legal sovereignty, as was actually done in the 1988 Declaration of Independence. The legal identity of the state was realized through the 'Government of all of Palestine' [a government created in Gaza in December 1948, by Haj Amin Al-Husseini who was then the most prominent Palestinian leader, that existed for several months] and the Declaration of Independence."

May 6, 1999, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

The statement that concluded the Human Rights Conference that was held in Gaza as part of the European-Mediterranean Partnership [the Barcelona Process] reads: "the Palestinian people have a full right to an independent state. This legal right is based on the UNGA Partition Resolution and the principle of the right of nations for self-determination..."

May 5, 1999, Palestinian Authority Television

Palestinian Minister for Planning and International Cooperation, Nabil Sha'ath stated: "Resolutions 242 and 181 are a general framework for solutions in the Interim Phase, while Resolution 181 is the suitable basis upon which to begin the negotiations on the Final Settlement which relates to a number of important political problems, and first and foremost, the refugee problem."

May 4, 1999, Palestinian Authority Television

Yasser Arafat, in a speech May 4th, 1999: "The fourth of May that occurs today is an opportunity for us to re-emphasize our firm right to declare an independent Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem. This right, apart from being a natural right of all nations, won emphasis as a firm right of the Palestinian people in UN Resolution 181 and many other international Resolutions, including Resolution 425 [calling for Israel to cease its military action against Lebanese territorial integrity] and withdraw its forces from all Lebanese territory. [This is] due to the importance of the peace process on the Lebanese track and also the importance of the peace process on the Syrian track in order for there to be a real translation for the infrastructure of peace, the peace that was the basis of the Madrid Conference on the basis of land for peace, and in accordance with Resolutions 242 and 338 and the principle of land for peace, in actions and not just in words..."

May 3, 1999, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

In an interview Palestinian Representative to the UN, Naser Al-Qidwa states: "The Palestinian state exists on the basis of the legal rights of the Palestinian people and especially Resolution 181, on the basis of which the UN General Assembly divided Palestine into two states. Following that, [the state of Palestine] was established as the inheritor of the [British] Mandate.

The Palestinian State also exists on the basis of the 1988 Palestinian National Council Declaration of Independence, which was recognized by the majority of states in the world. What is required now is the completion of the international recognition of this state...

The statements by Israeli Foreign Minister, Ariel Sharon, that his state does not recognize Resolution 181 are complete idle talk. Israel is not authorized to unilaterally cancel UN Resolutions, let alone the fact that Resolution 181 was accepted by the UN General Assembly and so remains under its jurisdiction. This Resolution is the Resolution on the basis of which the state of Israel was established. However, the Israeli attempts in this matter do not damage the legal status of this state... every year the UN General Assembly reaffirms Resolutions 181 and 194 and they constitute the mainstays of all Resolutions of the international legitimacy..."

May 2, 1999, Al-Ayyam

Publicist Hani Habib writes: "There is no doubt that the renewed reference to Resolution 181 causes clear concern in the Israeli leadership. According to this Resolution, the West Galilee is considered part of the Palestinian State... What worries the Israeli leaders most of all is the fact that the international recognition on the Hebrew State was based on the Partition Resolution. Furthermore, in the texts of [the letters] of international recognition [of Israel] it was written 'the establishment of the independent state of Israel of Palestine,' meaning, the recognition of this state, Israel, did not come on the debris of the mother-state 'Palestine' and therefore, the mother-state does not require a renewed recognition... In addition to the question of the recognition, there is the question of the land. Resolution 181 gives the Palestinians a much vaster territory than what was left to them after the 1948 war...

Therefore, we believe that the purpose in resurrecting Resolution 181 and reviving Resolution 194 is not only to present an answer to the legal vacuum, but also to express the Palestinian wish to adhere to the peace that is forced by the international legitimacy through the UN Resolution."

May 2, 1999, Al-Ayyam

Publicist Hasan Al-Batal writes in his daily column: "The last thing [that can be claimed regarding] the renewed references to the legitimacy of Resolutions 181 and 194 is that they are pure Palestinian "tactic" whose purpose is to push Israel - whether it is the Labor or the Likud - to absolute generosity in paying the one fifth land-tax [i.e. in transferring the land of the West Bank to the PA] in its entirety.

There are two [possible] timings for the 'Zero Hour' for Jewish Israel, whether it remains the 'state of the Jews' or it rises to the level of 'a state of all [its citizens].' One [possible] 'Zero Hour' is a full Israeli withdrawal from the lands of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and the withdrawal of the settlers. The second [possible] 'Zero Hour' is leaving the Jewish settlers in the territories of the State of Palestine, and under its sovereignty, in exchange for international borders compatible with the 1947 Partition Resolution. Thus, the rights of the Palestinian citizens in Israel will be equal to the rights of Israeli Jews in the State of Palestine."

May 1, 1999, Al-Quds

'Abd Al-Jaber Udwan writes: "...After the conclusion of Israel's elections, the Central Council will announce the acceptance of the European proposal and the American presidential promise, and it will define this acceptance within the borders of the international partition of Palestine...this position does not at all contradict Resolution 242 that was included in Clinton's letter - a Resolution that relates to a withdrawal from the lands occupied in 1967 and a just solution to the refugee problem. The meaning of 'just' in this case is adherence to the former UN Resolution on the subject. It is illogical that Israel refuses to negotiate on the framework of the Partition borders of 1947 and would wish to hold negotiations only on the half of the lands [that were occupied in] 1967...

We must remember that the Clinton Administration, throughout the Oslo Process, demanded a solution to the refugee problem within the framework of which Resolution 194 stipulated the refugees' return to their houses and property. We must remember that ambassadors to Israel officially declared last month that the status of Jerusalem is subordinated to the Partition Resolution, thus constituting an international zone, so Israel has no sovereignty over both of its parts. Furthermore, the recognition of the European states in Israel is based on the Partition Resolution, which conditions the final recognition in Israel on the establishment of the State of Palestine in the part that is defined for it in the same Resolution."

April 1999

April 30, 1999, Palestinian Authority Television

Chairman of the Palestinian National Council, Salim Al-Za'anoun stated: "the Palestinian state was already declared in the past on November 15, 1988. This declaration was based on Resolution 181, the Partition Resolution, which determined that the existence of Israel is conditioned by the former existence of the state of Palestine. In other words, they can tear 54% of the land, call it the State of Israel, and recognize it as the State of Israel, but Palestine remains the state the preceded that. It is identical to the historic example of Bangladesh. When Bangladesh received its independence from Pakistan, Pakistan remained the state [that existed] beforehand.

If we base ourselves on Resolution 181, [stuttering] the former state that was under Arab control since the Ottoman Period and since the Ottomans retreated form the Arab countries - our situation is identical to that of Syria, Jordan - an existing state whose sovereignty is full, but a Mandate was executed on it. The purpose of the Mandate is to lead the state to independence and not partition...

Resolution 181 is an international Resolution that Netanyahu and Sharon try to claim is null and void. I think it is stupidity on the part of Israel’s leadership if they claim this Resolution is null and void, after all this was the Resolution that formed the State of Israel, the State of Israel would become null and void. It would mean that for the Jews, it would all come down to the Balfour Declaration and in the Balfour Declaration there is no mention of a [Jewish] state... We, on the other hand, go back to the fact that we were under Mandate and we go back to "Palestine to the Palestinians." Had they done a referendum at that time, the majority after all was Palestinian."

April 29, 1999, Al-Quds

The concluding statement of the "Second Palestinian Geographical Convention" reads: "we demand that the rule of the Palestinian state be consolidated over all of the Palestinian lands, in light of the Resolutions of international legitimacy, and first and foremost Resolution 181, in order to realize the connection of the two parts of the homeland."

April 29, 1999, Al-Ayyam

Dr. Ednan Musalam, in a paper he submitted to the "Second Palestinian Geographical Convention" wrote: "the establishment of a Palestinian state should reflect clearly the 1988 Declaration of Independence... the Palestinian people insisted on adhering to their legitimate rights, including their right for self-determination and the establishment of their independent state in the framework of the 1947 UN Resolution, regarding the partition of Palestine."

April 29, 1999, Palestinian News Agency - WAFA

Upon concluding its discussion of issue of May 4th, 1999, the PLO Central Council published a statement that read: "After listening to the reports of the political leadership, the members of the Central Council discussed in an atmosphere of democracy and responsibility the evidence and all appropriate options under these important circumstances. There was a total consensus that the State of Palestine whose capital is Jerusalem, is an existing reality on the basis of the Palestinian people's natural right to establish its state and on the basis of UN General Assembly 1947 Resolution 181 and the 1988 Declaration of Independence...

Therefore, the Central Council demands that the international community, the UN, and especially the sponsoring countries who signed the agreements act and pressure Israel to fulfill the commitments it took upon itself in the agreements signed between the Israeli government and the PLO. This will lead to the implementation of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and the rest of the Resolutions of international legitimacy.

April 29, 1999, Al-Ayyam

Palestinian Representative to the UN, Naser Al-Qidwa, addressing the PLO Central Committee discussing the issue of May 4th, 1999: "The Palestinian state has been existing for a long time, on the basis of international law and the natural rights of the Palestinian people, both through Resolution 181 and the Declaration of Independence from 1988... After the conclusion of the Interim Period, I will continue operating in the UN in order to implement the UN Resolutions and the international law."

April 28, 1999, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

Lawyer Muhammad Ibrahim Tharaf submitted to the "Second Palestinian Geographical convention" held in Jerusalem a paper entitled "The Palestinian State - The Truth and The Law" in which he determined that "the Palestinian state is not a new thing that people should envisage because it has been existing since the 1947 Partition Resolution. Therefore, the declaration that came afterwards [in 1988] only exposed the state and did not found it.]

April 28, 1999, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

Palestinian Legislative Council Member, Hana 'Ashrawi said: "If the Interim Period is being extended, there must be international guarantees and agreements. The Palestinian state was declared on the basis of Resolution 181."

April 28, 1999, Al-Quds

Head of the Political Committee in the Legislative Council, Ziyad Abu 'Amr said: "Any new declaration of a Palestinian state will require a new definition of its legal base, as was in the first declaration, when the UN General Assembly 1947 Resolution 181 was chosen as the basis for this state."

April 28, 1999, Al-Quds

General Secretariat Member of the "Palestinian People's [Communist] Party, " Mustafa Al-Barghuthi said: "The legal basis for the declaration of a state is in Resolution 181, which provides the international legitimacy for the existence of a Palestinian state, and [also] in the decision of the National Council from 1988."

April 27, 1999, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Al-Ayyam, Al-Quds

The Palestinian Legislative Council, in a statement concluding the discussion over the issue of May 4th 1999: "On the basis of the Resolutions of international legitimacy and first and foremost UN General Assembly Resolutions 181 and 194 and on the basis of the 1988 Declaration of Independence, an independent Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem is the main goal of the Palestinian national struggle..."

April 27, 1999, Al-Hayat A-Jadida

International Law Expert, Dr. Hana Isa stated: "The proof that there will be no legal vacuum after the end of the Interim Phase is the recognition of the UN General Assembly of the establishment of the State of Palestine on December 15, 1988, a recognition that completed the UN General Assembly Resolution 181."

April 25, 1999, Al-Ayyam

Palestinian Legislative Council Member, Jamal Al-Shati: "there is a tangible confusion between the declaration of the state in 1988 and the UN 1947 Resolution 181… The recent statements by Israeli Foreign Minister Sharon that Resolution 181 is null and void due to the [Historical] circumstances... cancel the existence of Israel and its legitimacy in the international organization, because its recognition of Resolution 181 and Resolution 194 formed some sort of birth certificate for it."

April 23, 1999, Al-Ayyam

Palestinian Minister for Planning and International Cooperation, Nabil Sha'ath stated: "In his tour, the President talked about how the right to a Palestinian state is based on the 1947 Resolution 181 and not the decision of the Madrid Conference and the Oslo Accords, especially because it concerns the Final Settlement. Resolution 181 is the Resolution that formed a Jewish state and gave it international legitimacy. It also founded the State of Palestine that was never established. International activity will take place in the framework of the UN Trusteeship Council and the return to the implementation of UN General Assembly Resolutions, including Resolution 181 which was reiterated yearly with American approval in the period 1947-1974, until the PLO was accepted [by the UN] as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian People."

April 23, 1999, Al-Quds

Palestinian Minister for Planning and International Cooperation, Nabil Sha'ath said: "The President’s arguments regarding the right to establish a state in his tours [of the world] are based on the international Resolution 181 for the partition and not only on the Oslo Accord and the Madrid Conference. Resolution 181 is the Resolution that was the basis for the establishment of Israel and the Resolution to which it owed its legitimacy. Alongside Israel, the State of Palestine was founded which has not been established until now. The Resolution causes growing concern in the Israeli foreign ministry and Sharon's statements that Resolution 181is invalid are proof for that.

[Replying to a question by the Al-Quds daily reporter regarding the danger to Palestinian claims to Jerusalem in Resolution 181 that stipulated the internationalization of Jerusalem, Sha'ath said:] We do not wish to undermine the legitimacy of Resolution 181 at the moment because it includes an important issue for us. If it were fulfilled, all the Palestinian lands that Israel occupies beyond the borders of the Partition would be transferred to the UN, including all of Jerusalem - east and west. Then, the UN will operate like it did in Namibia and conduct a referendum among the Palestinian people regarding these lands.

Regarding the independence of Jerusalem, it is vital [first of all] to snatch Jerusalem from the Israeli claws. The issue of how to deal with Jerusalem will be determined ultimately, as part of the position of the Palestinian people and the role of the UN in the negotiations over the Final Settlement. If we conduct negotiations over the Final Settlement with the UN, it would greatly help to reach a solution that is not imposed by the Israeli occupation.

April 23, 1999, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

Palestinian Minister for Planning and International Cooperation, Nabil Sha'ath stated: "Resolution 181 determines the partition of Palestine into two states, Israeli and Palestinian. Israel's existence cannot be legitimate, unless our independent state with Jerusalem as its capital is established. The UN should adopt active measures in order to implement this Resolution..."

April 17, 1999, The Voice of Palestine Radio (BBC)

Palestinian Minister for Planning and International Cooperation, Nabil Sha'ath said: "In the coming days, we must start a campaign that revolves around UN Resolution 181. In our last long tour [of the world], Resolution 181 filled a significant role in the arguments presented by brother President Abu Ammar, in defense of our right to a state.

South Africa expressed its readiness to support us with legal experts who had a role in achieving the independence of Namibia. Like Palestine, Namibia was under Mandate. Therefore, they believe the occupied Palestinian territories must be returned to the UN and the UN, in its turn, would return it to them, as was the case in Namibia. This is an important development that, with Allah's help, would work. This also explains the Israeli fear and this is what causes Sharon to declare something about Resolution 181 every couple of days."

April 14, 1999, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

Chairman of the Palestinian National Council, Salim Al-Za'anoun stated: "UN Resolution 181 regarding the establishment of an independent state whose capital is Jerusalem is not canceled through obsolescence. When we declare the establishment of our state, we will declare that the rest of our lands not under our control, are occupied lands over which the international community should help us consolidate our sovereignty and remove the occupation, so that our state can be established after a 51 year old injustice."

April 9, 1999, www.pna.prg

Chairman of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Ahmad Qurei', Abu 'Ala in a letter to the Speaker of the American Congress, responding to the Congress' decision against American support of a Palestinian UDI: "...the legal vacuum created by the expiring of the interim phase necessitates the injection of a new positive and legitimate reference.

As such, the same Resolution which formed the legal basis for the creation of the state of Israel (UN Resolution 181) is the legal foundation for Palestinian statehood.

When the Palestine National Council issued the Palestinian Declaration of Independence on November 15, 1988, it did so on that basis and thus gained significant international endorsement..."

April 6, 1999, The Federal News Agency (Russia), taken from the BBC, April 8, 1999

Yasser Arafat, in a press conference in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister, Ivanov: "After May 4th, 1999, we have the right to determine our future, to shape our destiny on the basis of international decisions of legal force, first of all, Resolution 181 of the UN General Assembly, in accordance with which Israel was formed, and in accordance with which we have the right to create a state of Palestine."

April 5, 1999, Al-Ayyam

Columnist Ghassan Zaqtan writes in an article entitled "Naser's Memo and Gold's Reply:" "The memo Palestine's representative to the UN, Naser Al-Qidwa, gave to the Secretary General regarding the Partition Resolution as a source of authority for dealing with the Palestinian problem is a milestone, regardless of the Israeli representative, Dore Gold's reply...

It could very well be that I need such an opening in order to complete my comments on the source of authority for Palestinian rights in the new stage of the conflict with the Zionist project in our land. This includes, no doubt, that Palestinian political rhetoric should not base itself on the Oslo Accords, Resolutions 242 or 338, but rather on the Nakbah [the 'Palestinian Catastrophe' of 1948] in its legal and historical meanings, without giving up historic Palestine...

Gold, who came from Netanyahu's office, says: 'the Arab states rejected the Partition Resolution when it was accepted and later on, and therefore, it does not exist anymore.' We say that it does not mean that a certain Arab or African regime... can reject or accept [on our behalf] the Partition Resolution. Without obligating ourselves to anything - we also did not sign a truce with the Hagana and we did not agree to the occupation of Ramleh, Lod, Jaffa… or Tel Aviv! Back then, there was not a legitimate Palestinian [organization] that exists today, half a century later. This is the only institution that has authority from the people to accept or reject the Partition Resolution or any other Resolution…"

April 2, 1999, Al-Quds

The Editorial of the Palestinian daily Al-Quds states that if Israel is unwilling to accept Resolution 181, "the Arab and Palestinian side would be entitled to re-examine its positions regarding the creation of a just and comprehensive peace, and then, Israel would have to bear responsibility."

April 1, 1999, Al-Masar

An editorial of the PFLP organ, Al-Masar, entitled "The Resurrection of Resolution 181 and The Israeli Rage," reads: "Concern increases among ruling Israeli circles because of the recent signs from international organizations regarding the 1947 UN General Assembly Resolution 181, known as the Partition Resolution.

The famous European message regarding Jerusalem, and the meetings with senior Palestinians in the city is a clear sign of the European adherence to the content of Resolution 181, regarding the special status of Jerusalem [as being] outside the framework of two states that were supposed to be established on the historic land of Palestine, or in an international formula that would enable Jerusalem to be open to everybody...

There is no doubt that circles in the Netanyahu government and especially Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon began to sense that the issue of Resolution 181 and its repeated references recently in UN documents and other international circles constitutes a weapon...

Obviously, we are not facing the implementation of the Partition Resolution 181. The local and international balances of power do not allow for it. But it is important to constantly doubt the Israeli version of history and the international legitimacy and to continue resisting the Israeli contempt for the versions of the entire world and not only the Palestinian version. Therefore, we view favorably the resurrection of Resolution 181.

It is true that the Arabs and Palestinians rejected this Resolution in 1947 and that [is] what a person, whose hands are soiled with blood, relies upon when he says this Resolution is null and void. But the strange thing about this position is that it is nonsensical. Suppose the Palestinians changed their minds - this should be considered a positive development by those who supported it in the past. The real intentions guiding Israel, however, are different than those declared and they are very well known.

In general, Resolution 181 is the source of authority for the Declaration of Independence of 1988. This is an efficient source of authority and an important weapon in the continuation of building the road for an independent Palestinian state..."

[This article reappeared in Al-Quds, May 5, 1999 under the title "Palestine of Resolution 181: Re-Marketing that Worries Israel" and its author is 'Ali Badwan]

March 1999

March 29, 1999, Mideast Mirror: PALESTINE; vol. 13, No 60

Head of the PLO Political Bureau, Farouq Al-Qaddoumi: "If the UN recognizes the Palestinian government, in keeping with the Partition Resolution 181 adopted by the General Assembly in 1947, this would mark a new phase in which Israel would be politically besieged while we avoided putting off a declaration of statehood..."

March 25, 1999, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

Yasser Arafat answering journalists' questions following a meeting with UN Secretary General, Kofi Anan: "[Secretary General Kofi Anan] supports all UN Resolutions including Resolutions 181 and 194."

March 25, 1999, UN official Correspondence

Palestinian Representative to the UN, Naser Al-Qidwa in a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Anan: "For the Palestinian side, and since the strategic Resolution to forge a peace on the basis of coexistence, Resolution 181 (II) has become acceptable... We believe that Israel must still explain to the international community the measures it took illegally to expand its laws and regulations to the territory it occupied in the war of 1948, beyond the territory allocated to the Jewish State in Resolution 181 (II)...

According to the Resolution, Jerusalem should become a Corpus Separatum, which the Palestinian side is willing to take into consideration and reconcile with the Palestinian position that East Jerusalem is part of the Palestinian territory and the capital of the Palestinian state..."

January 1999

January 25, 1999, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

Fatah Central Committee Member, Sakhr Habash speaking on Arafat's behalf: "It is impossible to extend the Interim Period, because that will serve as a prize for Netanyahu. The right to declare a state was acknowledged 51 years ago by the UN in Resolution 181. There is a lot of injustice in the current agreements. The land will not be liberated by these agreements, because every inch requires a battle and the land requires blood..."

January 25, 1999, Al-Quds

Fatah Central Committee Member, Muhammad Ghnayim Abu Maher, who is in charge of Recruiting and Organizing in the Movement in an interview with the London-based Saudi newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: "The Palestinian State, with its people and land, exists and it is based on the Resolutions of international legitimacy and first and foremost Resolution 181."

January 22, 1999, Al-Ayyam

Journalist Eliyas Al-Zananiri in an article entitled "The 47 Partition, 65 Revolution, and 2000 State!" "The minimum the states of the world can do in case of a postponement [of the Palestinian UDI] is to fully recognize the independent Palestinian state - not in the borders of the liberated territories where the PA is today and will be tomorrow, but rather in the framework of the borders of international consensus that was reflected in the 1947 UN Resolution 181, where the international organization decided to divide Palestine onto two states: Arab and Jewish."

January 18, 1999, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

The Fatah bi-Weekly 'Our Position' reads: "the declaration of the consolidation of the state, its importance and the importance of its timing, forces themselves on May 1999 and before the middle of this month. This important date, May 15, is the date the independent Palestinian state should have been established, according to UN Resolution 181. This timing symbolically forces itself on our people, since it is the appropriate date to, even if just relatively, amend history..."

January 15, 1999, Al-Masar

Member of the Political Bureau of the PFLP, Jamil Al-Majdalawi stated: "We demand that all Resolutions of international legitimacy be implemented, and first and foremost, Resolution 181 and Resolution 194. We do not transgress the [Resolutions of] the international legitimacy, the group that made the Oslo [Accord] was the one who did."

December 1998

December 31, 1998, Al-Quds

Jabr Othman writes, in an article entitled "The Rejection of Resolution 181 Was Not a Mistake:" "There is no justification for the self criticism and flogging due to the Arab and Palestinian rejection of the famous international 1947 Resolution 181, which related to the partition of Palestine between the Arabs and the Jews for the following reasons:

1. The Resolution was completely unfair, because it gives the Jewish minority, whose numbers at the time was less than half of the Arab Palestinian people, 14,400 square kilometers, or in other words, more than 56% of the general area of mandatory Palestine. This, regardless of the fact that the Palestinian lands that had been under Jewish ownership a year before the Partition Resolution were estimated as less than 6% of the general area of the country. At the same time, the Arab state received 12,200 square kilometers, i.e. 43% of the general area. Furthermore, the lands that were allocated for the Jewish state were the finest of the Palestinian lands, especially at the coastal area and Valley Ibn 'Amer [the Jezreel Valley].

2. The Internationalization of Jerusalem ignores what this city, where the first Qibla [direction of prayer] and the third Haram [i.e. the Al-Aqsa Mosque], symbolizes. It ignores its national-religious status for the Palestinian people. The internationalization creates equality between the religious status of the city for Muslims, Christians, and Jews, although there are no Jewish sites in the city that may be compared with the many Muslim and Christian sites in the holy city, which includes, according to the Partition plan, Bethlehem.

3. By guarantying the political, economic, and religious rights of the Arabs, the Resolution hints that they are citizens of the second degree, or a national minority that has some rights to the land it lives on. This totally contradicts history, geography, demography, and even most common sense which determines that the land of Palestine in its entirety is a right of all the Palestinian people, with all their communities that lived before the Resolution.

4. The Resolution contradicts the UN Charter that calls for the protection of demographic and geographic unity and integrity of the lands of each and every state in the world.

5. The date that was set for the birth of the two states, May 15, 1948, was not suitable for the establishment of an Arab state, which lacked all the economic, health, educational, and military infrastructure. The Jewish state, on the other hand, enjoyed all the basic necessary characteristics, for very well known reasons directly related to the external support of the Jews. Therefore, the establishment of an Arab state became a very difficult task, in comparison with the Jewish state that enjoyed all the support.

6. The Resolution was only acceptable for the other side [i.e. Israel] in the sense that it presented a means for the accomplishment of a goal which the UN had not intended, and in order to take control over an area as large as the land of Palestine. The proof for that is that the Jews did not stop at the borders that had been drawn for their state and they penetrated the lands of the Arab state and to Arab frontier lands, while violating the cease-fire agreements, that were respected by the Arab side. Thus, the area of the their state reached more than 77% of the total area of Palestine, after it had been less than 57%. The Arab state became 33% after it had been 42%.

7. The Partition Resolution was passed via intrigues because the voting should have taken place on November 26, 1947. But since the US knew that there was no chance of passing it on that date, it encouraged the Brazilian representative who was the acting president of the UNGA at that time, to postpone the voting to November 28, 1947. Thus, the majority for the passage of the vote was secured through means of terror and seduction.

Therefore, I conclude that the regret for not accepting Resolution 181 does not serve the national interests of the Arab Palestinian people. It serves the Hebrew state more in both the short and long term. This obligates us to focus on proving that we were the victims of a terrible unjust American and international mistake.

The US and the world must act to make peace in the area on the basis of the fulfillment of the Palestinian people's right to an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital and its Right of Return. It is better to believe than to take responsibility for a mistake we did not make."

December 21, 1998, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

Chairman of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Ahmad Qurei', also known as 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."

"...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."

"...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]."

December 18, 1998, Al-Ayyam

A group of legal and humanitarian Palestinian institutions "demanded that the international community respect the international Resolutions and norms and pressure Israel in order to force it to implement UN and Security Council Resolutions, especially Resolutions 181 and 194."

December 15, 1998, Al-Sha'ab

Member of the Chamber for National Institutions in the PA, Lawyer Hussein Shabata stated: "The Partition Resolution gave the Palestinian people the right to establish its state on 44% of the area of Palestine which is estimated as 27 thousand square kilometers. Finally, five years after the peace process began, Israel controls over 90% of the Palestinian lands."

December 15, 1998, Palestinian Authority Television

Head of the Publications Department at the PA Information Ministry, Historian Salim Al-Mubayyid stated: "Today, we must push Resolution 181. This Resolution stipulated that a Jewish state would not be established on Palestinian soil unless there was a Palestinian state. Today we fight over parts of this state and our arrogant enemy steals the land daily. Nevertheless, it should be known that Resolution 181 clearly stipulated that the condition for the establishment of it [the State of Israel] is the establishment of a Palestinian state that received 47%-48% [of the land in Resolution 181]. This by itself is an injustice, if I may say so, because we were also the owners of part [of the Jewish state]... I wish they implemented Resolution 181 using Article 7 [of the UN Charter that allows the use of force]"

December 15, 1998, Al-Ayyam

Chairman of the Palestinian National Council, Salim Al-Za'anun in the opening speech of the "popular convention" for the amendment of clauses in the Palestinian Covenant, with President Clinton in attendance: "The international community refrained from implementing the 1947 Partition Resolution, which allows our people, at least, the right to have their independent state..."

December 14, 1998, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

A petition directed to President Clinton that was signed by hundreds of senior PA officials reads: "...the national struggle has never stopped, passing from one generation to the next, especially after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and depriving the Palestinian people of building their independent state, according to the International Partition Resolution 181..."

December 12, 1998, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

Palestinian Legislative Council member, Nahed Munir Al-Rayyis, in a public letter to President Clinton: "the principle of Palestinian sovereignty is still deemed impossible in the minds of the occupiers. The legal status of the Palestinian Authority remains vague in your eyes, even though Resolution 181 of 1947 recognized the Palestinian right to establish a state on 44.88% of the Historic Palestine, which includes territory of today's Israel."

December 10, 1998, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

A communiqué published by the PLO factions stated: "On May 4, 1999, with the conclusion of the Interim Period, there should be a declaration of the consolidation of national sovereignty over the liberated lands, based on the declaration of Independence by the National Council in 1988 and the international Resolution 181."

December 2, 1998, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

Deputy Head of the National Guidance Directorate in the Palestinian Authority, Mazen 'Izz Al-Din stated: "It is important to implement the Partition Resolution that included two states, one Palestinian and the other Jewish. Part of this Resolution was implemented with the establishment of the state of Israel; the other part of the Resolution, which establishes a Palestinian state - was not implemented."

December 1, 1998, Al-Quds

Dr. 'Ali Hamed Abu Samra in an article entitled "a View on the Final Settlement:" "The Madrid conference opened on the basis of Resolution 242 and according to its spirit. [This Resolution] calls for an Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian lands occupied by Israel in 1967. According to this Resolution, Jerusalem is an indivisible part of these lands and whatever applies to the occupied territories concerns Jerusalem as well. However, after the completion of the withdrawals and the conclusion of the Israeli re-deployment, then we get to the essential issues at the heart of the conflict: Jerusalem, the refugees, water, and the borders.

We return to the international Partition Resolution of 1947 and find out that one of the clauses stipulated that two states should be established, one Palestinian and the other Jewish. The second state, Israel, was established and it swallowed vast parts of the borders of the Arab Palestinian state. It devoured [these lands] while the international community did not bat an eyelid. In 1967 it devoured what was left of the Palestinian land...

The Palestinian people have rights that were internationally acknowledged, including the right to [establish] a state according to the Partition Resolution...

This is the serious stage that requires intensive diplomacy on all directions and levels, in order to harden the national-Palestinian and Arab positions. This is the stage of penetration to the international [lines] and the creation of international balance that will pressure Israel and make it obey the will of the international community and operate again in a humane way within recognized borders..."

December 1, 1998, Al-Awda

Ahmad Abd Al-Haq writes: "On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly accepted its famous Resolution 181 which determined the partition of Palestine into two states, one Arab and the other Jewish. The Resolution conditioned the establishment of each one of the states with the establishment of the other and it also raised suggestions regarding economic ties between them. While the Zionist movement accepted this Resolution with reservations, the Arab side rejected it completely, hoping for better achievements. Thus, the legal basis was created, especially in the international apparatus, for the establishment and recognition of the state of Israel...

For an important Palestinian political faction the Partition Resolution 181 constitutes one of the foundations for the negotiations, because it affirms the principle of the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state. The Resolution itself leaves Jerusalem united but, similar to all other international Resolutions, it rejects the principle of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. Furthermore, Resolution 194 which relates to the Right of Return is based... on the Partition Resolution."

November 1998

November 30, 1998, Al-Quds

Spokesman for the PA Minister of Information published a statement on the 51st anniversary of the Partition Resolution in which he determined that "the UN General Assembly Resolution 181... despite the great injustice to the historical rights of the Palestinian people, has proved the right of the Palestinian people to establish a state on its land. [Resolution 181] also serves as the international and legal support for the establishment of its independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Although the circumstances [that emerged] from the Zionist onslaught on Palestine prevented the actual realization of this right, and although the Israeli governments continued to renounce this right - the circumstances created by the peace process and the brave struggle of the Palestinian people throughout the past half century prepared for the fulfillment of this Resolution, [just as it was fulfilled] with the establishment of the Hebrew state..."

November 29, 1998, Al-Quds

An Editorial of the Palestinian daily Al-Quds entitled."51 Years for the Partition Resolution" reads: "51 years after [the vote over] the Partition Resolution, there is renewed interest in the basic problem this Resolution attempted to solve: the problem of the national rights of the Palestinian people. This Resolution, despite the Arabs' reservations from it at that time, constitutes a legitimate document that won the affirmation of the international community and that awards the Palestinian people the full right to establish an independent state with all the characteristics of sovereignty.

Today, more than half a century since the Resolution to divide Palestine, the legitimacy this Resolution presents for the establishment of an independent state, next to the Jewish state, still exists. Although Palestinians expressed reservations for this Resolution, these

reservations did not relate to the principle of the partition, but rather to the geographical quota for each of the states and the bias towards the Jewish state which received most of Palestine's coastline, while the Arabs got hilly and desert areas. This contradicted reason and justice.

Although the Jews declared that they accepted the partition, while the Arabs expressed reservations about it - the Jewish side did not limit itself to the area that was allocated for it and it acted to expand this area to the north, by occupying certain areas in the Galilee. And to the south, by occupying the Negev and the port of Um Al-Rashrash/Eilat. The first Arab-Israeli war in 1948 presented an additional opportunity for Israel to expand at the expense of the quota allocated for the Arab Palestinian state, that never saw daylight, as a result of that war and because of the futile role the Arab armies played in it.

The anniversary for the Partition Resolution presents an opportunity to reexamine the Arab Palestinian process before and after the acceptance of the Partition Resolution. While the Palestinian people adhere to their national axioms and to the sovereign rights that are supported by the Partition Resolution, the way to achieving these axioms and rights has tended, since the late 80's and maybe even before that, toward crystallizing Arab and international support and enhancing the political struggle for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. The Partition Resolution was the historic 'green-light' for the establishment of this state and the deepening of its foundations, whatever the difficulties and obstacles may be."

November 22, 1998, Al-Quds

Political commentator Jihad Timraz: "the Palestinian state will be established with Resolution 181 as a source of authority, on borders less than the partition borders."

November 19, 1998, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

Yasser Arafat, in a speech read on his behalf by the Palestinian Ambassador to Australia, 'Ali Al-Qazq, on the Australian Day of Independence at the parliament of New South Wales: "...On November 15, 1988, our people, through their representatives and through the popular Intifada, [expressed] their wish to establish an independent Palestinian state next to Israel, in the spirit of the UN Resolution 181, which decrees the partition of mandatory Palestine into two states: a Palestinian state and a Jewish state. [President of New South Wales, Bob Car, and the President of the New South Wales Senate, Virginia Shadwick, expressed their "support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state as was decided by the international community via the UN Resolution 181 for the partition of Palestine in 1947."]

November 19, 1998, Al-Quds

PLO Executive Committee member, Zakariya Al-Agha, speaking on behalf of Arafat: "The declaration of independence is a just and legitimate national right that is based on the international legitimacy, especially Resolution 181, that determined for the Palestinian people the establishment of their independent state with full sovereignty. This is the Resolution that Israel relied upon in its establishment."

November 18, 1998, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

PLO Executive Committee member, Zakariya Al-Agha, speaking on behalf of Arafat: "We will declare the consolidation of our sovereignty on our liberated land and the establishment of our independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, at the end of the Interim Period, based on the Resolution of international legitimacy, especially Resolution 181. The existence of Israel will remain illegitimate until the declaration of a Palestinian state on our land that was occupied in 1967."

November 17, 1998, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

The Fatah bi-weekly, 'Our Position:' "We emphasize that the Palestinian state is on the land that was affirmed by the international legitimacy in the General Assembly and Security Council in Resolutions 181, 242, and 338."

November 17, 1998, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

Member of the PLO Executive Committee and the Political Bureau of the DFLP, Taysir Khaled stated: "The declaration of independence resulted from the international Security Council Resolution 181, which emphasized our people's right to establish a state."

November 14, 1998, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

Member of the Political Bureau of the PFLP, Jamil Al-Majdalawi stated: "Resolution 181, which was taken by the UN, constitutes the first official reference of international recognition of the state of Israel. [This recognition] was conditioned on the establishment of a Palestinian state."

November 13, 1998, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

PLO Executive Committee Member, Zakariya Al-Agha: "The Declaration of [Palestinian] sovereignty over the lands of 1967 will receive international response, despite [our] demand to declare [sovereignty] over the lands of 1947..."

May 1998

May 14, 1998, Palestinian Authority Television

Palestinian Authority Television broadcaster on a special program marking the 50th anniversary for the Palestinian Nakbah: "...You [the Israelis] claim that the Palestinian people are responsible for the failure of [the implementation] of the Partition Resolution. Don't say that. You are the ones who violated the Partition Resolution. You are the ones who crossed the Partition borders in the war of 1948. Who are the ones who rejected the Partition Resolution? You are! You are responsible for all that has happen, for the rivers of blood, for the pyramids of dead people, for the mighty convoys of wounded, casualties, deaths, and victims. You are responsible...

You rejected and violated the Partition Resolution with the treads of your tanks and with your cruel arrogance. You did not accept the Partition Resolution, even though this Resolution had given you part of our land, had given you land that does not belong to you. You violated the Partition Resolution, occupied our land, and expelled our people..."