State of Palestine

State of Palestine
State of Palestine[1][i]
دولة فلسطين
Dawlat Filasṭin
Flag Coat of arms
Anthem: Biladi adopted 1996 – Mawtiny was adopted from 1936 till 1995
Capital Jerusalem (proclaimed)[ii][2][3]
Ramallah and Gaza (administrative)
Largest city Gaza 1
Official language(s) Arabic
Government Parliamentary democracy [1]
 -  President;
Chairman of Executive Committee
Mahmoud Abbas
Disputed with Israel 
 -  Declared 15 November 1988 
 -  Effective Territory claimed still under Israeli occupation[iii] 
 -  Total Palestine: 1 6,020 km2 
West Bank: 5,660 km2,
Gaza Strip: 360 km2
Total: 1 2,230 sq mi 
 -  2010 (July) estimate 1 4,260,636 (124th)
GDP (PPP) 1 2008 estimate
 -  Total 1 $11.95 billion ()
 -  Per capita 1 $2,900 ()
HDI (2007) 1 decrease 0.731 (medium) (106th)
Currency 1
Jordanian dinar
Egyptian Pound
Israeli shekel (JOD, EGP, ILS)
Time zone   (UTC+2)
 -  Summer (DST)   (UTC+3)
Internet TLD .ps
Calling code +9702
1 Population and economy statistics and rankings are based on the Palestinian territories
2 +972 is used as well.

Palestine[i] (Arabic: فلسطينFilasṭīn/Falasṭīn/Filisṭīn), officially declared as the State of Palestine (Arabic: دولة فلسطين‎, Dawlat Filasṭin),[1][2][3] is a state that was proclaimed in exile in Algiers on 15 November 1988, when the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) National Council (PNC) adopted the unilateral Palestinian Declaration of Independence. At the time of the 1988 declaration, the PLO did not exercise control over any territory,[4] and its claimed territory remains under Israeli occupation.[5] It claims the Palestinian territories[1] and has designated Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.[ii][2][3]

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."[6] The PLO has had observer status at the United Nations as a "non-state entity" since 22 November 1974,[7][8] which entitles it to speak in the UN General Assembly but not to vote. After the Declaration of Independence, the UN General Assembly officially "acknowledged" the proclamation and voted to use the designation "Palestine" instead of "Palestine Liberation Organization" when referring to the Palestinian permanent observer.[9][10][11] In spite of this decision, the PLO does not participate at the UN in its capacity of the State of Palestine's government.[12] Since 1998, the PLO is arranged for seating in the UN General Assembly immediately after non-member states, and before all other observers.[13][14]

In 1993, in the Oslo Accords, Israel acknowledged the PLO negotiating team as "representing the Palestinian people", in return for the PLO recognizing Israel's right to exist in peace, acceptance of UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, and its rejection of "violence and terrorism".[15] While Israel occupies the Palestinian territories,[iii] as a result of the Oslo Accords the PLO established an interim administrative body: the Palestinian National Authority (PNA or PA), that exercises some governmental functions in parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.[16]

As of September 2011, 127 (65.8%) of the 193 member states of the United Nations have recognised the State of Palestine. Many of the countries that do not recognise the State of Palestine nevertheless recognise the PLO as the "representative of the Palestinian people". In addition the PLO's executive committee is empowered by the PNC to perform the functions of government of the State of Palestine.[17]



In 1946, Transjordan 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 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 over the Gaza Strip and Transjordan gained control over the West Bank. Egypt initially supported the creation of an All-Palestine Government, but disbanded it in 1959. Transjordan never recognised it and instead decided to incorporate the West Bank with its own territory to form Jordan. The annexation was ratified in 1950. The Six-Day War in 1967, when Egypt, Jordan and Syria 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.[18][19]

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 after Black September 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, the PLO moved to Tunisia.

In 1979, through the Camp David Accords 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 settlements there.[20] These were organised into Judea and Samaria district (West Bank) and Hof Aza Regional Council (Gaza Strip) in the Southern District. Administration of the Arab population of these territories was performed by the Israeli Civil Administration of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories and by local municipal councils 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.[21] 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[which?] 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.[iii] Following the inter-Palestinian conflict in 2006, Hamas took over control of the Gaza Strip (it already had majority in the PLC), and Fatah took control of the West Bank (and the rest of the PNA institutions[citation needed]). Currently the Gaza Strip is governed by Hamas, and the West Bank by Fatah.


Since the British Mandate, the term "Palestine" has been associated with the geographical area that currently covers the State of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,[22] though the British Mandate also covered present day Jordan.

The McMahon–Hussein Correspondence (1915–1916)

Administrative units in the Near East under the Ottoman Empire, until c. 1918.

In the early years of World War I, negotiations took place between the British High Commissioner in Egypt Henry McMahon and Sharif of Mecca Husayn bin Ali 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, 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. 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.[23]

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 at the end of the war that "Damascus" meant the city of Damascus – which left Palestine in their hands.[24] 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)

Map showing boundaries of the proposed Jewish state, as outlined by the Zionist representatives at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, superimposed on modern boundaries

Despite Arab objections based in part on the Arab interpretation of the McMahon correspondence noted above, Britain was given the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. The Mandate was administered as two territories: Palestine and Transjordan,[25] 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.[26] An annex to the League Pact declared:[27]

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 reconstituted the Arab Higher Committee comprising twelve members[28] 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 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.[29]

Partition of Palestine (1948)

Map comparing the borders of the 1947 partition plan and the armistice of 1949.
Borders defined in the UN partition plan of 1947:
  Area assigned to a Jewish state;
    Area assigned to an Arab state;
    Corpus separatum of Jerusalem (neither Jewish nor Arab).

Borders under the armistice of 1949:
    Arab territory from 1949 to 1967;
      Israel in the 1949 armistice lines.

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.[30] 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.[31] 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 (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.[32]

In 1947, the United Nations proposed the partition of Mandate Palestine into an Arab state, a Jewish state, 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. 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 into two states, one Jewish and one Arab, 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.[33] 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 (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.[34][35][36] 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. 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.[37]

Arab–Israeli War (1948)

During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Jordan occupied the area of Cisjordan, now called the West Bank, which it continued to control in accordance with the 1949 Armistice Agreements 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.[38]

After the war, which Palestinians call the Catastrophe, the 1949 Armistice Agreements 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".[39][40]

The Second Arab-Palestinian Congress [41] was held in Jericho on 1 December 1948 at the end of the war. The delegates proclaimed Abdullah King of Palestine and called for a union of Arab Palestine with the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan.[42] 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.[43]

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.[44] 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".[38][39]

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.[45][46] 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.[47] 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.[48] Joseph Weiler agreed, and said that other states had engaged in activities, statements, and resolutions that would be inconsistent with non-recognition.[49] 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.[50] 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."[51]

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.[52] 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.[53] 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."[54]

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.[55] 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.[56]

Egypt supervised an independent government of Palestine in Gaza as a trustee on behalf of the Arab League.[57] 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 issued a Declaration of the Independent State of Palestine on 1 October 1948.[58] 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.[38]

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.[59] 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 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.[60]

In 1950, the UN Economic Survey Mission for the Middle East, headed by Gordon R. Clapp, recommended four development projects, involving the Wadi Zerqa basin in Jordan, the Wadi Qelt watershed and stream bed in Arab Palestine, the Litani River in Lebanon, and the Ghab valley in Syria.[61] U.S. President Harry Truman 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.[62]

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.[62]

The Six-Day War (1967)

Between 5 June and 10 June 1967, a war – known as the Six-Day War – was fought, in which Israel effectively seized control of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem 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.[63] U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk 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.[64]

On 3 November 1967, U.S. Ambassador Goldberg 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.[65]

The U.S. President's Special Assistant, Walt Rostow, told Israeli ambassador Harmon 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.[66]

Rift between Jordan and Palestinian leadership (1970)

After the events of Black September in Jordan, 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.[67]

Rise of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (1974)

At the Rabat summit conference in 1974, Jordan and the other members of the Arab League 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 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."[68]

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.[69] 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.[70]

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 at some point.[71] This plan, however, was not carried out.

The Palestinian Declaration of Independence was approved by the Palestinian National Council (PNC) in Algiers on 15 November 1988, by a vote of 253 in favour, 46 against and 10 abstentions. It was read by Yasser Arafat at the closing session of the 19th PNC to a standing ovation.[17] Upon completing the reading of the declaration, Arafat, as Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization assumed the title of "President of Palestine".[72]

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 (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".[73][74] 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. This call was later termed "the Historic Compromise",[75] as it implied acceptance of the "two-state solution", namely that it no longer questioned the legitimacy of the State of Israel.[74] The PNC's political communiqué accompanying the declaration called only for withdrawal from "Arab Jerusalem" and the other "Arab territories occupied."[76] Arafat's statements in Geneva a month later[77][78] 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.[79][80]

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." One hundred and four states voted for this resolution, forty-four abstained, and two – the United States and Israel – voted against.[81] By mid-December, seventy-five states had recognized Palestine, rising to eighty-nine states by February 1989.[82]

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.[17]

Palestinian Authority (1994)

Under the terms of the Oslo Accords signed between Israel and the PLO, the latter assumed control over the Jericho 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, Israeli military forces withdrew from the West Bank towns of Nablus, Ramallah, Jericho, Jenin, Tulkarem, Qalqilya and Bethlehem. In December 1995, the PLO also assumed responsibility for civil administration in 17 areas in Hebron.[83] 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 (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.[84]

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.[85] 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.[86]

The West Bank and Gaza Strip continue to be considered by the international community 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, and Israel's withdrawal from Gaza as part of the Israel's unilateral disengagement plan of 2005, which saw the dismantlement of four Israeli settlements in the West Bank and all settlements in the Gaza Strip.[87]

International recognition and foreign relations

International recognition of the State of Palestine

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[88] 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.[89][90][91][92] 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.[93]

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 as its capital from the UN General Assembly in September 2011.[94] 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 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."[95] On 28 June, the U.S. Senate passed S.Res. 185 calling on U.S. President Barack Obama to veto the motion and threatening a withdrawal of aid to the West Bank if the Palestinians followed through on their plans.[96] 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.[97]

Mahmoud Abbas 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 for Palestinian refugees. Israel labelled the plan as a unilateral step,[98] 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."[98]

The Arab League formally backed the plan in May,[97] and was officially confirmed by the PLO on 26 June.[99]

On 11 July, the Quartet on the Middle East met to discuss a return to negotiations, but the meeting produced no result. On 13 July, in an interview with Haaretz, Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour claimed that 122 states had so far extended formal recognition to the Palestinian state.[100] 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."[97] 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.[101] On 18 July, Syria announced that it had formally recognised the State of Palestine, the last Arab state to do so.[102] The decision was welcomed by the league,[102] but met with criticism from some, including former Lebanese prime minister Selim al-Hoss: "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".[103]

UNESCO membership voting results:   In favour   Against   Abstentions   Absent   non-members / ineligible to vote

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.[104][105] The UN Security Council began deliberations on the matter on 26 September.

On 31 October 2011, the General Council of UNESCO voted in favour of admitting Palestine as a member state. However, for this membership to take effect, the state's governing authority must add its signature to the Charter of UNESCO.[106]

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 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."[107]

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.[108]

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.[109][110] Historian and journalist, Gershom Gorenberg, 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 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.[111]

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.[112] 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."[113] 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."[114]

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 usufructuary of it."[114]

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.[115]

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.[116] 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, the official journal of the US government.[117] The USAID West Bank/Gaza,[118] 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",[119] 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.[120]

The view of the European states, which did not extend full recognition was expressed by French President François Mitterrand 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."[81] But, after the PLO recognized the state of Israel, Mitterrand welcomed the PLO leader, Yasser Arafat, in Paris, in May 1989.[121]

Decisions of international and national tribunals

The U.S. State Department Digest of International Law says that the terms of the Treaty of Lausanne provided for the application of the principles of state succession to the "A" Mandates. The Treaty of Versailles (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 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. 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 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.[25]

State succession

A legal analysis by the International Court of Justice noted that the Covenant of the League of Nations 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.[122] Judge Higgins explained that the Palestinian people are entitled to their territory, to exercise self-determination, and to have their own State."[123] 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.[124]

Article 62 (LXII) of the Treaty of Berlin, 13 July 1878[125] dealt with religious freedom and civil and political rights in all parts of the Ottoman Empire.[126] 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.[127] 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.[128]

Article 28 of the Mandate required that those rights be safeguarded in perpetuity, under international guarantee.[122] The General Assembly's Plan for the Future Government of Palestine placed those rights under UN protection as part of a minority protection plan.[129] 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.[130] 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).[131]

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.[132] He advised the Zionist Executive that the provisional states had come into existence as a result of the resolution of 29 November 1947.[133]

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."[134]

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."[135] Referring to the four criteria of statehood, as outlined in the 1933 Montevideo Convention – 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.[135]

Conversely John V. Whitbeck, 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, 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."[136]

For John Quigley, 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 after World War I, he recalls that the Palestine Mandate (1918–1948), an arrangement made under Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, held as its "ultimate objective", the "self-determination and independence of the people concerned." He says that in explicitly referring to the Covenant, the 1988 declaration was reaffirming an existing Palestinian statehood.[137] Noting that Palestine under the Mandate entered into bilateral treaties, including one with Great Britain, the Mandatory power, he cites this as an example of its "sovereignty" at that time. He also notes the corollary of the Stimson Doctrine 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".[81]

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."[138] 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.[139] 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.[140][141]

Disputes have arisen as a result of the Conflict of laws between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Judgments originating in Israeli Courts are not directly enforceable in the Courts of the Palestinian Authority.[142] The District Court of Israel ruled that the Palestinian Authority satisfied the criteria to be legally treated as a sovereign state[143] The ruling was appealed to the Supreme Court of Israel 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.[144] 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.[145]

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."[146] 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.[147] 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.[148]

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 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.[149] 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."[150] 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.[151]

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.[152]

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."[153]

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.[154]

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."[155]

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.[156]

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."[157][158] It echoed similar assessments published the week prior by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.[158]


The State of Palestine consists of the following institutions:

  • President of the State of Palestine[159] – appointed by the Palestinian Central Council[160]
  • Palestinian National Council – the legislature that established the State of Palestine[1]
  • Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization – performs the functions of a government in exile,[161][162] 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, Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and PNA Cabinet.

The State of Palestine's founding document is the Palestinian Declaration of Independence,[1] and it should be distinguished from the unrelated PLO Palestinian National Covenant and PNA Palestine Basic Law.


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%).[163]

According to Guardian (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.[164]

According to the U.S. Census population growth mid 1990-2008 in Gaza and West Bank was 106 % from 1.9 million (1990) to 3.9 million persons.[165]

According to UN (2010) Palestinian population is 4.4 million.[166] According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) population density in 2009 was 654 capita/km2, of which 433 capita/km2 in the West Bank including Jerusalem and 4,073 capita/km2 in Gaza Strip.[167] In the mid 2009 the share of population less than 15 years was 41.9 % and above 65 years 3 %.[167]

Population (mid year)[168][169][170]
Year West Bank Gaza 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
Region Population
West Bank 2,568,555[171]
East Jerusalem 192,800[172]
Gaza Strip 1,657,155[173]
Name Population
Area (km2) Density[175]
West Bank 2,369,700 5,671 417.86
Gaza Strip 1,416,539 360 3934.83
Total 3,786,239 6,031 627.80


Arabic is the official language within the Palestinian Authority. Hebrew and English are widely spoken.


See also


i.   ^ Note that the name Palestine can commonly be interpreted as the entire territory of the former British Mandate, which today also incorporates Israel. The history was expressed by Mahmoud Abbas in his September 2011 speech to the United Nations: "... we agreed to establish the State of Palestine on only 22% of the territory of historical Palestine - on all the Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel in 1967."[176] The name is also officially used as the short-form reference to the State of Palestine[3] and this should be distinguished from other homonymous uses for the term including the Palestinian Authority,[2] the Palestine Liberation Organization,[9] and the subject of other proposals for the establishment of a Palestinian state.
ii.   ^ The Palestinian Declaration of Independence proclaims the "establishment of the State of Palestine on our Palestinian territory with its capital Jerusalem (Al-Quds Ash-Sharif)."[1] The same decision was taken also by the PLC in May 2002 when it approved the PNA Basic Law, which states unambiguously "Jerusalem is the Capital of Palestine".[177] Ramallah is the administrative capital where government institutions and foreign representative offices are located. Jerusalem's final status awaits future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (see "Negotiating Jerusalem", University of Maryland). The United Nations and most countries do not accept Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem through the Jerusalem Law of 1980 (see Kellerman 1993, p. 140) and maintain their embassies to Israel in Tel Aviv (see the The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency).
iii.   ^ Israel allows the PNA to execute some functions in the Palestinian territories, depending on the area classification. It maintains minimal interference (retaining control of borders: air,[178] sea beyond internal waters,[178][179] land[180]) in the Gaza Strip, and varying degrees of interference elsewhere.[19][181][182][183][184] See also Israeli-occupied territories.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Palestinian Declaration of Independence (1988).
  2. ^ a b c d Baroud, Ramzy (2004). Kogan Page. ed. Middle East Review (27th ed.). London: Kogan Page. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-749-44066-4. 
  3. ^ a b c d Bissio, Robert Remo, ed (1995). The World: A Third World Guide 1995–96. Montevideo: Instituto del Tercer Mundo. p. 443. ISBN 978-0-855-98291-1. 
  4. ^ Bercovitch and Zartman, 2008, p. 43 (via Google Books).
  5. ^ Staff (20 February 2008). "Palestinians 'May Declare State'". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-09-27. "But another negotiator and senior official, Saeb Erekat, disagreed arguing that the Palestine Liberation Organisation had already declared independence in 1988. 'Now we need real independence, not a declaration. We need real independence by ending the occupation. We are not Kosovo. We are under Israeli occupation and for independence we need to acquire independence', Mr Erekat said." 
  6. ^ al Madfai, Madiha Rashid (1993). Jordan, the United States and the Middle East Peace Process, 1974–1991. Cambridge Middle East Library. 28. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-521-41523-1. 
  7. ^ UN General Assembly (22 November 1974). "UN General Assembly Resolution 3237". UN General Assembly (via The Jerusalem Fund). Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  8. ^ Geldenhuys, Deon (1990). Isolated States: A Comparative Analysis. Cambridge Studies in International Relations. 15. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 155. ISBN 978-0-521-40268-2. 
  9. ^ a b UN Gemeral Assembly (9 December 1988). "United Nations General Assembly Resolution 43/177". UN Information System on the Question of Palestine. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  10. ^ Hillier, 1998, p. 205 (via Google Books).
  11. ^ United Nations General Assembly (15 December 1988). "Palestine question/Proclamation of State/Designation "Palestine" – GA resolution". Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  12. ^ General Assembly Session 55 meeting 54: "Moreover, we are confident that in the near future we will truly be able to join the international community, represented in the Organization as Palestine, the State ..."
  13. ^ United Nations General Assembly Resolution 250 session 52 (retrieved 2010-09-21)
  14. ^ "UN Observers: Non-Member States and Entities".
  15. ^ Murphy, Kim (10 September 1993). ""Israel and PLO, in Historic Bid for Peace, Agree to Mutual Recognition – Mideast – After Decades of Conflict, Accord Underscores Both Sides' Readiness To Coexist – Arafat Reaffirms the Renunciation of Violence in Strong Terms". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-9-27.
  16. ^ pp. 44-49 of the written statement submitted by Palestine (PDF format; requires Adobe Reader), 29 January 2004, in the International Court of Justice Advisory Proceedings on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, referred to the court (PDF format; requires Adobe Reader) by U.N. General Assembly resolution A/RES/ES-10/14 (A/ES-10/L.16) adopted on 8 December 2003 at the 23rd Meeting of the Resumed Tenth Emergency Special Session.
  17. ^ a b c Sayigh, Yezid (1999). Armed Struggle and the Search for State: The Palestinian National Movement, 1949–1993 (illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 624. ISBN 0198296436, 9780198296430.  "The Palestinian National Council also empowered the central council to form a government-in-exile when appropriate, and the executive committee to perform the functions of government until such such time as a government-in-exile was established."
  18. ^ Salih, Zak M. (17 November 2005). "Panelists Disagree Over Gaza's Occupation Status". University of Virginia School of Law. Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  19. ^ a b "Israel: 'Disengagement' Will Not End Gaza Occupation". Human Rights Watch. 29 October 2004. Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  20. ^ Initially the settlements destroyed by Jordanian troops during its occupation were re-established. Later additional settlements were built.
  21. ^ Status of Palestinian Territories and Palestinian Society under Israeli Occupation
  22. ^ Rubin, 1999, p. 186 (via Google Books).
  23. ^[dead link] October 24, 1915 letter from Sir Henry McMahon, High Commissioner in Egypt, to Sherif Husayn of Mecca[dead link], archived at the United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine.
  24. ^ Sachar, Howard Morley (1977). The Course of Modern Jewish History – The Classic History of the Jewish People, from the Eighteenth Century to the Present Day. New York City: Dell Publishing. pp. 370–1. ISBN 978-0-440-51538-8.
  25. ^ a b See Marjorie M. Whiteman, Digest of International Law, vol. 1, U.S. State Department (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1963) pp 650–652
  26. ^ Geddes, 1991, p. 208.
  27. ^ "Pact of the League of Arab States, March 22, 1945". The Avalon Project. Yale Law School. 1998. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  28. ^ Politics and government in the Middle East and North Africa By Tareq Y. Ismael, Jacqueline S. Ismael, Kamel Abu Jaber, p 303
  29. ^ Henry G. Schermers and Niels M. Blokker, International Institutional Law, Hotei, 1995–2004. ISBN 9004138285. p. 51.
  30. ^ For example: Volume V, Part 2, p. 900.
    • Mr. Ben Gurion Foreign relations of the United States, 1949. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa Volume VI, p. 927.
  31. ^ "Foreign relations of the United States, 1946. General; the United Nations Volume I, p. 411". Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  32. ^ United Nations Special Committee on Palestine Report to the General Assembly, A/364, 3 September 1947, "A technical note on the viability of the proposed partition states prepared by the Secretariat" and Foreign Relations of the United States, 1947. The Near East and Africa Volume V, p. 1,167.
  33. ^ Part II. - Boundaries recommended in UNGA Res 181 Molinaro, Enrico The Holy Places of Jerusalem in Middle East Peace Agreements p. 78.
  34. ^ Kamrava, Mehran. The Modern Middle East: A Political History since the First World War. University of California Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-0520241503. 
  35. ^ Wolffe, John (2005). Religion in History: Conflict, Conversion and Coexistence (paperback). Manchester University Press. p. 265. ISBN 978-0719071072. 
  36. ^ Golan, Galia (2008-02). Israel and Palestine: Peace Plans and Proposals from Oslo to Disengagement. Markus Wiener Publishers. p. 3. ISBN 978-1558765030. Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  37. ^ Gerson, Allan (1978). p. 78.
  38. ^ a b c From Occupation to Interim Accords, Raja Shehadeh, Kluwer Law International, 1997, pp. 77–78; and Historical Overview, A. F. & R. Shehadeh Law Firm [1].
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  40. ^ See paragraph 2.20 of the Written Statement submitted by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan [2].
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    • "Jericho Declaration". The Palestine Post. 14 December 1948. Front page.[dead link]
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    • British House of Commons, Jordan and Israel (Government Decision), HC Deb 27 April 1950 vol 474 cc1137-41 [4].
  43. ^ See "The Palestinian Refugees In Jordan 1948–1957. Routledge (1981). ISBN 0-7146-3120-5. pp. 11–16.
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  50. ^ Massad, Joseph A. (2001). Colonial Effects: The Making of National Identity in Jordan. New York City: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-12323-X. p. 229.
  51. ^ See Foreign relations of the United States, 1950. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa Volume V (1950), p. 1096 [7].
  52. ^ Foreign Relations of the United States, 1949. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa Volume VI, p. 713.
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  57. ^ See "Palestine and International Law", ed. Sanford R. Siverburg, McFarland and Company, 2002, ISBN 0-7864-1191-0, p. 11.
  58. ^ See Palestine Yearbook of International Law, Vol 4, By Anis F. Kassim, Kluwer Law International (1 June 1988), ISBN 90-411-0341-4, p. 294.
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  60. ^ Foreign relations of the United States, 1949. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa, Volume VI, p. 1,149.
  61. ^ See the Department of State Bulletin, Vol. 22 Jan–Mar 1950, pp. 105–106 [8]
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  63. ^ Foreign Relations of the United States Volume XIX, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1967, p. 386, Document 227.
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  65. ^ Foreign Relations of the United States Volume XIX, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1967, p. 981, Document 501.
  66. ^ Foreign relations of the United States, 1964–1968, Volume XVIII Arab-Israeli Dispute, p. 996, Document 505.
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  68. ^ see The Reagan Plan[dead link].
  69. ^ See "An Interview with Yasser Arafat", NY Review of Books, Volume 34, Number 10, June 11, 1987 [9]
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  71. ^ Godley (US Embassy in Beirut) to Secretary of State, 7 November 1974.
  72. ^ Silverburg, 2002, p. 198.
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  80. ^ Quandt, William B. (1993). Peace Process: American Diplomacy and the Arab–Israeli Conflict Since 1967. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution. pp. 367–375, 494. ISBN 978-0-520-08388-2. 
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  86. ^ Al-Haq Position Paper on Issues Arising from the Palestinian Authority's Submission of a Declaration to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Under Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute (December 14, 2009).
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  88. ^ Such as listing "Palestine" or Occupied Palestinian Territory without further explanation.
  89. ^ Segal, Jerome M., Chapter 9, "The State of Palestine, The Question of Existence", in Philosophical perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Tomis Kapitan editor, M.E. Sharpe, 1997, ISBN 1563248786.
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  92. ^ Dugard, John (22 July 2009; Op-Ed essay). "Take the Case". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-9-28.
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  94. ^ (registration required) Bronner, Ethan (2 April 2011). "In Israel, Time for Peace Offer May Run Out". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  95. ^ Swaine, Jon; Blomfield, Adrian (24 June 2011). "US 'Could Withdraw Funding from UN If Palestine State Is Recognised' – The US Could Withdraw Funding from the United Nations If Its Members Decide To Recognise and Independent Palestinian State, a Close Ally of President Barack Obama Has Warned". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  96. ^ Mozgovaya, Natasha (29 June 2011). "U.S. Senate Passes Resolution Threatening To Suspend Aid to Palestinians – Resolution 185 Calls on Palestinians To Halt Bid for Unilateral Recognition at UN, Calls on Obama To Veto September Vote". Haaretz. Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  97. ^ a b c Sawafta, Ali (14 July 2011). "Arabs To Seek Full Palestinian Upgrade at UN". Reuters. Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  98. ^ a b Staff (25 May 2011). "Palestinians Seek UN Membership, Not Recognition of Statehood". Xinhua News Agency (via People's Daily). Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  99. ^ Staff (6 July 2011). "Arab League Requests Palestinian Statehood from U.N.". Palestine News Network. Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  100. ^ Ravid, Barak (13 July 2011). "Palestinian Envoy to UN: European States Will Recognize Palestine Before September – Riyad Mansour Tells Haaretz That the Palestinian Authority's UN Bid Is Last Chance for a Two-State Solution". Haaretz. Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  101. ^ Staff (18 July 2011). "Syria Recognises Palestinian State". Agence France-Presse (via Khaleej Times). Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  102. ^ a b Staff (18 July 2011). "Syria Recognizes Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as Its Capital – Palestinian President Welcomes Syria's Recognition, Saying It Is a 'Major Step' on Way to UN Recognition in September". Deutsche Presse-Agentur (via Haaretz). Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  103. ^ Staff (19 July 2011). "Hoss Slams Syria Recognition of Palestine Based on '67 Borders". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  104. ^ Staff (23 September 2011). "Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas Makes UN Statehood Bid". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  105. ^ Staff (23 September 2011). "Ban Sends Palestinian Application for UN Membership to Security Council". UN News Centre. Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  106. ^ General Conference admits Palestine as UNESCO Member State
  107. ^ "See page 12 of S/PV.383, 2 December 1948". United Nations. 2002-09-09. Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  108. ^ "ICC Prosecutor Considers 'Gaza War Crimes' Probe". Today's Zaman. 10 March 2009. 
  109. ^ Yehuda Z. Blum, The Missing Reversioner: Reflections on the Status of Judea and Samaria, 3 ISR. L. REV. 279, 289–90 (1968)
  110. ^ Eugene V. Rostow, "Palestinian Self-Determination": Possible Futures for the Unallocated Territories of the Palestine Mandate, 5 YALE J. WORLD PUB. ORD. 147 (1980)
  111. ^ See Gershom Gorenberg, The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967–1977, Macmillan, 2007, ISBN 0805082417, page 363 and South Jerusalem On Settlement Legality, 24 November 2008 [10]
  112. ^ Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People [11]
  113. ^ Ball, David John, 79 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 990 (2004), Toss the Travaux – Application of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Middle East Conflict – A Modern (Re)Assessment
  114. ^ a b "Microsoft Word - 04079570.A14" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  115. ^ See for example "The Restatement (Third) Foreign Relations Law of the United States, § 443 "The Act of State Doctrine", Commentary a., RN 3; or Oetjen v. Cent.Leather Co., 246 U.S. 297, 303 (1918)[12].
  116. ^ Talmon, 1998, pp. 3–4.
  117. ^ "See the explanatory note in T.D. 97–16" (PDF format; requires Adobe Reader). Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  118. ^ Portal homepage (undated). "USAID West Bank/Gaza". US Agency for International Development. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  119. ^ Staff (undated). "Data Sheet – West Bank and Gaza – Private Sector Development – Strategic Objective: 294–001" (PDF format; requires Adobe Reader). US Agency for International Development. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  120. ^[dead link] See the EU statement on external relations with the Palestinian Authority [13]. European Union (via Europa, its web portal).
  121. ^ Filiu, Jean-Pierre (Winter 2009). "Mitterrand and the Palestinians". Journal of Palestine Studies. 150. p. 34.
  122. ^ a b See the Statement of the Principal Accredited Representative, Hon. W. Ormsby-Gore, C.330.M.222, Mandate for Palestine – Minutes of the Permanent Mandates Commission/League of Nations 32nd session, 18 August 1937, [14].
  123. ^ See the Judgment in "Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory" [15]
  124. ^ See paragraphs 49, 70, and 129 of the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion, Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory [16] and De Waart, Paul J. I. M. (2005). "International Court of Justice Firmly Walled in the Law of Power in the Israeli–Palestinian Peace Process". Leiden Journal of International Law 18: 467–487. doi:10.1017/S0922156505002839. 
  125. ^ "See Article 62 (LXII) of the Treaty of Berlin". Fordham University. Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  126. ^ Fink, Carol (2006). Defending the Rights of Others. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-02994-5. p. 28.
  127. ^ See Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, p. 94 [17].
  128. ^ See Summary of the work of the League of Nations, January 1920 – March 1922, League of Nations Union, 1922, p. 4 [18].
  129. ^ It was cataloged during a review of Minority Rights Treaties conducted in 1950: see UN Document E/CN.4/367, 7 April 1950. UN GAR 181(II) is also listed in the Table of Treaties, starting at Page xxxviii, of Self-determination and National Minorities, Oxford Monographs in International Law, Thomas D. Musgrave, Oxford University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-19-829898-6.
  130. ^ See UN GA Resolution 181(II), November 29, 1947, Section C., Chapters 1–4 [19]
  131. ^ Mr Eban acknowledged the undertakings contained in resolution 181(II) and 194(III) with regard to religious and minority rights and the internationalization of Jerusalem during the Ad Hoc Committee hearings on Israel's application for membership in the United Nations. His declarations and explanations were noted in text of General Assembly resolution 273 (III), 11 May 1949, and UN documents A/AC.24/SR.45, 48, 50 and 51; The fact that Declaration of the State of Palestine, supplied by the Palestine National Council, was accepted as being in line with General Assembly resolution 181(II) was noted in General Assembly resolution 43/177, 15 December 1988.
  132. ^ See The Life, Times and Work of Jokubas Robinzonas – Jacob Robinson [20]; and Palestine and the United Nations: prelude to solution, By Jacob Robinson, Greenwood Press reprint; New ed of 1947 ed edition (September 28, 1971), ISBN 0-8371-5986-5.
  133. ^ See the Minutes of the People's Council, Palestine Yearbook of International Law, Vol 4, By Anis F. Kassim, Kluwer Law International (June 1, 1988), ISBN 90-411-0341-4, p. 279.
  134. ^ See Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, 1989, Yoram Dinstein, Mala Tabory eds., Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1990, ISBN 0-7923-0450-0, pp. 135-136 [21].
  135. ^ a b Takkenberg, 1998, p. 181.
  136. ^ "The Palestinian State Exists". Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economic and Culture 3 (2). 1996. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  137. ^ See Silverburg, Sanford R. (2002). Palestine and International Law: Essays on Politics and Economics. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-7864-1191-0. pp. 37–54.
  138. ^[dead link] Ash, Robert Weston Ash. "Is Palestine a 'State'? A Response to Professor John Quigley's Article" (PDF format; requires Adobe Reader). Rutgers Law Record.
  139. ^ See The International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on the Legality of Israel's Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Legal Analysis and Potential Consequences, By Susan Akram, John Quigley, Elizabeth Badger, and Rasmus Goksor, p. 11 [22].
  140. ^ See the ICC Letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, dated 12 January 2010 [23] (PDF format; requires Adobe Reader).
  141. ^ "See the ICC Questions and Answers" (PDF format; requires Adobe Reader). Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  142. ^[dead link] Karayanni, Michael M. The Quest for Creative Jurisdiction: The Evolution of Personal Jurisdiction Doctrine of Israeli Courts Towards the Palestinian Territories (PDF format; requires Adobe Reader).
  143. ^ See Elon Moreh College Association v. The State of Israel, April 3, 2006; Mis. Civ. P. (Jer) 1008/06, Elon Moreh College Association v. The State of Israel [April 3, 2006]; and Yuval Yoaz, "J'lem court: Palestinian Authority meets criteria to be classed as a sovereign state, Ha'aretz, 24/04/2006, [24].
  144. ^ "The Israeli Supreme Court Ruling in Hebrew". 9 December 2004. Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  145. ^ See Ronen, Yael "ICC Jurisdiction Over Acts Committed in the Gaza Strip: Article 12(3) of the ICC Statute and Non-State Entities", Journal of International Criminal Justice, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2010, p. 24 [25].
  146. ^ Talmon, 1998, p. 1.
  147. ^ Grant, 1999, p. 9.
  148. ^ Sunday (2009-06-14). "See Transcript: Netanyahu Speech on Israel-Palestine (14 June 2009)". Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  149. ^ Issacharoff, Avi (14 November 2009). "PA Negotiator: We May Seek UN Recognition of Palestinian State – A-Sharq Al-Awsat: U.S. Won't Pressure Israel, Palestinians To Renew Peace Talks Unless Both Sides Are Ready". Haaretz. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  150. ^ Staff (1 December 2009). "A Sovereign State of Palestine, Vital: UN Chief". Xinhua News Agency (via China Radio International). Retrieved 2011-9-27.
  151. ^ See Report of the Secretary-General, UN Document A/64/651, 4 February 2010 para 5 and Annex II [26] (PDF format; requires Adobe Reader).
  152. ^ International symposium ICJ and Israel's Wall, The Hague 9 July 2009, Address P.J.I.M. de Waart [27] (PDF format; requires Adobe Reader).
  153. ^ Lazaroff, Tovah (14 November 2009). "Lieberman Warns Against '67 Borders". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2011-9-27.
  154. ^ Waked, Ali (11 November 2009). "Abbas: Palestinian State an Existing Fact – Thousands of Fatah Supporters Gather at Ramallah's Presidential Compound To Mark Fifth Anniversary of Former PA Chairman Arafat's Death, Refer to Abbas as 'His Worthy Successor' – Palestinian President Tells Audience Current Battle Is To Have Future State's Borders Recognized". Ynet.,7340,L-3803622,00.html. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  155. ^ See The 1988 Declaration of Independence [28] and Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State – Program of the Thirteenth Government [29].
  156. ^ Staff (17 September 2010). "Palestinians Able To Establish A State – World Bank". Reuters (via AlertNet). Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  157. ^ Staff (13 April 2011). "Palestinian State-Building: A Decisive Period" (PDF format; requires Adobe Reader). Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (via The New York Times). Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  158. ^ a b (registration required) Kershner, Isabel (12 April 2011). "U.N. Praises Palestinians' Progress Toward a State". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-04-12. 
  159. ^[dead link][clarification needed] Government of the Dominican Republic (15 July 2009). "Comunicado Conjunto para Establecimiento Relaciones Diplomaticas entre la Republica Dominican y el Estado de Palestina" (in Spanish) (PDF format; requires Adobe Reader). Dominican Republic Minstry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 2010-12-31. "Presidente del Estado de Palestina [President of the State of Palestine]." 
  160. ^ Staff (24 November 2008). "PLO Body Elects Abbas 'President of Palestine'". Agence France-Presse (via Khaleej Times). Retrieved 2011-9-28. "'I announce that the PLO Central Council has elected Mahmud Abbas president of the State of Palestine. He takes on this role from this day, November 23, 2008,' the body's chairman Salem al-Zaanun told reporters."
  161. ^ Executive Board of UNESCO (12 May 1989). "Hundred and Thirty-First Session – Item 9.4 of the Provisional Agenda – Request for the Admission of the State of Palestine to UNESCO as a Member State" (PDF format; requires Adobe Reader). UNESCO. p. 18, Annex II. Retrieved 2011-09-28. "A government-in-exile, having no effective control in the territory and not having had previous control, ... ." 
  162. ^[dead link] PLO Executive Committee. "The Executive Committee of the PLO, in practice the 'government in exile' of the State of Palestine".
  163. ^ Palestinians in figures 2009 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics May 2010; p. 11
  164. ^ 11.2.2008 Guardian
  165. ^ US Census Bureau International Programs International Data Base IDB West Bank and Gaza
  166. ^ Israel and Palestinian territories country profile BBC 9 March 2011
  167. ^ a b Palestine in Figures 2009 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, May 2010
  168. ^ US Census Bureau International Programs International Data Base IDB West Bank and Gaza
  169. ^ Palestinians in figures 2009 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics May 2010
  170. ^ Palestinians at the End of Year 2006 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
  171. ^ (July 2010 est.) @ CIA The World Factbook. This data plus 1.66 million in Gaza (resulting 4.23 million) agrees with the 4.1 million figure given by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics @ Google Hosted News
  172. ^ Israeli settlers for (2008 est.) (July 2011 est.) [sic] estimation @ CIA The World Factbook
  173. ^ Estimation for July 2011 @ CIA The World Factbook. This data plus 2.57 million in the West Bank (resulting 4.23 million) agrees with the 4.1 million figure given by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics @ Google Hosted News
  174. ^
  175. ^ As stated in List of sovereign states and dependent territories by population density, in 2010, the total density raised to 681, ranking the 20th biggest of this list.
  176. ^ Abbas speech transcript
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  178. ^ a b Israel's control of the airspace and the territorial waters of the Gaza Strip.
  179. ^ Map of Gaza fishing limits, "security zones".
  180. ^ Israel's Disengagement Plan: Renewing the Peace Process: "Israel will guard the perimeter of the Gaza Strip, continue to control Gaza air space, and continue to patrol the sea off the Gaza coast. ... Israel will continue to maintain its essential military presence to prevent arms smuggling along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt (Philadelphi Route), until the security situation and cooperation with Egypt permit an alternative security arrangement."
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