Palestinians threaten to declare themselves ‘state under occupation’

The Palestinians are stepping up their diplomatic battle against Israel, possibly seeking to declare themselves “a state under occupation.”

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

After announcing they are withdrawing from any attempts to revive the peace process, the Palestinians are seeking other methods to promote their statehood and wage a diplomatic war against Israel.

Azzam al-Ahmad, a member of Fatah Central Committee, said that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) will consider declaring the areas under the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) control “a state under occupation.”

Speaking to Voice of Palestine radio, Ahmad said the PLO Central Council is going to meet in Ramallah before the middle of January and will discuss the Palestinians’ next moves.

“It is not possible to continue with the relationship with Israel as long as the latter keeps denying the rights of our people, particularly in Jerusalem,” he asserted.

WAFA news agency reported that the Palestinians will pursue further diplomatic action at the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the Security Council (UNSC) and at the International Criminal Court (ICC), as well as other international organizations, in response to President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

A Palestinian sponsored resolution at the UNGA declaring Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem “null and void” passed on Thursday by a 128-9 margin, with 35 abstentions. Twenty-one countries were absent during the vote.

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“We are facing a continuous, cumulative and long political, diplomatic and popular battle,” Ahmad said.

Such a Palestinian announcement could include a declaration of independence, a constitution establishing Palestinian democracy and rights, a Palestinian currency, and the establishment of additional Palestinian embassies.

UNGA could vote on these moves, recognizing “Palestine” as “a state under occupation.”

The Palestinians have previously promoted such a plan.

A senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official told Al-Monitor in September that, legally, the Palestinians cannot change the definition into “a state” without a UNSC resolution establishing a state.

He also said Israel has enough clout regarding the Palestinian domestic security situation to convince Abbas to refrain from such a move.

The US would surely veto such a resolution if put to a UNSC vote, as it did the resolution regarding Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem, rendering a UNGA resolution on the issue merely declarative.