"We want a Palestinian state from the furthest Galilee until the Eilat port" demands PLO official
Official PA TV program Topic of the Day
PLO Executive Committee member Azzam Al-Ahmad: “If there is no [UN Resolution] 242 (see note below -Ed.) and no two-state solution, we don’t need it. If there is no [UN Resolution] 181 (see note below -Ed.), we don’t need it, we will pull our recognition of them [Israel]. We want a democratic state on all the Palestinian land, on all the historical Palestinian land (i.e., refers to all of Israel together with the PA areas), from the furthest Galilee (i.e., in northern Israel) to the Negev (i.e., in southern Israel), and not until the Eilat port (i.e., Israel’s southernmost city) but rather until the Umm Al-Rashrash port (i.e., the Palestinian Arabic name for Eilat)… We want all this. You want us to live in a democratic state? We are prepared. You want to be apartheid? Currently there is an international change, especially in American society, and especially in the American Jewish society…
A [PA] national unity government will happen when all the factions, including Hamas that will participate in it, [will] have to accept the [UN] resolutions of the international legitimacy in accordance with the PLO plan, and here there are those especially among Hamas who say that [the PLO members] want to recognize Israel.No, Fatah has not recognized Israel, and the factions and political parties do not need to recognize Israel. Recognition is between states and governments. If Israel’s political parties recognize us, we are prepared to recognize in return, to recognize in the same manner, including the Likud [party, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali] Bennett, and extremist [Israeli Minister of Interior Ayelet] Shaked, whom [former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu stands right of her, who said that she wants to cut open the stomachs of the pregnant Palestinian women (sic., Shaked never made any such statement). She must [recognize] but the [Palestinian] factions and parties do not have to recognize.”
PLO Executive Committee member Azzam Al-Ahmad who spoke on official PA TV also serves as head of the PLO Department of Arab and Parliamentary Affairs, Fatah Central Committee member, Fatah Commissioner of National Relations, and Fatah Commissioner for Relations with Lebanon.
UN Resolution 181 (the UN partition plan for Palestine) was passed by the UN General Assembly in 1947. It called for the partition of the British Mandate of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem as a separate entity under the rule of a special international body. The Arab state was meant to be comprised of the western Galilee, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, and the remaining territory of the Mandate west of the Jordan River would be the state of Israel - Jordan (known at the time as Transjordan) had already been established in what had been the part of the Mandate that was east of the Jordan River. The resolution was accepted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, but Arab leaders and governments rejected it, and launched a war to destroy Israel.
UN Security Council Resolution 242 – The 1967 Six Day War ended with Israel in control of lands formerly under the control of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. UN Security Council Resolution 242 called for “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict” and stressed all states’ “right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” It also called for freedom of navigation through international waters, and demanded a just resolution to the refugee problem.
At the time, those involved in drafting Resolution 242 said that the wording of the clause intentionally called for Israeli withdrawal "from territories" and not “the territories” or “all territories,” because the borders prior to the war – the 1949–1967 armistice lines – were not “secure” borders. For example, British Ambassador to the UN Lord Caradon, sponsor of Resolution 242, explained: "It was not for us to lay down exactly where the border should be. I know the 1967 border very well. It is not a satisfactory border, it is where troops had to stop in 1947 (sic., 1949), just where they happened to be that night, that is not a permanent boundary."
US Secretary of State Dean Rusk said Resolution 242 did not say “all territories” because the region needed "a border sensible for both parties." US President Lyndon B. Johnson also noted that returning to the old borders would be "not a prescription for peace, but for renewed hostilities." Many argue that Israel fully fulfilled this clause to withdraw “from territories” when it withdrew from Sinai in 1982, a full 91% of “territories occupied in the recent conflict."
Significantly, Israel did not take any land from a Palestinian entity, as the West Bank was under Jordanian rule until June 1967. Many argue that following Jordan’s renouncing any claim to the West Bank in 1988, the area can no longer legally be considered “occupied,” and the only sovereign state with a claim to the land is Israel. However, in signing the 1993 Oslo Accords, Israel granted the PLO a claim to some of the land. The accords stressed that their goal was “a permanent settlement based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.” The final borders are disputed and still subject to negotiation.
Explaining Resolution 242’s call for “a just settlement of the refugee problem,” then US Ambassador to the UN Arthur Goldberg has said in published statements in 1985 and 1988 that this clause refers to all refugees of the conflict, including Arabs from Mandatory Palestine and Jews from Arab countries.
It should be noted that according to the UN Charter itself, UN General Assembly resolutions are only "recommendations" and have "no legal power that affects the outside world." UN Security Council Resolutions are only binding if they were adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Resolutions adopted by the UN Human Rights Council are clearly prejudiced as noted by human rights expert Christine Cerna: “In my view Israel has a unique status in the UN Human Rights Council. Impartiality is not a requirement sought by the Council for the appointment of experts when it comes to Israel."