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PLO to UN: Establish “the Palestinian state in the borders of 44% of the land of Palestine”

PLO to UN: Establish “the Palestinian state in the borders of 44% of the land of Palestine”, let refugees return and give them “their compensation”

PLO Palestinian National Council Chairman Rawhi Fattouh: Israel has lost its legitimacy... It must implement Resolution 181 and Resolution 194, in the sense of establishing the Palestinian state in the borders of 44% of the land of Palestine and the return of the Palestinian refugees and their compensation – not “or their compensation,” [but rather] “and their compensation.” 

Rawhi Fattouh also serves as Fatah Commissioner of International Relations and Fatah Central Committee member.

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 borders of the Arab and Jewish states were delineated in the resolution. The Arab state was meant to be comprised of the western Galilee, Judea and Samaria (i.e., 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, while Jordan (known at the time as Transjordan) had already been established in what had been the part of the Mandate for Palestine that was east of the Jordan River. The resolution was accepted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, but Arab leaders and governments rejected it.

UN Resolution 194 (Chapter 11, Dec. 11, 1948) states that "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return." Palestinian leaders argue this means that all Arabs who left Israel during the war (hundreds of thousands) and their descendants (a few million) have a "right of return" to Israel. Israel argues that the resolution only calls for a limited return and only under certain conditions, especially focusing on the words "wishing to return... and live at peace with their neighbors."
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."

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