Educational Resources

Israel – Palestinian Statehood

In October 2014, PA President and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas officially announced that the Palestinians intend soon to request the UN Security Council to issue a resolution designed to further promote the establishment of a Palestinian state.

As at 17th November 2014, the terms of this resolution are unknown. It is however understood that the resolution is likely to contain at least both of the following elements, both of which raise problems under international law –

The recognition by the Security Council of the existence of, or the intention to create, the state of Palestine as an independent and sovereign state on the basis of the “4 June 1967 borders” with East Jerusalem as its capital;

The obligation on Israel to withdraw from the “Occupied Palestinian      Territories”, perhaps within a specified time period, on the basis that such occupation is “illegal”. These conditions raise a number of concerns under international law, including the following –

i.         They conflict with the pre-existing historical and legal rights and interests of Israel and the Jewish people over all of Palestine

ii.         The 1949 Armistice Lines are not legally binding borders, but simply the basis for negotiation of secure borders pursuant to the principles set out in UN Security   Council Resolutions 242 and 338.

iii.        The international law of belligerent occupation does not apply to Jerusalem and the West Bank; and even if it applies, it does not make occupation “illegal” or require Israel to withdraw from the “occupied” territories.

iv.        Imposing the 1949 Armistice Lines as borders conflicts with the Oslo Accords.

v.         The proposal provides insufficient protection of Israel’s right to territorial integrity under international law

vi.        The proposal fails to protect the unique status of Jerusalem.

vii.       The proposal potentially conflicts with UN Charter principles of freedom and equality.

viii.      “Palestine” is not a “state” under international law.

ix.        “Palestine” does not meet the criteria for UN membership under the UN Charter.

Discussion Paper,
May 2014

Please click here to read the Discussion Paper

ECI Position Paper,
December 2014

Please click here to read the Position Paper

Please click on the videos to listen to teaching by Andrew Tucker