Is Palestine a state? He explained the Palestinian state

Will these new recognitions, which the United States and major European countries have not joined, bring closer to a full Palestinian state and improve the lives of Palestinians?

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She has knowledge. National anthem. Diplomats. Even its international dialing code. In fact, three-quarters of the world’s 195 countries – 143 member states of the United Nations In addition to the Vatican and Western Sahara – they say it is a country.

The decision of Ireland, Norway and Spain to recognize Independent Palestinian stateThe decision, which officially took effect on Tuesday, comes nearly eight months into Israel’s war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and after decades of one of the world’s most notorious and intractable conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Tuesday that “recognition of the State of Palestine is not just a matter of historical justice,” but also “a fundamental requirement if we all want to achieve peace.”

But what does this official classification of the country mean? Will these recognitions, which the United States and major European countries have not joined, bring closer to a full Palestinian state and improve the lives of Palestinians?

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Rowan Nicholson, a researcher in international law at Australia’s Flinders University, said that qualifying as a state usually requires four criteria: permanent population, specific territory, government, and independence.

He said that the requirements for statehood are somewhat strict and a subject of debate.

“Standards have evolved over the centuries through Practice From countries. There is no single definitive written version of it; “It’s vague and open to interpretation,” said Nicholson, who has worked on court cases. international justice CourtThe Netherlands-based Hague court last week ordered Israel to halt its military operation in Rafah, Gaza, as part of a war crimes allegation case brought by South Africa.

“But one attempt to write it down that people often point to is Montevideo Convention of 1933. There are exceptions. “For example, a new state cannot be created by illegally invading an existing state and separating part of it, as Russia tried to do a few years ago with Ukraine.”

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However, in the Palestinian context, one reason for doubting Palestine’s eligibility as a state as defined by the Montevideo Convention and similar formulations, Nicholson argues, is that it does not enjoy effective independence from Israel.

The Israeli army occupies the Palestinian territories. Israel oversees some aspects of civilian life in the Fatah-run West Bank, and even before the current war it largely controlled access to Hamas-run Gaza.

The Palestinian state step by step

Larry Garber, former USAID The director of the mission to the West Bank and Gaza Strip said that the United States has long held the view that any official recognition of a Palestinian state should only come through direct negotiations between the parties concerned: between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

“For many years, we have all worked under the theory that this should be done in phases,” Garber said. “First, Palestine should build the various features of a state, such as good governance and an independent, effectively functioning economy, and then statehood will be the ultimate goal.”

Germany and France have echoed this position and continue to do so.

French Foreign Minister Stephane Ségourne said in a statement last week: “Our position is clear: recognition of a Palestinian state is not taboo for France.” But Segorn added, “This decision must be useful, that is, it (must) allow a decisive step forward at the political level. France does not consider that the conditions are yet present for this decision to have a real impact.” In this process.”

Maya Cross, a political science professor at Northeastern University in Boston, said the latest European recognitions essentially say they recognize the “aspirations” of a future Palestinian state.

“You could say technically, from a legal standpoint, this is pure symbolism. But I think it’s more than that because there’s not just symbolism versus legality. There’s politics — international relations is full of politics.”

Cross said one “tangible” impact of the confessions is the message they send to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu has repeatedly rejected calls for Palestinian sovereignty. So he spent years, Israeli media claimed, Supporting Hamas in Gaza as a counterweight to the attempts of the Palestinian Authority from the West Bank to advance towards a two-state solution.

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Legal scholars such as Mark Wheeler, who chairs international law and constitutional studies at the University of Cambridge, agree with this view. He said, “The recognizing countries say: We will now change the status (of Palestine) from an entity.” Should To be a state within our entity Claim It is a country. This makes it more difficult for Israel to deny Palestine’s right to become a state. He added that the confessions were deliberately worded to contradict Netanyahu’s assertions that there could be no two-state solution.

“It is a powerful political tool to help isolate Israel’s denial of a Palestinian state,” Wheeler said.

Recognition of the Palestinian state – and its trappings

However, the confessions have some tangible consequences, Garber said.

He added: “They are improving diplomatic relations between Palestine and the recognized state, including potentially allowing the exchange of ambassadors. This allows them to sign more formal treaties.”

“Whether or not an entity truly meets the criteria, the recognizing state is obligated to treat it as a state for practical purposes,” said Nicholson, the legal scholar in Australia.

This means it will do things like accept passports, grant sovereign immunity to officials, and generally act as if the recognized entity has the right to govern its territory, he said.

Simon Harris, Prime Minister of Ireland, said in a clear reference to this, when he announced his country’s recognition of Palestine: “Recognition of Palestine is not the end of the process, but rather the beginning.”

Slovenia and Malta have indicated they may also recognize a Palestinian state, and Palestinian officials have expressed optimism that it could be recognized soon, although Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz described the development as sending a message to the Palestinians and the world that “terrorism pays off.”

“I’m not sure this helps us much.”

Earlier in May, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring that the Palestinians are eligible for full membership in the UN. The General Assembly can grant full membership only with the approval of the Security Council, which the United States is likely to veto. Some of this American support for Israel can be explained in historical terms.

The United States was one of the first countries to recognize Israel as an independent state in 1948. It is a major arms supplier to Israel. American diplomats have become accustomed to portraying Israel as the only democratic and security partner in the Middle East that shares values ​​and interests with the United States.

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However, Amed Khan, who worked on Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, has been described as a businessman “Direct Action Philanthropist” He, who travels to the front lines of humanitarian crises and uses his personal wealth to buy and distribute aid, said there is a simpler explanation for why the United States does not recognize a Palestinian state.

“What data does anyone need to say that the United States is essentially implementing Israeli policy,” he said.

He added, “It is not an exaggeration to say that the United States is doing everything in its power to prevent recognition of Palestine because this limits Palestine’s ability to exercise the functions of the state locally, regionally, and internationally.”

One example, according to Khan: “The United States can’t even convince Israel to open its land border, so it ends up spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a floating dock that offers almost nothing,” referring to a dock built by the Pentagon. The dock faced various problems in performing its mission.

Omar Shaaban, founder of the Gaza-based Pal-Think Center for Strategic Studies, expressed the matter in a more diplomatic way.

“Of course we appreciate this recognition,” the Palestinian said by phone from Brussels, where he was meeting with European officials. Shaaban fled Gaza three months ago and currently lives in Cairo. “But I’m not sure if this helps us much. The situation for the Palestinians is not improving at all – with the war in Gaza, the government in Israel, the Palestinian division, and the fear that we have.”

On Monday, an Israeli air strike caused a massive fire that killed 45 people in a tent camp in the city of Rafah in Gaza. In the aftermath, as Palestinian families rushed to hospitals to prepare their dead for burial, world leaders urged implementation of the International Court of Justice order to stop the attack.

Shaaban said that the Palestinians would rather help the Europeans stop the Israeli war in Gaza than recognize the state.

“Let’s get help to stop the killing,” he said.

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