Monday

23rd Apr 2018

Palestinian PM: Brussels meeting is 'birth certificate' for statehood

  • Fayyad speaking in Brussels on Wednesday evening (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

The Palestinian Authority has welcomed endorsement of a UN report on institution building as a "birth certificate" for statehood amid Israeli concern over a potential unilateral declaration of independence.

The Ad-hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) on Palestine at a meeting in the EU capital on Wednesday (13 April) endorsed a UN report which says that in six key areas - rule of law, the economy, education, health, social protection and infrastructure - in the West Bank "government functions are now sufficient for a functioning government of a state."

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The AHLC is an international body comprising the EU, US, Israel, Canada, Norway, Russia, four Arab countries, the UN, the World Bank and the IMF.

The endorsement comes ahead of a UN meeting in September in which Israel fears the Palestinian side will unilaterally declare independence in territories under its control before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war due to a stalemate in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Speaking after the event in Brussels, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said: "This very important meeting effectively recognised the reality of a state of Palestine being projected on the territory occupied in 1967, which amounts effectively to a birth certificate for the reality of Palestinian statehood."

Asked by press if the move makes a unilateral declaration more likely, he said he would favour a final settlement recognised by Israel: "We are not looking for yet another declaration, or for a virtual state."

He went on to note that the AHLC-UN decision, plus related decisions to grant the Palestinian Authority observer status in the WTO and tariff-free exports to the EU, are "reflective" of growing support for independence, however.

"These are important developments and we see them as reflective. A lot of countries around the world stand ready to offer that recognition. Of course, exactly when they do so precisely is a time for their choosing."

Israeli diplomat Irit Ben-Abba, underlined that the AHLC still sees the stalled Israeli-Palestinian talks as the way forward.

"I am very glad the consensus in the room is that the only way to solving the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians is through a negotiated peace agreement. There's no other way to circumvent the direct negotiations between us and the Palestinians."

The peace talks have stalled largely due to Israel's continuing expansion of settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

The UN report noted that since September 2010 Israel has given the green light for 1,700 Jewish settlement units while continuing demolitions of Palestinian homes and evictions of Palestinian families especially in east Jerusalem.

It noted that Israel maintains around 500 roadblocks and checkpoints in the West Bank and a partial blockade on movement of goods in and out of Gaza.

It added that 10 Palestinians were killed and 545 injured in the West Bank in the reporting period, on top of 24 deaths and 114 injuries in Gaza. It also said Israel continues to hold around 6,000 Palestinians in jail "including around 300 children and some persons held without charges."

A parallel Israeli report submitted to the AHCL instead underlined "the barrage of missiles" recently launched from Gaza, the murder of a Jewish settler family and the long-term captivity of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Israel's Ben-Abba said a decision last year to expand the list of products allowed into Gaza effectively "opened the crossings for all goods."

The new list was drawn up after international outrage when Israeli commandos killed nine people on a flotilla trying to break the Gaza siege. Ben-Abba noted that international NGOs are planning to send a new flotilla in late May.

"There's no necessity for flotillas … We call on all governments to put pressure on NGOs to stop all attempts to send flotillas to this region," she said.

For his part, Tony Blair, a former British leader who currently works as an international envoy to the Middle East, appeared to give Israel a carte blanche for collateral damage in Gaza.

Asked by press in Brussels on Wednesday what he thinks of a recent Arab League proposal for a Libya-type no-fly zone for Israeli jets over Gaza, he said: "If the rockets keep coming, then there will be actions taken by the government of Israel and then we get into a situation where civilian lives will be lost."

EU toes the line on Syria air strikes

EU foreign ministers to back Western air strikes on Syria, the same way they backed the UK over Russia's chemical attack on an ex-spy in Britain.

Analysis

Is Germany more hawkish on Russia?

Germany's socialist foreign minister just said the EU should "step up pressure" on Russia. Merkel aired "political" doubts on a Russian pipeline.

Western Balkans summit imperilled over Kosovo

While Bulgaria aims to have all 28 EU countries in Sofia in May to give a boost to EU accession of the Western Balkans, some EU countries want to make sure their reservations about Kosovo are noted.

Analysis

Is Germany more hawkish on Russia?

Germany's socialist foreign minister just said the EU should "step up pressure" on Russia. Merkel aired "political" doubts on a Russian pipeline.

News in Brief

  1. Audit office: Brexit 'divorce' bill could be billions higher
  2. MEPs urge better protection for journalists
  3. Dieselgate: MEPs back greater role for EU in car approvals
  4. European parliament adopts new organic farming rules
  5. EU granted protection to half million people in 2017
  6. Report: Facebook to carve 1.5bn users out of EU privacy law
  7. Greek court ruling permits migrants to travel to mainland
  8. Commonwealth summit hopes for trade boost after Brexit

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  2. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  3. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  4. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  5. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  6. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  7. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight
  9. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMacedonians in Bulgaria Demand to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  10. Counter BalanceThe EIB Needs to Lead by Example on Tax Justice
  11. ILGA EuropeTrans People in Sweden to be Paid Compensation for Forced Sterilisation
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsThe Danger of Standing Up for Justice and Rights in Central Asia

Latest News

  1. ECJ ruling set to end 10-year 'mouth tobacco' lobbying saga
  2. Whistleblowers, Syria and digital revolution This WEEK
  3. MEP friendship groups offer 'backdoor' for pariah regimes
  4. Macron and Merkel pledge euro reform
  5. Obscurity surrounds EU military fund's expert groups
  6. New EU party finance rules short circuit accountability
  7. Draghi to stay in secretive 'lobby' group
  8. Bulgaria offers lesson in tackling radical-right populists

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Must Work Together to Promote Global Steel Sector
  2. Swedish EnterprisesEU Tax Proposal on Digital Services Causes Concern for Small Exporting Economies
  3. Europea Jewish CongressCondemns the Horrific Murder of Holocaust Survivor Mireille Knoll in Paris
  4. Mission of China to the EUAn Open China Will Foster a World-Class Business Environment
  5. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  6. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  7. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  8. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  9. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  10. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  11. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  12. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights