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Erekat on behalf of PLO refuses to legitimize Warsaw conference

Feb. 14, 2019 2:43 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 17, 2019 10:01 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Secretary General of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, Saeb Erekat, sent a letter to the Diplomatic Missions in Palestine regarding the “Warsaw conference.”

The letter stated, “Last year marked three decades since the Palestine Liberation Organization’s historic compromise endorsing its position on the independence of the State of Palestine on the 1967 border, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

It stressed, “This painful compromise, that reduces the State of Palestine to a mere 22% of our historic homeland, was taken after consultations with Palestinian groups as well as with the international community. This decision made in 1988 by the Palestine National Council was mainly based on international commitments towards the freedom of the State of Palestine on the 1967 border.”

“What we Palestinians have been experiencing throughout the past 30 years and despite our compromise, is Israel, the occupying power, continuously violating our national and human rights enjoying an unprecedented culture of impunity.”

The internationally endorsed “two-state solution” is not going to be accomplished by asking the Palestinian people to further compromise their already painful compromise. Rather, it will be achieved by making sure that Israel, the illegal belligerent occupier, honors its obligations under international law, ending its occupation and illegal colonial-settlement enterprise.

In order to achieve peace and end of occupation, we presented on our vision of peace almost a year ago, February 20, to the UN Security Council. Our initiative includes:

• The convening of an international peace conference based on international law and relevant UN resolutions. Participation to this conference would include Israel and Palestine as well as all international stakeholders, including Arab countries.

• Acceptance of the State of Palestine as a full UN members and guaranteeing international protection for our people.

• Mutual recognition between the State of Palestine and the State of Israel based on the 1967 borders.

• Formation of an international multilateral mechanism to assist the parties during the negotiations, that will be conducted based on international law and relevant UN resolutions.

• Refraining from taking any unilateral actions, particularly those that would prejudge the outcome of a final status agreement, including mainly to secure a full cessation of Israeli settlement activities, including in Occupied East Jerusalem, in accordance with UNSC Resolution 2334.

• Implementation of the Arab Peace Initiative, including by securing a just and agreed solution for the issue of Palestinian refugees based on UNGA Resolution 194, in addition to the State of Palestine on the 1967 border with East Jerusalem as its capital. Only then it could be advanced any agenda for normalization between the Arab World and the State of Israel.

“Today we face a reality whereby the US Trump Administration, in cooperation with the Polish Government, is pushing yet a new initiative to annihilate the Palestinian national project. The so-called Warsaw Conference is nothing but an attempt to bypass the Arab Peace Initiative and grant Israel normalization with the rest of the region as it continues its systematic policies that deny the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the sacred right to self-determination.”

“We have been vocal of our opposition on this conference. We are not going to legitimize this event. The State of Palestine reiterates that the only way to secure a just and lasting peace for Israel, Palestine and the rest of the region is through the implementation of international law and UN resolutions.”

It reiterated, “The attempts by the Trump Administration at legitimizing Israeli crimes and violations as well as endorsing Israeli policies and narrative, including by illegally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, defunding UNRWA, legitimizing settlements, cutting all humanitarian and development aid to the Palestinian people, closing the Palestinian mission in Washington as well as the US Consulate in Jerusalem and dangerously justifying such policies using a religious narrative, have done nothing but to strengthen extremists in our region, further harming the prospects of security and stability for the Arab World and the rest of the world.”

“The question of Palestine remains an unfulfilled test for the international community in regards to its commitment to international law. If the international community allows the Trump Administration to succeed in its attempts at changing the terms of reference by legitimizing Israeli crimes and violations, it will be setting a dangerous precedent for any future peace processes worldwide.”

The letter concluded, “We therefore denounce the attempts of the organizers of the Warsaw Conference to normalize the systematic violations of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, and call upon the rest of the international community to assume their legal, political and moral responsibility towards the fulfillment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in accordance with international law and relevant UN resolutions.”

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