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Open Letter to the UK Foreign Secretary urging the UK to recognise Palestinian statehood and vote in favour of Palestine’s admission to the UN

Wednesday, 21 September 2011 10:18 Ref.: 291/2011
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WILLIAM_HAGUE-MPDear Rt. Hon. William Hague MP,

As an organisation dedicated to the promotion and protection of Palestinian human rights, Al Haq welcomes the position taken by Her Majesty’s Opposition in favour of the recognition of Palestinian statehood, and is encouraged by the level of support shown by MPs of the three major political parties in Early Day Motion 2135, which calls for the recognition of Palestine as a State and its admission to the UN. 

The Palestinian right to self-determination is an inalienable right of the Palestinian people, enshrined in international law and affirmed in countless UN resolutions.

Negotiations for a two-state solution, since they began almost 20 years ago, have been ineffective in ending the Israeli occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) or in achieving an independent Palestinian State. Instead Israel has used the cover of negotiations to pursue its relentless settlement activity, creating ‘facts on the ground’ in the OPT that are becoming increasingly irreversible. Whilst a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians can only truly be achieved through the effective realisation of the Palestinian right to self-determination, Israel’s actions in the OPT threaten to permanently deprive Palestinians of the ability to exercise that right, thereby frustrating the achievement of a just and durable resolution to the conflict.

The International Court of Justice confirmed in its 2004 Advisory Opinion that self-determination is a right erga omnes whose realisation all States, including the UK, have a duty to promote. Furthermore, all States are legally obliged to cooperate to end Israel’s violations of international law that suppress the Palestinian right to self-determination, such as Israel’s settlement activity.

By recognising Palestine’s statehood and supporting its admission to the UN, the UK government would affirm its genuine commitment to achieving Palestinian self-determination by putting an end to Israel’s violations of international law in the OPT. Palestine’s admission to the UN and collective action in support of Palestine’s recognition as a State will contribute to the implementation of UN resolutions, which reflect the will of the international community to achieve a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict based on international law. To date 126 States have recognised Palestinian statehood and there is considerable support for the position within the British parliament and at the popular level in the UK.

Al Haq urges the UK government to reflect the support that exists for the recognition of Palestine’s statehood, by voting in favour of Palestine’s admission to the UN and its recognition as a State, and by upgrading the UK’s diplomatic relations with Palestine to that afforded to a State.

Yours sincerely,Shawan Jabarin
General Director 
Al Haq

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