Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moon Israel news photo: United Nations

Israeli lawyers and international law experts have contacted UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, demanding that he prevent the Palestinian Authority’s resolution asking for recognition of a Palestinian state within the 1949 armistice lines from being raised at the UN General Assembly in September.

The lawyers say that UN recognition of such a state would be “in contrary to international law, UN resolutions and existing agreements.”

The signatories on the letter include Dr. Alan Baker, former legal adviser for the Foreign Ministry and Israeli Ambassador to Canada, as well as Dr. Meir Rosenne, former legal adviser for the Foreign Ministry, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. and one of the authors of the peace agreement with Egypt. Also signed are law Professors Talia Einhorn and Eliav Shochetman, as well as dozens of other experts in international law and lawyers.

In the letter, the lawyers ask Secretary-General Ban to appeal to the General Assembly members to prevent the adoption of the Palestinian state resolution, since such a decision would stand in outright opposition to any agreements which were signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority as well as to Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).

The lawyers bring up the decision of The Council of the League of Nations dated July 24, 1922. The decision, which was adopted unanimously, calls for the establishment of a Jewish national home, including the right to increase Jewish settlement in all the historical territory of Israel, including Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem. This decision was approved by both houses of the U.S. Congress on June 30, 1922.

Furthermore, state the lawyers, Article 80 of the UN Charter stipulates that the UN recognizes all decisions made by The Council of the League of Nations which preceded it and therefore, the 650,000 Jews currently living in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem are living there legally.

The lawyers further argue that the commonly used term ‘1967 borders’ is invalid since it refers to the 1949 armistice lines and it was expressly stated in those agreements that the armistice lines would not be interpreted in any way as an international border. They note that according to Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, the parties are committed to conduct negotiations to bring about peace in the Middle East, within secure and recognized borders and with a just solution for all refugees, Jews and Arabs alike.

They determine that a proposal by the PA for a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state will be a fundamental breach of Article 31 of the Oslo Accords which were signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in 1995, and in which it was determined that the PA would not initiate or take any steps that will change the status of Judea and Samaria until the end of negotiations, and that the issue of the borders will be determined only through negotiations. When the Palestinian Authority signed on these commitments, hundreds of thousands of Jews had already lived in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem and the PA recognized that the status of these areas will not change until the negotiations end.

“Although the Interim Agreement was signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” write the lawyers, “the U.S., EU, Russia, Norway, Jordan, Egypt and the United Nations signed it as witnesses and will not be able to take part in the violation of the agreement by the Palestinians.”

The lawyers therefore end the letter by calling on Ban Ki-moon to stop the PA attempt to circumvent the negotiation process that was decided upon by the UN Security Council and the agreements signed between the parties.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has constantly reiterated he would seek the unilateral declaration of a PA state by the United Nations if a peace deal is not reached with Israel come September.

At the same time, he has flatly refused to come to the negotiating table and has manufactured preconditions when pressure has been brought to bear on the PA by the Quartet, especially the United States, for the PA to restart peace talks with Israel.

Meanwhile, it was reported on Sunday that the IDF is purchasing non-lethal riot control gear to deal with large-scale Palestinian Authority violence expected in September, when PA Arabs are expected to attempt various violent provocations after the discussion in the United Nations.