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The Palestinian observer delegation to the UN may introduce a resolution at the General Assembly calling for recognition of a Palestinian state within the 1967 boundaries. Because of the automatic anti-Israel majority in the Assembly, it must be assumed that such a resolution, if proposed, will be adopted by a large majority.

In fact, a 2003 Arab-sponsored UN General Assembly resolution has already called for a “two-state solution of Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security based on the Armistice Line of 1949.”

Under international law, UN General Assembly resolutions are not binding. Furthermore, except for cases where a former border is inherited by new states, borders can only be delimited by agreement between the states concerned. No UN organ has the authority to delimit boundaries.

Only if the Security Council recommends membership can the Assembly accept a new member state to the UN. Decisions of the Security Council are of course subject to the veto of any of the five permanent members, which includes the U.S.

A declaration by the Palestinian Authority of a state within the 1967 lines would be a violation of the Oslo agreements, enabling Israel to legally claim that it is no longer obliged to fulfill its Oslo obligations, which include transferring funds, supplying electricity and allowing movement of goods and persons.

The writer is a professor of international law at the Hebrew University and former legal adviser to the Israel Foreign Ministry.

(Robbie Sabel – Jewish Chronicle-UK)
 

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