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Occupation magazine - Commentary

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Sovereign Palestinian State Requires Sovereignty Over Borders

By Michael Warschawski
Alternative Information Center (AIC)

srael is ready to recognize a Palestinian state within the borders it itself will decide, and in accordance with its overall settlement expansion plan. One of the characteristics of this Palestinian state is that it will have no control over its borders and will not be able to freely decide who enters and who does not. In other words: the Israeli state will have unilateral control over the borders of the `Palestinian state,` even where it will not be adjacent to the sovereign territory of Israel.

I am not an expert in international law, but from the few years I studied political science at the Hebrew University I remember at least one thing: sovereignty means first and above all control of borders.

A sovereign state without sovereign borders is a self-contradiction, a nonsense. Israel can decide to withdraw its army, its administration and its settlers from the entire West Bank as it did from the Gaza Strip; Israel can allow the formation of a government (or even two), a flag, a national anthem and even a seat at the United Nations General Assembly and as long as it doesn`t recognize Palestinian sovereignty on the borders, the West Bank will remain an occupied territory and not a sovereign entity, the same way the Gaza Strip is still, according to international law, an occupied territory.

In that sense, and with all due respect, the Palestinian Prime Minister is wrong when he declares that in a few months `the Palestinian Authority will declare a Palestinian State without borders.` Not only is this legal non-sense, but in fact is playing right into the hands of Benjamin Netanyahu, who is saying more or less: `you are already a state, what more do you want?` No, there is no Palestinian state, but a Palestinian occupied territory with Palestinian institutions taking upon themselves the running (and the financing) of domestic matters, including the Dayton police who has no power to even defend Palestinian civilians from day-to-day settler aggressions.

Such declarations can only confuse the international solidarity movement as well as those elements in the international community that are supporting the Palestinian legitimate, national rights. Definitely, the Palestinian people deserve to have their own sovereign state, but in order to achieve this goal a long struggle is still necessary.

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