The Palestinian Authority is weighing a UN General Assembly Resolution to rescind Israeli membership in the international body, which first recognized it as a state in 1948.
“Israel is a country that is in total violation of the charter of the UN. Does it deserve to be a member of the UN and any of its agencies or not?” PLO Executive Committee Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said on Thursday.
He spoke during a solidarity visit to the Bedouin Palestinian herding village of Khan al-Ahmar that is in imminent danger of demolition because it was illegally built.
Erekat sat in the small yard outside the community’s Tyre school and spoke first with journalists and then with diplomats about Palestinian plans to combat a number of particular egregious actions.
Top on his list was the Knesset passage this month of the nation-state law, which cements Israel’s Jewish ethnic character.
But he followed with the relocation of the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, settlement building, and Palestinian home demolitions – including the village of Khan al-Ahmar.
He sat behind a folding table with a handheld microphone and told the diplomats who sat in front of him that they could have “a test very soon in the UN General Assembly about this.”
According to the UN website, the Security Council would also have to vote on the matter. Such a move would most certainly be torpedoed by the United States, one of five permanent members that has veto power in the council.
The PA has already submitted a question to the UN’s legal department to see if the nation-state law was in keeping with the organization’s charter, Erekat said.
It is also expected to seek an option on the matter from the International Court of Justice at The Hague, which in 2004 issued an advisory opinion that Israel’s construction of the security fence was illegal.
The nation-state law undermines the two-state resolution to the conflict with Israel and creates a two-tiered legal system that is the equivalent of apartheid, Erekat said.
“To those nations in the international community, who some of their diplomats still brag that they share the same values with Israel: Shame on you. Shame on you!”
Israelis who want to destroy villages like Khan al-Ahmar
and who set fire to the Dawabshe home in Duma in 2015 are no different than ISIS, he said. Three family members including an 18-month toddler were killed in that fire.
“The question to you and to everyone, what is the difference between a thug and a criminal who slit the throat of a Western journalist under the name ISIS in Iraq or Syria, and the thug and a criminal who burns the Dawabshe family in Duma,” Erekat said.
The parents and their toddler son, were killed “simply because they are not Jews,” Erekat said. “What is the difference between the thug and the criminal who wants to ethnically cleanse this community?”
He also attacked the Trump administration, including its representatives US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and its envoy’s Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner, for not condemning the nation-state law.
The new legislation is the cornerstone of the “deal of the century” that they are working on, this is what it is all about, Erekat said, referring to a US plan for peace between Israelis and Palestinians that is expected to be revealed soon.
“I am surprised that people call Friedman and Kushner and Jason Greenblatt peace envoys. I do not think they deserve this title,” he said, calling the trio “three Zionists ideologues” and “extremists who believe in this law.”
“[They] believe in this concept of destroying the two-state solution,” he said.
He blamed the United States for the rupture in the relationship with the PA.
In 2017, Palestinians held 35 meetings with Trump administration representatives, including four at the summit level.
“We did not choose to pick a fight with the Americans. We did not walk away from the negotiating table as they say. They did,” he said, arguing that US President Donald Trump broke his promise to PA President Mahmoud Abbas not to take steps to prejudice a final status of Jerusalem – simply to please business magnate Sheldon Adelson.
The US walked away from the “negotiating table to the dictation table,” he said.
The High Court of Justice is set to hold hearing on the fate of the Khan al-Ahmar, which is located off of Route 1, just outside of the Kfar Adumim settlement.
The court had already said that the IDF can raze the homes, but allowed for one more last-ditch hearing on the matter.
The UN and the European Union have pressured Israel not to demolish the tents and shacks that make up the village, while right-wing Israeli politicians are calling on the country to raze it.
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