FACTBOX: International status and recognition of Palestine

  TASS FACTBOX. On May 28, 2024, the decisions of Ireland, Spain and Norway to recognize the State of Palestine officially entered into forc...

 


TASS FACTBOX. On May 28, 2024, the decisions of Ireland, Spain and Norway to recognize the State of Palestine officially entered into force. As of today, Palestine is recognized as an independent state by 146 out of the 193 UN member countries. TASS-FACTBOX editors have compiled a digest of the history of Palestine and its recognition by other countries and the UN.

Partition of Palestine

In 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 181 to terminate the British mandate for Palestine, issued by the League of Nations in 1922. Under the UN decision, two independent states - Jewish and Arab - were to be established on the Palestinian territory. By that time, Arabs accounted for about 65% of the population of Palestine and Jews for about 30%. According to the UN decision, Arabs received about 42% of the territory (about 11,000 square kilometers) and Jews - 56% (14,000 square kilometers). Jerusalem, which occupies 2% of the territory, was granted a special international status.

In May 1948, the State of Israel was established. In 1949, it was recognized by most countries of the world and admitted to the UN as its 59th member. As a result of the Arab-Israeli wars, Israel increased its territory, occupying almost all the lands that were assigned to the Palestinians under Resolution 181.

PLO

Palestine long lacked political institutions and a recognized leadership of its own. It was not until 1964 that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was established to represent the interests of Palestinian Arabs. In the late 1960s, it became the backbone of the national movement. In 1974, the PLO adopted a program that envisaged the possibility of recognizing Israel. In the same year it was recognized by Arab countries and then by the UN as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. The PLO obtained the observer status at the UN as a non-state entity (both recognized and partially recognized states and state entities can be UN observers, as well as members of UN specialized agencies).

Proclamation of the State of Palestine

In November 1988, the Palestinians declared the establishment of the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This measure was a token gesture, as the PLO did not control any territory. Nevertheless, more than 80 countries declared their recognition of Palestine as a state: all Arab countries, more than 30 African countries (including Angola, Ghana, Guinea, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Togo, and Chad), Asian states (Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Turkey, Sri Lanka, etc.), countries that were part of the socialist block (Bulgaria, Hungary, Vietnam, China, Cuba, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia), as well as Malta and Cyprus. The Soviet Union officially recognized the Palestinian state on November 18, 1988 (an embassy of the State of Palestine was opened in Moscow in 1990). In 1992-2000, Palestine was recognized by Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and then a number of Latin American countries, in particular Venezuela in 2009, Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil in 2010 and Chile in 2011.

The adoption of Resolution 67/191 by the UN General Assembly on November 29, 2012 was a landmark event for the Palestinian state: Palestine was granted the status of an observer at the UN. The decision was approved by the votes of 138 states, 41 countries abstained and 9 (including the US and Israel) opposed it. By that time, Palestine had formed self-governing bodies and established the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) with Ramallah as its temporary capital. Since January 2013, official Palestinian documents have used the name State of Palestine instead of the PNA, while the head of the PNA began to be referred to as the President of the State of Palestine.

Back in 2011 Palestine applied to join the UN as a full member. However, at that time it could not get the support of the UN Security Council (the Security Council makes recommendations regarding the admission of new members to the General Assembly), because the US declared its intention to veto the resolution. In April 2024, the UNSC started considering the Palestinian application again, but the US blocked it.

The military operation in the Gaza Strip, launched by Israel in October 2023 (in response to the October 7, 2023 attack by militants of the Palestinian radical organization Hamas on the territory of Israel), accompanied by heavy Palestinian casualties and a humanitarian crisis, prompted a number of countries to recognize Palestine in a gesture of support for the "principle of two states for two peoples" (the principle of the settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict spelled out in UNSC Resolution 242 of 1967). On April 19, 2024, Barbados declared its recognition of the State of Palestine. Jamaica did so on April 22, Trinidad and Tobago on May 2, and the Bahamas on May 7. According to Palestine’s ambassador to Russia, Abdel Hafiz Nofal, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal and Slovenia may recognize Palestine in the near future.


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Local Glob: FACTBOX: International status and recognition of Palestine
FACTBOX: International status and recognition of Palestine
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