Barghouti says declare Palestinian state immediately 13Oct10 October 14, 2010

Ma’an News Agency -  13 October 2010

Palestinian National Initiative leader Mustafa Barghouthi called for the “immediate declaration of an independent democratic Palestinian state” on all territories occupied by Israel in 1967 in response to failed negotiations.

Speaking to reporters in Ramallah, Barghouthi proposed a set of initiatives to “surpass the intractable impasse in the so called peace process,” which he described as “meaningless and damaging” while Israeli settlement building continues.

The declaration calls on “all states, governments and international institutions recognize the Palestinian state and its borders immediately,” as well as lobbying the UN General Assembly to issue a recognition of the state on 4 June 1967 and “a demand that Israel end the occupation of its land, borders, airspace, and water resources, removing all illegal settlements from Palestinian territories.”

Barghouthi further called for “punitive action against Israel should it continue its occupation of the Palestinian state,” following the declaration of the state.

Were the world to recognize a Palestinian state with its borders, it would provide an equal footing for negotiations, Barghouthi argued, “rather than conditions of the present negotiations that are happening between totally inequitable parties. Where Israel is effectively allowed a dominant veto power on all issues, including the agenda and terms of reference, as well as total impunity to violate international law and so many UN Resolutions.”

He also said that the PNI initiative is a test to the claims made by many countries that they support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and the building of its institutions. He cited Kosovo’s declaration of independence and its recognition by the international community as a model to be replicated.

Barghouthi warned that, “If the international community rejects this option it will be the death of the two-state solution and Palestinians will be left to struggle against apartheid in one state.” He vowed that his movement, the PNI, will initiate an international campaign with other Palestinian parties to convince the governments and people of the world to recognize and support a sovereign Palestinian democratic state on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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