Preconditions Have No Basis in Law or Fact

(Jerusalem Post) Alan Baker - All the agreements between Israel and the PLO are based in their preambular paragraphs on the call by the international community, in UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967, for "secure and recognized boundaries." The Palestinian leadership has repeatedly committed and agreed to this formula, which basically means that the pre-1967 military armistice demarcation lines - never intended to become borders - would be replaced by agreed-upon borders answering the Security Council criteria. Palestinian leaders such as Nabil Shaath, Saeb Erekat and Mahmoud Abbas are now attempting to manipulate the legal and historic record by demanding that Israel commit, in advance, to the "1967 borders." This Palestinian precondition has no basis whatsoever in law or in fact. The other Palestinian precondition, that Israel freeze settlement activity, also has no basis in the agreements between the PA and Israel. The Israel-Palestinian Interim Agreement (commonly termed Oslo II) specifically permits construction by each side in the areas under its jurisdiction. The Palestinians cannot now unilaterally remove this issue from the negotiating table and turn it into a separate and independent precondition for further negotiation. Continued settlement activity pending the outcome of permanent-status negotiations is neither a violation of the Oslo Accords nor of international law. The sooner the Palestinians cease trying to unilaterally undermine, manipulate and bypass the negotiating process, and give up their preconditions, the sooner the issue of settlements will be settled. The author, former legal adviser of the Israel Foreign Ministry and presently director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, participated in the negotiation of the Oslo Accords.

2013-06-20 00:00:00

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