Palestine presented three draft resolutions in informal consultations: “The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,” “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem and the Occupied Syrian Golan,” and “Human rights violations emanating from the Israeli military attacks…particularly the recent ones in the occupied Gaza Strip.”

Japan asked to correct clauses that assert the Gaza Strip is currently under Israeli occupation, saying that this is not the case. (Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005).

Palestine replied that it considers the Gaza Strip as occupied territory and that there is no need to debate this point, considering that the UN has already legitimized this “fact.”

Japan also asked for clarification on “technical points” of language used in the resolution about the Gaza attacks. It pointed out that operative paragraph 1 states that East Jerusalem be the capital of an independent Palestinian state, although this is still subject to negotiation.

Palestine responded that there are a lot of international agreements and road-maps that support a two-state solution. He said that implementation of these agreements is subject to negotiation, but not the agreements themselves.

Japan also argued that the language of operative paragraph 8 of the Gaza resolution, which demands that Israel “release Palestinian prisoners and detainees,” seems too broad, appearing to include even regular prisoners.

Palestine replied that there are eleven thousand Palestinian prisoners, including women and children, in Israeli jails. It said the text refers to political prisoners and detainees that Palestine is rightfully calling on Israel, “the occupying power,” to release.

The Czech Republic, speaking for the EU, and Canada both said that they could not comment on the resolutions at this time, because they only received them the day before and have not had adequate time for review.

Brazil asked that general language calling for the cessation of violence from both parties be incorporated into the text.

Palestine stated that a fourth resolution on Israel is currently being drafted and should be available for review by Friday, March 20, at the latest.

UN Watch