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US to join UK and recognize Palestinian state

The US and UK governments have raised the possibility of recognizing a Palestinian state in the wake of the current conflict in Gaza. Officials from both countries noted that this step is critical to establishing long-term peace and security in the region.

In this sense, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron mentioned during his visit to Lebanon that the recognition of Palestine as a state is essential for peace. However, he clarified that this would not be possible as long as Hamas continued to control Gaza.

On the other hand, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken commissioned a review of US and international options for recognizing a Palestinian state, sources said. A break from previous policy of leaving the issue in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, West Bank, July 15, 2022. ©Reuters/Evelyn Hockstein

British proposal

A few months ago, David Cameron mentioned the possibility of Britain formally recognizing a Palestinian state following a ceasefire in Gaza, without waiting for the outcome of long-running negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on a two-state solution.

In this sense, he pointed out that it is impossible to recognize this while Hamas remains in Gaza, but it can be considered during the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian leadership. Furthermore, he stressed the importance of providing the Palestinian people with prospects for the future of their own country, arguing that this is crucial for long-term peace and security in the region.

Cameron detailed that the British proposal includes a plan to ease tensions on the Lebanese-Israeli border, with the UK potentially training the Lebanese army to strengthen security in the border area.

Recognize Palestinian influence

Although Palestine has been recognized by 139 of the 193 member states of the United Nations, the United States, the United Kingdom and other G7 countries have not yet recognized it. Since 2012, Palestine has been a “non-member observer state” of the United Nations and has acceded to a number of human rights treaties. However, its full recognition as a sovereign state would have significant legal implications and would expand its participation in international organizations.

Recognizing Palestine as a sovereign state presents challenges, such as the need for “defined territory” and “effective government.” While the UK has maintained a stance of non-recognition, a change in its stance could open new legal avenues for accountability for human rights abuses and atrocities.

Experts say full recognition could also change the dynamics of the current conflict from one between a state (Israel) and a non-state group (Hamas) to an international armed conflict. This will have significant ramifications, particularly within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), where the “situation in the State of Palestine” is already being investigated.

Source: United Press International

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