Palestine Foreign Policy Part II

The United States responded to this decision by stating that it will no longer contribute to the organization because it is legally prohibited from funding organizations that the Palestinians accept as members. A transfer planned for November in the amount of 60 million dollars (approx. 43.6 million euros) will no longer be carried out. The United States has been the organization’s largest donor to date. Canada and Israel followed suit.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the construction of 2,000 homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank in response to “the unilateral action by the Palestinians”.

On November 29, 2012, the Palestinian leadership submitted an application to the United Nations to upgrade the status of Palestine from an observer unit to an observer state (non-member observer state). This motion was accepted with 138 votes in favor, 9 against (from the USA, Israel, Canada, the Czech Republic, Panama, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau) and 41 abstentions.

According to LOCALBUSINESSEXPLORER, the new status enables Palestine to become a member of UN sub-organizations such as the children’s aid organization UNICEF, the development program UNDP and the environmental program UNEP as well as international treaties and thus also to report war crimes and crimes against humanity to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The next day, the Israeli government responded by declaring that it would build 3,000 additional homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. In addition, plans for thousands of apartments in the E1 area, which connects the Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim with Jerusalem, are to be promoted. If this plan were implemented, the north and south of the West Bank would be quasi-territorially separated from each other.

In April 2014, Palestine acceded to eight important UN conventions: the Convention against Torture, the Convention against Racism, the Convention on the Rights of Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Participation of Children in Armed Conflict, the Convention on the Rights of the Disabled and the International Covenant on civil and political rights (civil pact) and on the international pact on economic, social and cultural rights (social pact). In addition, Palestine became a member of theGeneva Conventions.

On December 31, 2014, after an emergency meeting in Ramallah, President Mahmoud Abbas signed the Rome Statute for Palestine’s accession to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague and 17 other international treaties.

The Palestinian Authority recognized the jurisdiction of the Court retrospectively from June 13, 2014, allowing the investigation of incidents during the Israeli military operation “Protective Edge” in the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014.

Mahmoud Abbas responded to the rejection of a Middle East resolution presented by Jordan by the UN Security Council the day before, which called on Israel to withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories by the end of 2017.

In response to the Palestinian application for membership, Israel suspended tax payments to the Palestinian Authority amounting to 500 million shekels (€ 105.82 million). Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “We will take steps to defend Israeli soldiers. The one to fear the International Criminal Court in The Hague is the Palestinian Authority, which is in a unity government with Hamas, a terrorist organization.” then Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman urged Germany and other countries to stop their payments to the Court and to dissolve the Palestinian Authority.

The USA also reacted negatively to the application for membership. A US State Department spokesman warned that the Palestinian move was “counterproductive”. He will do nothing to “promote the striving of the Palestinian people for a sovereign and independent state”.

Just a few days later, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced that Palestine would join the International Criminal Court (ICC) on April 1, 2015.

With effect from January 1, 2012, the German Federal Government upgraded the status of the General Delegation of Palestine to a diplomatic mission. Without having the status of an embassy in Germany, it largely takes on the functions and tasks of an official embassy. Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle announced this decision by the federal government during his meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on February 1, 2012. The Palestinian Mission in the Federal Republic of Germany is now led by an ambassador (or since August 28, 2013 by an ambassador).

On July 29, 2019, the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, an island state in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean with around 56,000 residents, recognized Palestine as the 138th state worldwide. The USA, Israel and many European countries, including Germany, have not yet done this. They take the view that a sovereign Palestinian state can only be recognized after a peace treaty has been concluded with Israel.

Palestine Foreign Policy 1