JERUSALEM – The secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization said on Wednesday that the international community should translate support for the self-determination of the Palestinians into recognition of Palestine as a state.
Saeb Erekat, who is also the chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, spoke out to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
“We call upon the international community to turn its statements into actions,” he said on the PLO’s official Twitter account.
Erekat urged the international community to abandon “the role of witness” in favor of embracing “the task to make history.”
The international community needs to atone for its historic inability to find a political solution to the plight of the Palestinians, he said.
Wednesday is the 70th anniversary of the UN General Assembly’s approval of partitioning Palestine, then under British control, into two states: one Jewish and the other Arab. In 1977, the United Nations designated Nov. 29 as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
Acknowledging Jerusalem’s importance to Jews, Muslims and Christians, Resolution 181 called for Jerusalem to operate under a “special international regime” to be administered by the United Nations.
Instead, the Holy City remained divided between Israel and Jordan until 1967, when Israeli forces seized East Jerusalem during the Six-Day War.
Erekat criticized the rapid pace of Israeli violations on the ground, which he said were aimed at foreclosing any possible political solution, citing the expansion of settlements in occupied territory, efforts to push non-Jews out of Jerusalem and demolitions of Palestinian homes.