“The call for a Palestinian independence was a call for the international community to pressure Israel to make this Day a reality on the ground. However, the passivity of the international community created the conducive conditions for bigotry and demonization of the Palestinian people” H.E. Manuel Hassassian

The Late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who passed away on November 11, 2004, proclaimed the Palestinian declaration of independence on November 15, 1988, thus announcing the independence of the Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital. “The Palestinian National Council, in the name of God, and in the name of the Palestinian Arab people, hereby proclaims the establishment of the State of Palestine on our Palestinian territory with its capital Jerusalem (Al-Quds ash-Sharif).” The declaration of independence was adopted by the Palestinian National Council (the Palestinian parliament in exile), which is the legislative body of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. The declaration was read at the closing session of the 19th Palestinian National Council to a standing ovation. Consequently, in April 1989, the PLO Central Council bolstered Yasser Arafat to be the first President of Palestine.

The legitimacy of the Palestinian statehood and the declaration of the state of Palestine was proclaimed in reference to the United Nations Partition Plan of 1947 and other related UN resolutions. The declaration was accompanied by the call for a multilateral negotiation on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 242. Following the proclamation of independence, the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 43/177 was adopted “acknowledging the proclamation of the State of Palestine by the Palestine National Council on 15 November 1988” and affirming that “effective as of 15 December 1988, the designation “Palestine” should be used in place of the designation “Palestine Liberation Organization” in the United Nations system, without prejudice to the observer status and functions of the Palestine Liberation Organization within the United Nations system, in conformity with relevant United Nations resolutions and practice.” On November 29, 2012 the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 67/19 upgrading the status of Palestine to a non-member observer state in the UN coinciding with the date of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and the 65th anniversary of the adoption of the UN resolution 181 on the future of Palestine.

We are commemorating this day, despite the continuing injustice and the Israeli culture of impunity, the ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem, the aggression on our people in the West Bank and Gaza, and the daily air land and sea strikes and the ongoing siege of our people in the Gaza Strip. Yesterday, Israeli warplanes shelled residential building, college building, and destroyed agricultural lands. During these airstrikes six Palestinians were killed in culmination and 20 others were injured.

On this special occasion, we call upon the international community to put pressure on Israel to stop its human rights violations and aggressions, respect international agreements, and acknowledge the rights of the Palestinians on their soil-Palestine. In addition, it should bear legal, political, moral and humanitarian responsibilities to end the occupation and support the Palestinians’ right to an independent and sovereign State, thus, enabling them to live in peace and security.