Palestinians seeking support for multi-national mediation


AMMAN: The Palestinian leadership is conducting a wide-ranging campaign to replace US-sponsored mediation with a multi-national effort.

Veteran Palestinian leader Nabil Shaath told Arab News that the days of dealing solely with the Americans are over. Shaath, a senior adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, was dispatched to Russia and China to seek support for a multi-national mediation.

“The reception we received in Moscow and Beijing was top notch. They enthusiastically supported our efforts to create a new mechanism to sponsor the peace process that includes Europeans, Russians and Chinese.”

Shaath said that Palestinians are not opposed to the Americans also being part of the new mechanism. “We have no problems with the Americans being part of the new effort so long as we have a clear international framework for peace.”

Shaath also noted that the state of Palestine will be seeking other efforts in the international arena including recognition of Palestine at various world forums and seeking an advisory judgment from the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

“After the vote of the UN General Assembly under the clause uniting for peace, we plan to ask the ICJ for its legal advice as to whether the US position is in violation of international law.”

Anis F. Kassim, the editor of the Palestinian Yearbook of International Law, told Arab News that the overwhelming resolution of the General Assembly opens the way for a legal challenge at The Hague.

“It is now possible for the Palestinian delegation to seek a legal advisory resolution from the International Court of Justice in support of the UN General Assembly resolution of the Dec. 21 session and to settle the conflict of whether what the US did in unilaterally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was in violation of international law.”

At the same time, Kassim explained that the decision by the General Assembly is not binding but that it can be used to receive an advisory resolution from the ICJ.

Kassim also told Arab News that he believes that the US president erred in terms of American law when he advised his representative at the UN Nikki Haley to vote against the UN Security Council resolution.

“The Palestinian delegation should hire a top-notch American lawyer specialized in international law and ask for his opinion as to whether Trump violated US law. If the answer is yes, I think there is a good case to be made to sue the US president in America for its violation of its own commitment as a member of the United Nations.”

The Palestinian president has also been busy jetting from one location to another trying to drum up support for his efforts to find a replacement to the US peace efforts.

Abbas visited Paris and Riyadh meeting with the French and Saudi Arabia’s leaders, repeating in both Paris and Riyadh that the US has disqualified itself after its unilateral decision in recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and in going against the international community both in the UN Security Council and the General Assembly.

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