Dr. Ashrawi Praises Vote of the Italian Lower House of Parliament

PNN  (Palestine News Network)

Published on Saturday, 28 February 2015 09:59

On Friday, Italy voted for the recognition of the State of Palestine. The house meets to vote on two motions asking the Italian government to recognize the State of Palestine and to restart negotiations to reach for the solution “two peoples, two states”.

PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi expressed gratitude to the members of Italy’s Lower House of Parliament for voting in favor of a motion from the Democratic Party of Premier Matteo Renzi that supports “the goal of …establishment of a Palestinian state. However, she said that “it is unfortunate, however, that the resolution did not commit to the unconditional and official recognition of the state of Palestine.”

“We are also dismayed by the second motion from the New Centre Right (NCD) that not only failed to mention the recognition of a Palestinian state, but instead called for direct negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis.” Ashrawi added in a statement.

“Our independence is not dependent on the outcome of negotiations, mutual recognition or other pre-conditions. We are entitled to self-determination and to exercise sovereignty on our own land without permission from the occupying power.”

We call on the Italian government to recognize the Palestinian state without conditions, to take serious and concrete measures to end the military occupation and to work towards a just peace.

We also urge all parliaments and governments worldwide to officially recognize the independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital and to bring Israel to account with punitive measures for its flagrant violations of international law and war crimes against the Palestinian people.”

The Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories has lasted more than 47 years. Whole generations have not experienced a moment of freedom and have grown in the colonization of their land.

The recognition of the Palestinian State, respects and applies to the international law.

Italy has already voted in favour on November 29, 2012 in the General Assembly of the United Nations. In Europe, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, England, Sweden and others have also voted yes. The Swedish government has recognized the State of Palestine last summer.

It is a highly symbolic act but also a practical one; a vote that is going to make a difference in future negotiations, an act that responds positively, not only to the Palestinian demand but also to the more than one thousand Israelis (among them writers, diplomats, politicians, professionals, officers and generals ) who sent a letter to European parliaments asking for a vote that would recognise the State of Palestine, without conditions.

The motions were signed by the Socialist Party, the Left Ecology Freedom and the 5 stars Movement. The symbolic vote and the final decision on the recognition of Palestine belongs to the Italian government.

The Italian chamber approved two motions on the recognition of Palestine: one presented by the Democratic Party and one from the groups of the Popular Area. Both motions were approved, but the text of the resolutions is contrasting. The government pronounced in favor of both proposals. The motion of the 5 Stars Movement calling for the recognition of the Palestinian state was rejected by 317 votes against and 56 votes in favor.

The motions did not involve legal obligations, but mostly political indications with which the parliament addressed to the government.

The motion of the Democratic Party provides for the recognition of the Palestinian state. The text presented by Democrats commits the government “to continue to unconditionally support the goal of establishing a Palestinian state living side by side in peace, security and prosperity next to the state of Israel, on the basis of mutual recognition and total assumption of common commitment to ensure citizens to live safely and protected from all violence and acts of terrorism”. So there is a commitment for the government to “promote the recognition of Palestine as a sovereign and democratic state within the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as a shared capital, taking into account the concerns and the legitimate interests of the state of Israel”.

The motion of the Popular Area: the proposal of the centrists does not expressly recognize Palestine, but it is a first step toward this. The motion in fact commits the government “to promote the achievement of a political agreement between the Islamist group Hamas and its secular rival Fatah, which, through the recognition of the state of Israel and the abandonment of violence, will determine the conditions for the recognition of a Palestinian state”.

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