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Palestine Needs More Than Just Recognition

Despite Palestine being recognied as a non-member occupied state by the United Nations General Assembly, concerns are growing about the lack of a unified government, writes Clovis Maksoud.
A masked Palestinian gestures as he celebrates on a street in Gaza City November 30, 2012. The 193-nation U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution on Thursday to upgrade the Palestinian Authority's observer status at the United Nations from "entity" to "non-member state," implicitly recognizing a Palestinian state.  REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS)

After the success of President Abbas in winning a UN resolution recognizing Palestine as a non-member occupied state by an impressive majority of the members of the United Nations General Assembly, there is growing concern that this recognition came without a unified government of Palestine. 

There is, however, a governing authority in both Ramallah and in Gaza, which enabled Israel to resume building settlements in East Jerusalem and in other places. A further concern is that Israel does not and has not, since June 1967, recognized that it is an occupying power without defining the legal status of its presence. Secondly, Israel considers Gaza a unique case, specifically a belligerent enemy entity. Unless these legal issues are properly defined to the satisfaction of the UN resolution, they remain seriously problematic. To resume negotiations under these conditions will be as damaging as the Oslo Agreements have been. 

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