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Robert Halfon MP: What exactly is the UN voting for when it comes to the establishment of another Palestinian State?

Robert HalfoRobert Halfon is the Member of Parliament for Harlow. Follow Rob on Twitter.

I agree that there should be a Palestinian State. In fact, not many realise there is already a Palestinian State called Jordan — originally called TransJordan (because it was across the River on the East Bank), that was created by the British, for the Arabs, as part of the original state of Palestine in 1921. The idea of the 1917 Balfour Declaration was that the Jews would have a smaller part of the other side of the river. In fact, after the 1948-9 war against the newly created State of Israel, the Jordanian monarch, Abdullah called himself the King of Jordan AND Palestine, as his country controlled The West Bank.

The vast majority of Arabs currently in Jordan are in fact Palestinians. The rulers of Jordan are, however, not Palestinian, as the monarchy are minority Hashemites. Before the 1967 Six Day War, when Israel defeated the Arab invasion and took control of the West Bank and Gaza (which had been under the arm of Egypt), there had never been demands from Palestinians in the disputed Territories for a second Palestinian State, as they were under Jordanian rule.

The Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza now believe they should have their own separate second state covering the West Bank and Gaza and part of Jerusalem. The problem is that the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Palestinians in Gaza are ruled by entirely different entities. The West Bank is controlled by the more moderate Palestinian Authority and has some relations — albeit difficult — with Israel. Gaza, by contrast, is run by the authoritarian and terrorist Hamas movement, and has been responsible for the 7,000 missiles fired onto Israeli territory since the withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. Hamas also staged a coup d'etat in Gaza, overthrowing the Palestinian Fatah movement (literally throwing Fatah members from the rooftops).

So, if we are not careful, we could end up with three Palestinian States, or to be precise one State and two “Statelets”: one controlled by the Hashemite Kingdom in Jordan (if not overthrown as the Arab Spring spreads through the region), one controlled by Fatah in the West Bank and one controlled by Hamas in Gaza.

So the question today for the United Nations, is this: when they vote on the question of a Palestinian State, what exactly are they voting for?


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