Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat – Fatah has rejected comments made by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad regarding the unilateral declaration of an independent Palestine, which he said would render it a “Mickey Mouse” state.
Fatah sources told Asharq al-Awsat that these statements were unacceptable, incomprehensible, and surprising. The Fatah source said that this statement came at a critical time and represented a blow to the efforts being undertaken by Fatah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to gain international recognition for an independent Palestinian state. Fayyad’s comments came at a time that the Palestinian Authority [PA] has gained the support of several Latin American countries that have officially recognized the State of Palestine within its 1967 borders; the PA is also trying to pressure European countries to officially recognize a Palestinian State.
Sources also confirmed that Fatah was extremely angered by Fayyad’s comments. The source also told Asharq Al-Awsat that Fatah Central Committee member, Nabil Shaath, contacted Fayyad to reprimand him and ask him to explain his comments. Fayyad responded that the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian State – without first obtaining official agreements on the sovereignty of this state – would mean that it is nothing more than a “Mickey Mouse” state. Fayyad had also told Israel’s Channel 2 that he was not in favor of unilateral recognition of the state of Palestine, as this does not change the reality on the ground. In an interview that was recorded earlier this week in Washington, and broadcast on Saturday in Israel, Fayyad said: “We want an independent Palestinian state, not just more declarations [of independence]” in reference to the 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence in Algiers. However the Fatah leadership has said that what is happening now is actually an extension of the previous Declaration of Independence, and that the Palestinian Authority wants countries which did not recognize Palestine in 1988 to do so now.
Fatah has linked Fayyad’s refusal to declare an independent state of Palestine to Fayyad’s call last year for Palestinian state institutes to be established prior to the summer of 2011, as a prelude to the establishment of an independent state. Fayyad stressed that his proposal was going according to plan; however sovereignty ultimately depends on the approval of Israel. He said: “The reality is that the state can exist in terms of functioning institutions, but whilst the [Israeli] army remains on our soil, it would never be a sovereign Palestine, but rather a ‘Mickey Mouse’ State.”
Prime Minister Fayyad explicitly announced his refusal for the unilateral declaration of the Palestinian state. Responding to Fayyad, Nabil Shaath told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the people [of Palestine] do not need the permission of anyone to declare their independence.”
The Palestinian Authority is planning to go to the Security Council, aiming to secure a set of resolutions that condemn Israel for its violations of Palestinian territories and force it to halt its settlement activity, as well as call for the international recognition of an independent Palestinian state.