A senior Palestinian lawmaker has called for an immediate declaration of an independent Palestinian state in response to failed talks with Israel.
Mustafa Barghouthi called on the Palestinian Authority (PA) on Wednesday to immediately declare "an independent democratic Palestinian state," including all the territories occupied by Israel during and after the Six-Day War in 1967 and with East al-Quds (Jerusalem) as its capital, Ma’an news agency reported.
Speaking to reporters in Ramallah, Barghouthi proposed a set of initiatives to "surpass the intractable impasse in the so-called peace process."
The Palestinian National Initiative leader described the US-backed direct negotiations as "meaningless and damaging" given Israel’s continued settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.
He said the declaration would call on "all states, governments and international institutions to recognize the Palestinian state and its borders immediately," and would call on the United Nations General Assembly to issue recognition of the state based on the UN-drawn borders of 4 June 1967.
The document would also urge the General Assembly to demand that the Israeli regime end the occupation of its land, borders, airspace, and water resources and remove all illegal settlements from Palestinian territories.
Barghouthi further called for "punitive action against Israel should it continue its occupation of the Palestinian state," following the declaration of the state.
The lawmaker noted that only an international recognition of a Palestinian state and its borders will give Palestinians an equal footing for negotiations.
Barghouthi said the present negotiations are happening between "totally inequitable parties where Israel is effectively allowed a dominant veto power on all issues, including the agenda and terms of reference, as well as total impunity to violate international law and so many UN resolutions.”
“If the international community rejects this option, it will be the death of the two-state solution and Palestinians will be left to struggle against apartheid in one state," he warned.