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Necessary but not Sufficient: Institution-Building and a Palestinian State

Elizabeth Sellwood Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011

In August 2009, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad pledged to "complete the process of building institutions of the independent State of Palestine in order to establish a de facto state apparatus within the next two years." The Palestinian Authority (PA), he said, would do this "despite the hostile occupation regime." Indeed, Fayyad argued that by focusing on building institutions, Palestinians would "expedite the end of the occupation," because their state would "emerge as a fact that cannot be ignored."   

Fayyad's two-year deadline expired in August 2011. Is Palestine ready, in institutional terms, for statehood? The question may appear hypothetical because no one really expects a free, independent Palestine to be born at the United Nations in September 2011: The political conditions are not right, as the U.S. will not support a U.N. resolution. What's more, the Palestinians have not yet implemented the reconciliation agreement reached between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo in May, and Israel has no interest in ending the occupation. ...

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