PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi on the occasion of Palestine’s Independence DayNov. 15, 2017, midnight
"On this day twenty-nine years ago, the Palestinian National Council adopted the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, declaring the independence of the State of Palestine and affirming its support of international law, United Nations resolutions and values of respect and tolerance. This courageous and astute statement constituted a major historical and painful compromise for the people of Palestine, and it also represented a significant contribution to peace.
Today’s occasion serves as an important reminder to the world that the longest occupation in modern history must end. A free and sovereign Palestine is long overdue, and the Palestinian people deserve to exercise their right to self-determination and dignity.
In honour of Palestine’s Independence Day, we call on all members of the international community to stand on the right side of justice and exhibit the moral courage required to hold Israel to account. It is time to end the military occupation within a specific and binding timeframe and to ensure the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
We also urge governments worldwide to support the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and their legitimate aspirations for freedom and self-determination by recognizing Palestine in the immediate future. We will continue to send a clear message to Israel and the rest of the world that we will not forget or surrender. Our spirit cannot be broken, and we will continue the nonviolent struggle for independence and dignity by seeking justice in all international legal venues to guarantee our basic rights and freedoms that Israel is persistently violating."