Israel court calls Palestinian Authority a 'state' outside Israeli legal jurisdiction

[JURIST] The Jerusalem District Court [official backgrounder] issued a landmark decision Sunday saying that the Palestinian Authority (PA) [JURIST news archive] meets the legal requirements needed to be considered a state and that therefore Israel has no legal jurisdiction over it. The statement was made in a ruling in a civil case between the Association of the Elon Moreh College and Israel [JURIST news archive], the PA and other parties. The Association had purchased land in an area of the West Bank under full PA control (Area A) and was seeking the return of monies paid after the deal was voided because the village chief who sold the land was not authorized to do so.

The court said that because the PA was vested with certain powers held by sovereign entities, it was not obligated to follow Israeli law and that the Israeli courts have no power to enforce their verdicts inside Palestinian territories, especially after the 2005 Gaza disengagement [JURIST report]. In his ruling Judge Boaz Okon said "One sovereign state does not rule over another sovereign state and does not put it on trial." Haaretz has local coverage. The Jerusalem Post has more.

The issue of Palestinian statehood [Wikipedia backgrounder] has been the focus of longstanding controversy in Middle East and international politics. The Palestinian Authority, created in 1994 under the Oslo Accords [text], is generally considered an interim administrative organization allowing the Palestinians some degree of home rule, but has not been considered a state, although the US and other major players in the region support the creation of a Palestinian state under the terms of the so-called roadmap [text] to a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

 

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