United States National Security Adviser John Bolton Wednesday reiterated that Palestine was “not a state,” during an address at the White House.
"It's not a state now. It does not meet the customary international law test of statehood," he said. "It doesn't control defined boundaries. It doesn't fulfill normal functions of government. There are a whole host of reasons why it's not a state," the security adviser said.
Bolton was resolute in referring to Palestine a "so-called state,” also adding that refusing to acknowledge Palestine’s statehood does not undermine the U.S. President Donald Trump administration’s plans for peace in the Middle East. Last week, the U.S. president said his administration will offer a Mideast peace plan within the next two to four months.
"It could become a state, as the president said, but that requires diplomatic negotiations with Israel and others," Bolton added, doubling down on his remarks, saying there was nothing historically remarkable about U.S. officials denying that Palestine is a state.
"Calling it the so-called state of Palestine defines exactly what it has been, a position that the United States government has pursued uniformly since 1988 when the Palestinian authority declared itself to be the State of Palestine," he continued. "We don't recognize it as the State of Palestine, we have consistently across Democratic and Republican administrations opposed the admission of Palestine to the United Nations as a state because it's not a state."
The Palestinian Authority filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice (ICJ), a United Nations tribunal, to contest the United States’ action.
The Palestine Liberation Organization declared independence in 1988 and 137 United Nations member states recognizes the declaration.