The Palestine Liberation Organization issued the following statement rejecting UN Security Council Resolution 242 on the day after it was passed.
At the time of writing this post is the only copy of the statement on the internet. I have taken it from the collection “Documents of Palestine” Volume II, pages 307-308, published by PASSIA (Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs) in 2007 and edited by Dr. Mahdi Abdul Hadi.
PALESTINE LIBERATION ORGANIZATION, STATEMENT REJECTING UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 242, CAIRO, 23 NOVEMBER 1967
Having studied the British resolution adopted by the Security Council on the Israeli aggression against Arab territories of June 1967, the Palestine Liberation Organization, in behalf of the Palestinian people, hereby defines its attitude to the said resolution as follows:
1. The resolution as a whole is in the nature of a political declaration of general principles, and is more like an expression of international intentions than the resolution of an executive power. Its treatment of the question of the withdrawal of Israeli forces is superficial, rather than being a decisive demand. It leaves Israel many loopholes to justify her continued occupation of Arab territories, and may be interpreted as permitting her to withdraw from such territories as she chooses to withdraw from and to retain such areas as she wishes to retain.
2. The resolution more than once refers to Israel’s right to exist and to establish permanent, recognized frontiers. It also refers to Israel’s safety and security and to her being freed from all threats, and, in general to the termination of the state of belligerency with her. All this imposes on the Arab countries undertakings and a political and actual situation which are fundamentally and gravely inconsistent with the Arab character of Palestine, the essence of the Palestine cause and the right of the Palestinian people to their homeland. This resolution completely undermines the foundations of the principles announced by the Khartoum Summit Conference held after the aggression.
3. The resolution ignores the right of the refugees to return to their homes, dealing with this problem in an obscure manner which leaves the door wide open to efforts to settle them in the Arab countries and to deprive them of the exercise of their right to return, thereby annulling the resolutions adopted by the United Nations over the past twenty years.
4. The resolution recognizes the right of passage through international waterways, by which it means the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aqaba. Granted that the Canal is an international waterway, this right cannot be exercised by a state which has engaged in usurpation and aggression, especially inasmuch as its usurpation and aggression were directed against an Arab country. The Gulf of Aqaba constitutes Arab internal waters, and its shores include a coastal area belonging to Palestine occupied by Israel through an act of usurpation and aggression. The principle of freedom of innocent passage is not applicable to the Gulf of Aqaba, especially as regards Israel.
5. The resolution includes provisions for the sending on a mission of a personal representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. This is no more than a repetition of unsuccessful attempts in the past, beginning with the dispatch of Count Bernadotte and ending with the formation of the International Conciliation Commission. All these attempts provided Israel with repeated opportunities to impose the fait accompli and to engage in further aggression and expansion.
6. The resolution as a whole validates Israel’s attitude and her demands and disappoints the hopes of the Arab nation and ignores its national aspirations. The conflicting interpretations of the resolutions made by members of the Security Council have weakened it even further, and it is not too much to say that the resolution is a political setback at the international level following the military setback which has befallen the Arab homeland.
7. For these reasons, the most important of which is that the Security Council ignores the existence of the Palestinian people and their right of self-determination, the Palestine Liberation Organization hereby declares its rejection of the Security Council resolution as a whole and in detail. In so doing it is not only confirming a theoretical attitude, but also declaring the determination of the Palestinian people to continue their revolutionary struggle to liberate their homeland. The Palestine Liberation Organization is fully confident that to achieve this sacred aim the Arab nation will meet its national responsibilities to mobilize all its resources for this battle of destiny, with the support of all forces of liberation throughout the world.