HEBRON, West Bank — The Palestinians will be able to make a strong case that they have built the foundations of a nation when they ask the U.N. this week to recognize an independent Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, the lands Israel occupied in 1967.In the West Bank, they\’ve been laying the infrastructure piece by piece, including widely praised systems of public finance and banking and a U.S.-trained security force. They\’ve amassed many of the trappings of independence, from their own internet domain and international dialing code to a flag, an anthem and a national football team. But their U.N. bid also highlights a simple, bitter reality: They cannot establish an actual state without Israel\’s blessing, even if the Security Council or a majority of General Assembly members recognize Palestine in pre-1967 borders.Israel has kept a tight grip on the occupied lands, even while engaging in sporadic talks — frozen since late 2008 — on the terms of Palestinian statehood. It has annexed east Jerusalem, enforces a border blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza and retains ultimate say in the West Bank, despite limited self-rule there by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas\’s government.Israel remains the final arbiter for some 4 million Palestinians who often can\’t travel, trade or even build homes without Israeli permission. Ambitious plans can\’t advance, such as building an international airport in the West Bank or issuing a currency, the Palestine pound, to replace the Israeli shekel.
The Palestinians were recently assigned their own postal routing code, and West Bank\’s air mail is now sent through Jordan, instead of Israel. Palestinians have their own Internet country code (.ps), unlike the independence-seeking Kurds, and their own international dialing code, 970. Palestine\’s football squad is ranked 157th out of 203 national teams. In this July 27, 2011 photo, detail of stamps used by Palestinians are seen in a post office in the West Bank city of Hebron. The Palestinians will be able to make a strong case when they ask the U.N. next week to recognize an independent Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, the lands Israel occupied in 1967. The deepening split has undermined the Palestinians\’ statehood claims, with Israel saying a peace deal can\’t be implemented as long as Hamas runs Gaza.(Source-AP)