Palestinian prime minister, Rami Hamdallah said today the international community confirmed in 2011 the readiness of Palestinian state institutions, and renewed this confirmation a few days ago during a donor conference which was convened in Brussels with Germany’s participation. He stated his hope that Germany would recognize Palestine as an independent state within the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital, as many European parliaments have already done. He explained that this recognition would help to create a suitable climate in which negotiations could resume and a solution could be achieved between the two nations.
These words came during his address to the journalistic conference which he convened on Sunday in the ministerial seat in Ramallah with the German foreign minister, Frank Steinmeier.
The prime minister stressed the obligation of the Palestinian leadership and its head, Mahmoud Abbas, towards building a solution for the two states along the 1967 borders and towards effective negotiations with the Israeli side. However, he said that these both needed to be established upon new standards and a specific timetable for the establishment of the independent state of Palestine and its capital in East Jerusalem. He emphasized faith in the leadership and people of Palestine concerning the values of peace, the respect of human rights and tolerance between communities.
Hamdallah said that he valued the support that Germany offered to the Palestinian people, especially concerning the implementation of several vital projects, and Germany’s support for the reconstruction of Gaza, aiming in the first stage to help the UNRWA program in its aid provisions to the residents of the strip. Hamdallah renewed his calls to the group of donor states to fulfill their pledges made during the Cairo conference and demanded that the international community place pressure on Israel to completely and indefinitely lift the siege on Gaza.
Hamdallah also requested that the international community place pressure on Israel to force it to end the violations of Palestinian people’s rights, in particular the policy of displacement, which is especially targeted at the Bedouin community in the area surrounding East Jerusalem and in the village of Susiya, south of Hebron.
The prime minister emphasized the necessity of work from the EU and international institutions to enable the government to benefit from natural resources in the areas designated as ‘C’, which makes up 63.9% of the land in the West Bank and which includes East Jerusalem.
Hamdallah reaffirmed Israel’s obligation to remove any obstacles to the economic and industrial growth aimed for in area ‘C’, including a guarantee for projects implemented by the donating nations. He explained that the obstruction of investment in these regions limits economic growth, increases the ratio of unemployment and undermines any attempt for a solution.
Hamdallah said that: ‘Israel should not be successful in its attempt to draw the world’s attention away from the essence of our work in establishing the pillars of an independent state.’
He explained that Germany is considered as one of the five largest donors to Palestine as it presents approximately 150 million Euros ($163.8 million) annually; both directly and through the European Union, saying ‘I can only thank the government and people of Germany for everything they have offered to us for the improvement of the Palestinian state institutions in particular, and the rights of the Palestinian people in general.’
In his reply to questions from the journalists regarding the outstanding issues in Gaza, Hamdallah indicated the government’s active work to solve these issues, foremost the issue of officials, and expressed his view that Gaza was a crucial part of the Palestinian state and that the national project could not be completed without it.
On his part, the German foreign minister reiterated the support of his country for a government of national reconciliation, and affirmed that his country, as well as the EU, sought to intensify their support for the operation of reconstruction through a unity government, the necessity of opening the crossings, and allowing the residents of Gaza to breathe once again.
The prime minister had spoken to the German minister before the journalist conference in the presence of the Palestinian foreign minister, Dr. Riyadh al-Malki, and the German representative to Palestine, about the latest political and economic developments in the Palestinian issue.
Hamdallah affirmed the seriousness of the Israeli policy of displacement, settlements and Israeli violations of Palestinian rights particularly in East Jerusalem and in area ‘C’, pointing to the necessity for international security in order to end the displacement and settlement policies.