PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi met with a delegation of International Labour Organization (ILO) representatives, including Frank Hagemann, Deputy Regional Director for the Arab States, Ludek Rychly, Senior Social Dialogue Specialist, Steven Kapsos, Head, Data Production and Analysis Unit, Katerine Landuyt, Legal Standard Specialist, Tareq Haq, Senior Employment Policy Specialist, Mounir Kleibo, Representative, ILO Jerusalem, Rasha El-Shurafa, Programme Officer, ILO Jerusalem.
The aim of the fact-finding meeting was to gather research and information for the ILO Director-General’s annual report. In that view, Dr. Ashrawi provided a thorough assessment of the latest political developments and Israel’s continued efforts to destroy the very foundations of the two-state solution by means of its illegal settlement enterprise, the deliberate demographic, cultural, religious and political transformation of Jerusalem, and its persistent demolitions of homes and cultural institutions, among other flagrant violations of international law and Palestinian human rights.
Both parties reviewed the dire economic situation in Palestine and agreed that institution and nation-building cannot succeed without addressing the root causes and implementing serious and concrete measures to end the military occupation.
In that context, Dr. Ashrawi called on the international community and international institutions to implement their own resolutions, in particular UNSC Resolution 2334, and to hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law.
The discussion also addressed domestic realities, and Dr. Ashrawi stressed the importance of holding elections to reactivate the political system in Palestine, and she said, “We need to exercise the political will internally to put national interests above factional ones.”
Dr. Ashrawi also answered questions on the distortions in the Israeli legal system to silence human rights organizations, Palestinian MKs and supporters of the BDS movement, as well as anyone who challenges Israeli policies, the role of advocacy groups and solidarity organizations in the U.S., and the obstacles and flaws that have led to the impasse in the pursuit of peace.